Vintage Diecast Cars Collector Basics
To any hobbyist, whether up-and-coming or a practitioner for years, vintage diecast cars are a staple for any proper collection. Their popularity may lend the average consumer to believe that rarities do not exist, and that anyone off the street can quickly accumulate a vast collection of cars. However, it is this popularity that has increased the search for a vintage diecast model, and because of this, there has been a recent surge in collecting and cataloguing them. For example, a 1:18 (indicating the ratio in scale to the actual car) Cadillac STS SLS diecast car model is up for auction on Ebay for $200, and that is before the bidding has started. It has an estimated value of twice that. A group of 10 Nascar NHRA diecast models is also at $200, prior to any bidding. The creme of the crop, however, is the Ford GT40 Red diecast model at 1:12 scale size. With only 3 available in the world, each can fetch upwards to $500 a piece, again prior to any bids in auction. The fact that these cars retain their value, and in fact, increase over time, mandate their placement in any serious collection. However, the acquisition of these cars is only part of the fun; creating them at home can revitalize a lack-lusting collection and further education in both model making and automobile mechanics.
The appeal of diecast cars comes from a love for the automobile and the reminiscence of childhood toys, when many of us would pretend those Match Box cars were as real as the ones our parent’s drove (although our toys would more often than not end up in colossal collisions that could only be accomplished with scale-models). These cars, the most common being Match Box and DinkyToys (also known as Meccano), are created through a method called die-casting, where molten metal is forced into prefabricated molds under high-pressure. These are typically made of non-ferrous metals (meaning the absence of iron), such as zinc, copper, lead, or a combination of them. Recently, plastic diecast models have been popularized due to their lightweight and ease of production, but will consistently hold less value than metallic diecast models.
Diecast cars are a fantastic collector’s item because of the varied production values available. Some may include thousands of minute details, many unseen within the many compartments, and are each a work of art. Real collector items are hand-made and rare, but even mass-produced products can add value to any collection. Rare models from the 1940′s can fetch thousands of dollars at auction, but buyer beware; an updated knowledge of model cars is a necessity in knowing the true value of some of these pieces, as it is not always readily visible how important or rare a model may be without intricate inspection and prior experience dealing with them. These many facets of collecting vintage diecast cars adds to its credibility as a collector’s item.