Model cars have long been a popular hobby for both kids and adults. NASCAR model cars, in particular, have attracted a devoted following since NASCAR’s founding in 1948.

As with model cars in general, collectors have two primary options for NASCAR models—diecast cars or model kits. Diecast cars are preassembled, factory-produced miniatures made out of metal, most prized in mint condition in their original boxes.

Kits, on the other hand, contain molded plastic pieces that must be carefully assembled and decorated with decals over many hours. Collectors value unassembled kits in their original sealed boxes, but they also enjoy sharing the models they have built, whether the model is “out of the box” (exactly as the kit intended) or modified. Some even build NASCAR models out of non-NASCAR kits using separate decals and other extra parts.

The first NASCAR model kits were produced right after World War II, back when race cars were fairly similar to their street relatives. In 1982, Monogram released the first modern NASCAR car kits, which launched the product into even wider popularity. Ertl followed in 1984 with kits and radio-controlled diecast models, and companies like Revell, Action, Team Caliber, Aluminum Model Toys (AMT), Tamiya, and, later, Hot Wheels also joined the market.

Unlike other types of model car collecting, in which the maker and year of the car itself are paramount, NASCAR model car collectors are most loyal to the drivers, like Jimmie Johnson and Brett Bodine. As model car collector and builder Les Smirle says, “People don’t build Chevrolet NASCARs, they build Dale Earnhardt NASCARs…. With NASCAR, the loyalty to the driver is far stronger than the loyalty to individual brands of cars.” Thus, the value of any NASCAR model is tied to the popularity of its driver.

In recent years, the landscape of NASCAR model cars has changed due to the licensing costs that NASCAR imposes on model-car manufacturers. Naturally these costs have risen with NASCAR’s popularity, which has made model kits more expensive to produce relative to diecast cars. This has caused a shift on the part of manufacturers away from kits and toward diecast models. For example, Revell—one of the main manufacturers of NASCAR model kits—recently discontinued its line of NASCAR models because of prohibitive licensing fees, though it still sells NASCAR slot cars.

Today, collectors tend to favor drivers from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, but some younger collectors have also taken a liking to models derived from the movie franchise “The Fast and the Furious.” The most common scale for NASCAR models is 1/24, but many other sizes are also popular.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

DFW Elite Toy Museum

DFW Elite Toy Museum

Ron Sturgeon's excellent gallery of fancy model cars and other vehicles. Nice high resolution shots with classy mus… [read review or visit site]

The Show Room

The Show Room

This gallery at Dave's Show Rod Rally features model show rods from 1960 to 2001. Favorites include the 1958 Thunde… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Mpc Richard Petty Nascar Pymouth RoadrunnerXrare 1/24 Donnie Allison #27 Ford Torino Cobra 1969 Vintage Diecast NascarNascar Jeff Gordon 2012 Aarp Ninja Turtles Dteh Rcca Elite 1/300 Serial # 281Lot 11) 7 Nascar Intimidator #3 Dale Earnhardt Cars 1:24 Scale + Pit Wagon BankXrare 1/24 Dale Earnhardt Sr #3 Goodwrench 1997 Crash Car Action Diecast NascarKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Homestead Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastDale Earnhardt Jr 2015 Halo 5 Guardians 1:24 Color Chrome Nascar Diecast1:24 2004 Action Rcca Elite 1997 #3 Daytona Raced Crash Car Dale Earnhardt Sr Antron Brown 2016 Matco Tools 1:24 Top Fuel Dragster Nhra DiecastMpc 1/25 Richard Brooks Nascar Dodge Charger Super Bird, F/sKyle Busch 2015 M&m Crispy Kentucky Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastNascar Kyle Busch #18 Sprint Cup Champion Crispy M&ms Color Chrome 1/24 Car Kurt Busch Autographed 2010 Miller Lite Atlanta Win Raced Version 1:24 Nascar DiSigned 1/24 Denny Hamlin & Joe Gibbs #11 Fedex 2008 Autographed Diecast NascarLot 12) 8 Nascar Intimidator #3 Dale Earnhardt Cars 1:24 Scale True Value IrocKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Homestead Win 1:24 Nascar Diecast#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr 2015 Halo 5 Chevy Ss 1 24 Action Color Chrome Car1/24 Action Ernie Irvan #56 1987 Dale Earnhardt Chevy Aerocoupe Diecast SilverLot 8) 8 Nascar Dale Earnhardt Jr Cars 1:24 Scale Action & Motorsports AuthenticXrare 1/24 Ned Jarrett #11 Richmond Ford Galaxie 1965 Vintage Diecast NascarKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Homestead Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastKevin Harvick 2016 Busch Beer 1:24 Nascar DiecastPolar Lights Richard Petty Dodge Charger 1/25 Nascar Complete Kit In BoxDie Cast 1x24 Sealed In Box #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Nascar Sam Hornish Kevin Harvick 2015 #4 Budweiser / Jimmy John’s Chevy Ss / Stewart-haas Racing1/24 Action Landon Cassill #5 2008 National Guard Diecast Race Car Dale Jr 1/889Kyle Busch 2016 M&m's 1:24 Nascar DiecastLionel Nascar Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Model CarLarge Lot Nascar 1 24 Decals. Waterslide 33 Sets Powerslide Slixx 1:24 1989 Dale Earnhardt 3 Goodwrench Monte Carlo Aerocoupe 1/24 Diecast AutographedKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Homestead Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Paint The Track Pink 1:24 Nascar DiecastKyle Busch 2016 M&m's 1:24 Nascar DiecastDale Earnhardt Jr 2015 Halo 5 Guardians 1:24 Color Chrome Nascar DiecastDanica Patrick 2016 Aspen Dental 1:24 Nascar DiecastKevin Harvick 2016 Busch Beer 1:24 Nascar DiecastKyle Busch 2015 M&m Crispy Kentucky Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastDale Earnhardt Jr 2015 Halo 5 Guardians 1:24 Color Chrome Nascar DiecastKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Paint The Track Pink 1:24 Nascar DiecastMpc Buddy Baker's Nascar Charger Kit # 1-1711Kyle Busch 2015 M&m's Paint The Track Pink 1:24 Nascar DiecastXrare 1/24 David Pearson #17 Ford Torino Talladega 1969 Vintage Diecast NascarKyle Busch 18 Autographed Signed 2008 M&m 1:24 Action Diecast1/24 Action Neil Bonnett #31 1992 Mom N' Pops Dale Earnhardt Diecast Car 1/6972Kyle Busch 2015 Interstate Batteries Loudon Win 1:24 Nascar Diecast2016 1/24 Arc Denny Hamlin #18 Fedex Express Daytona 500 Win Raced VersionKyle Busch 2016 M&m's 1:24 Nascar Diecast1/24 Action Ernie Irvan #56 1987 Dale Earnhardt Chevy Aerocoupe Diecast WhiteLot (8) Vintage 1993-1998 Racing Champions 1:64 Nascar Transporters Mib B99#11 Cale Yarborough 1979 Busch Beer Winston Cup Monte Carlo 1/24 Rare CustomKevin Harvick 2003 Action 1/24 Victory Burn-out Sonic Gm Goodwrench Monte CarloKevin Harvick 2016 Busch Beer 1:24 Nascar DiecastKevin Harvick 2016 Busch Beer 1:24 Nascar DiecastKyle Busch 2015 M&m Crispy Kentucky Win 1:24 Nascar DiecastKurt Busch Autographed 2010 Miller Lite Atlanta Win Raced Version 1:24 Nascar DiTommy Johnson 2014 Make-a-wish 1:24 Funny Car Nhra DiecastXrare 1/24 Dale Earnhardt Sr #8 Rpm Speed Equip '75 Vintage Dodge Diecast NascarLot Of 12 Nascar 1/24 Scale Revell / Monogram Model Stock Car Kits - SealedNascar 2016 Dale Earnhardt Jr #88 Nationwide Insurance 1/24 Diecast CarKyle Busch 2015 M&m's Paint The Track Pink 1:24 Nascar Diecast