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]

VW Toys and Models

VW Toys and Models

A comprehensive site completely dedicated to miniature Volkswagen vehicles. Browse hundreds of toys by country, man… [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

2015 Jeff Gordon #24 3m Red Cross Sleeves Up Kansas Chevy Custom Lionel 1/242014 Chase Elliott Homestead Elite Raced Version 1/24 CarRcca Very Rare Terry Labonte #44 Piedmont Elite 1984 Monte Carlo 1:24 DiecastKevin Harvick Porter Cable Diecast TruckDale Earnhardt #8 Goodwrench Busch 1/24 1987 Chevrolet Nova Action EliteKevin Harvick Door Number #4 Liquid Color Bud Budweiser Championship Car 1/24Nascar Lionel Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Charlotte Race Win 1:24 Diecast Car 2011 Kevin Harvick Okuma Non Autographed2014 1/24 Rcca Elite Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Martinsville Win RacedXrare 1/24 Dale Earnhardt #3 Goodwrench 1988 Aerocoupe Vintage Die-cast Nascar2015 Jeff Gordon, Rick Hendrick Dual Autographed, Signed 2015 Dteh 1/24 Car. 2002 Kevin Harvick Flag CarDale Earnhardt Jr. 2012 #88 Dark Knight Michigan Win Impala Raced Win 1 Of 1888Xrare 1/24 Dale Earnhardt #3 Wrangler 1984 Blue Goose Vintage Die-cast NascarDale Earnhardt Jr. 2013 #88 Hellmann's Camaro Rcca Elite 1 Of 150Dale Earnhardt Autographed, Signed 1999 #3 25th Anniversary 1/24 Car.2009 Jeff Gordon Raced Win Version 1/24 Elite Texas National Guard 1 Of 500Action Dale Earnhardt Jr. #3 Wrangler 2010 Dodge Intrepid Le 1:24 Diecast In Box2014 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Charlotte 1/24 Lionel Winner Diecast With Damage! Action Historical Series 1:24 Nascar - #9 Coors Bill ElliottNew Action Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Charlotte Race Win 1:24 Diecast In Stock2014 1/24 Rcca Elite Jeff Gordon Axalta Radiant RedKiss Kurt Johnson Chevy Cavalier 1:24 Diecast Pro Stock Le Mint#24 Jeff Gordon Red Cross Sleeves Up Kansas 2015 1/24 Cwc!!!2014 1/24 Arc Kevin Harvick Budweiser Charlotte Win Raced Version2 Dale Earnhardt Action Platinum Series Rcca 1:24 Nascar Car & BankNascar Dale Earnhardt Jr #88 Pocono Sweep Race Win Michael Baker 1:24 DiecastDale Earnhardt Autographed, Signed 2000 1/24 Peter Max Car With Photo Signing. Dale Earnhardt Jr 2009 #5 Degree V12 1/24th DiecastRare Kevin Harvick #4 Charlotte Race Win Bud Budweiser 1/24 #5 Of 745 Low Din Dale Earnhardt #3 Wheaties Fantasy 1/24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1997 Rcca EliteChase Elliott 2014 Autographed #9 Napa Camaro Rcca Elite 1 Of 4502013 Action Kyle Busch Monster Energy 1:24Cale Yarlborough 1984 Hardees Monte Carlo 1:24thSigned 1/24 Kevin Harvick # 92 Yardman 2005 Autographed Nascar Truck W/ Coe2014 Kevin Harvick Autographed / Signed #4 Bud Holiday Phoenix Win 1/24 W/coaKevin Harvick 2014 Great Clips Color Chrome Arc Sample 1/24 Diecast Car No DinAction 1:18 Nascar - #8 2004 C5r Corvette - Compuware Earnhardt Jr / Boris Said2011 Kevin Harvick Gold Employee Exclusive Tide Truck 1/24 Lionel 1 Of 36Darrell Waltrip #11 1984 Budweiser 1/24 Cwc Chevrolet Monte Carlo Rcca 1 Of 3500Ertl Nice 1970's International Transtar Nascar Car Hauler Semi-truck /w RampNascar Lionel 2015 Jeff Gordon # 24 Axalta Coatings 1:24 Diecast CarSigned 2014 Dale Earnhardt Jr Martinsville Win Diecast W/coaAction Historical Series 1:24 Nascar - #8 Goodwrench Parts Dale Earnhardt#11 Cale Yarborough 1977/79 Busch Oldsmobile Cutlass 1/24 Rare CustomJuan Pablo Montoya Williams F1 Bmw Fw26 Collector's Model 1:18Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1985 Monte Carlo Wrangler #71 Buddy Baker Custom 1973 K&k Insurance Dodge 1/24 Action Nascar Diecast2011 #29 Kevin Harvick 1/24 Budweiser Ghost Finish Elite Serial #0001Kasey Kahne Auto Diecast Race Car In Box 1:242004 #29 Kevin Harvick 1/24 Crown Royal Iroc Chrome Arc2014 #4 Kevin Harvick 1/24 Budweiser Galaxy EliteDale Earnhardt Sr Action 1/24 Elite 2000 Very Rare Test Brushed Metal CarGmp #11 Steve Kinser Q Racing 1:25 2008 Diecast Signed 1/528 Woo Sprint CarJimmie Johnson #48 Rcca Elite 1:24 Scale 2012 Dover Madagascar Raced Win Rare!2014 #4 Kevin Harvick 1/24 Budweiser Color Chrome EliteBill Elliott 1991 #9 Coors Light 1:24 Action Ford ThunderbirdJeff Gordon 24 Mighty Mouse 2005 Color Chrome 1/24 Diecast AutographedDale Jr Autograph 2009 Action 1/24 Impala Ss #881972 Mpc Nascar Bobby Isaac Ford Torino Stock Car Unbuilt Vintage Amt Johan 72

Recent News: Nascar Model Cars

Source: Google News

Hamlin wins the pole at Dover International Speedway
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog), May 29th

Denny Hamlin poses with the pole award after he won the position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race, Friday, May 29, 2015, at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) ...Read more

Mopar Graveyard Hidden in the Carolina Hills
Hot Rod Network, May 29th

They had collected a bunch of Petty memorabilia through the years, and now it was scattered throughout the property. That collection ... A real piece of drag racing and NASCAR history just lying rusting in the weeds behind the barn. While there was a...Read more

What I Think About Jimmie "The Cheater" Johnson (blog), May 28th

Is that perhaps because he didn't want NASCAR to see any illegal modifications to the car? ... I am this close (holds a finger and thumb in mid air inches apart) to dropping him like a bad habit and burning all of my collectibles and memorabilia. Any...Read more

Auction raising money for hospital
ESPN, May 28th

NASCAR race-day experiences and rare memorabilia are among the items up for bids in an online auction to benefit the Henry Ford Hospital's Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute. The auction, which started May 26, will conclude during the ...Read more

5 to Find: Flea markets, antiques shops offer surprise finds, summer fun
Tulsa World, May 26th

The Tulsa Flea Market celebrated its 43rd year in January and is Tulsa's original flea market. Family-owned and -operated, the market offers a wide variety of antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, vintage items, primitives, records, furniture, crafts...Read more

NASCAR rallies with 43-car Memorial Day tribute
Military Times, May 24th

NASCAR driver Sam Hornish Jr. remembers Memorial Day weekend 10 years ago with a certain shudder. An Indy car racer at the time, that was the weekend he crashed out, scrapping a promising lead at the Indianapolis 500 that very likely cost him the win...Read more

'Support Our Troops' Goodyear tires to make return at Charlotte, May 22nd

Fans can bid on items from the charity auction that includes autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear blimp; or to buy merchandise or just make a donation at through July 6, 2015...Read more

NASCAR will honor fallen soldiers with unique Coca-Cola 600 tribute, May 18th, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp. NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military ...Read more