Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vintage 1/24th-scale Monogram stock car model kits are fun collectables for NASCAR fans

It seems like NASCAR diecast models are everywhere today. You can get a nicely finished version of pretty much every car out there, and usually every special paint scheme. There are so many different diecasts are available, it would be virtually impossible to collect them all.

It wasn’t always that way, though. In the 1980s, if you wanted a scale model of your favorite driver, you pretty much had to build it yourself. And the most popular; and arguably best 1/24th-scale plastic model kits were made by Monogram Models.

Monogram had been building kits since the early 1950s, but the stock car business really took off with the introduction of a new NASCAR line in 1983. At the time, these kits were state-of-the art. They had features and details never before seen in race car kits. Even the construction of the chassis and the way it mated up to the body was similar to the way a real racecar was built.

These models were popular. Over the years, Monogram produced more than four-million of these kits in all number of drivers, sponsors, colors, and paint schemes. And really, for Monogram, once the initial design was completed, it was easy to make a variety of models. The Fords had a different chassis than the GM cars, but the Chevys, Buicks, Pontiacs, and Oldsmobiles all shared the same platform. So really, all they needed was a few different bodies to go with the chassis, some different decal sheets, and viola! Another model was born.

Monogram acquired Revell Models in 1986, and today they still produce high-quality model kits under the Revell name.

As a young NASCAR fan, I started building (if you want to call it that) these models from about the time they showed up on the market. I gathered up some of the old models to present in the slideshow below.

I hadn’t even seen many of these models out of their boxes for 15 years or better. Some of them looked pretty tough. Aside from the workmanship that looks like it was done by a ten-year-old (I’m 36 now, I was born in ’73, in 1983 I was, carry the one, add the six, uh, I’ll get back to you on that), model glue gets pretty brittle when it gets old. Lots of pieces broken off. There isn’t much chance of these winning any awards.

But I still enjoyed building them. I built my last stock car model almost twelve years ago, but after putting this slideshow together, I think I might want to give another one a try. Maybe now I can get my son interested in building models, and he can help carry this hobby into the future.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy looking at some of the old stock car models I dug out of the closet in the slideshow below. I actually had a good time seeing them again myself.  By the way, if you click on the little callout baloon in the bottom left corner of the slideshow, you can read the captions that go with these pictures.

1 comment:

  1. I used to hate getting model car kits as a little kid, only to find out they were made in white plastic..and then I'd have to ask my Dad to help me paint them - after of course a trip to the store to buy spray paint..ahh, the memories