Description: If you are planning to collect NASCAR diecast, this article will tell you how much you need to invest on your new hobby.
For many of us who are already fans, it comes as no surprise. But for those who simply can’t fathom why a sport where a car turns left all the time has become a huge enterprise, some experts have put forth several possible reasons. Perhaps the roaring sound that drives up the audience adrenaline. It could also be how dazzling the cars look with that gorgeous showroom car wax finish detailing. However the most popular…
It’s a rather gruesome hypothesis, really, but there’s truth in it. After all, the most popular NASCAR videos on YouTube tend to involve the crashes. Then there is the thrill of the race and the thrum of the powerful engines.
Finally, the rules are eminently simple. Baseball, football, basketball, and hockey all have rather complicated rules but with NASCAR the simplicity is refreshing. And these athletes do what most of us can do—they drive a car.
So as fans, we celebrate our affinity with NASCAR by wearing NASCAR apparel, putting up posters of the top drivers, and collecting NASCAR racing memorabilia. And out of all the NASCAR collectibles, perhaps the most interesting is the collection of diecast race cars.
Unfortunately, the rules regarding the collection of diecast car models are a bit more confusing. Collecting diecast race cars is a bit like collecting art or stamps, as they’re not exactly toys. So we will do our best in clarifying some issues.
If you go to the race events—and you should, by the way—you can usually find these things sold just about everywhere. They’re very popular as souvenirs of the event. The collectible diecast you buy can help you cherish the memories of the event.
But if you can’t go to the races or you can’t find a specific model you’re looking for, you buy them the same way you buy just about anything these days—you go online. Some websites like Nascar Party Supplies.com sell NASCAR memorabilia, apparel, Tailgating gear and you can find hundred’s of NASCAR Diecast there. You can also visit NASCAR fan forums and find a thread where fans are selling and buying NASCAR diecast car models. You can even get one diecast car and get a unique version by contacting a maker of custom diecast cars.
These cars are built to scale, but their sizes can vary. The Main scales are 1/64, 1/24, and1/18. The NASCAR Diecast 1/64 cars are generally among the smallest, and they measure only about 3 inches long.
The most commonly collected diecast race cars are the 1/24 Diecast cars, which are about 8 inches long and provide much clearer details. The 1/18 models are quite big and measure 11 inches long, so not very many collects them even though they offer the best detail, and consequently manufacturers produce fewer of them.
But other scales are available. In rare instances, you may stumble upon a collectible NASCAR Diecast with a 1/144 scale while the biggest have 1/16 scale.
What you need to remember here is that when you get the smaller ones, you don’t use up a lot of space to store and display your NASCAR collectibles. But at the same time, you don’t get as much fine detail. The problem is reversed when you opt for the bigger models. With the 1/18 cars, you get a lot of exquisite details, but then again you may not be able to display too many of them because they take up too much space.
The details can be very interesting in these NASCAR collectibles. Some diecast car models have a hood that opens (in the listing; you’ll find an “H/O” notation) and you even see the detail of the motor. Most of the 1/18 and 1/24 diecast car models have this feature, although, with the 1/64 cars, it’s a fifty-fifty chance.
You may also find a car with the C/W notation, which means it has clear windows (its opposite is the B/W which means black windows). With clear windows, you can see the interior details of the car.
Back in the 1990s, there were several manufacturers of diecast race cars. Over the years, the companies have merged and bought each other out while a few have discontinued their collectible NASCAR Diecast production. In any case, nowadays there is only a single manufacturing company left called Lionel, so technically every collectible diecast made today is a Lionel diecast.
Still, you may find older diecast race cars, and many of the bought out companies still use their brand names when they manufacture their diecast car models. The brand names matter, because they have distinct characteristics.
For serious collectors, the lowest quality brands are Winner’s Circle, Racing Champions, Hot Wheels, and Matchbox. These models have the lowest quality, and the detail isn’t that fine. This is the kind of diecast cars you’ll most likely to see displayed in department stores, as the only people who would find them appealing are children who don’t know any better. In fact, they’re really marketed as “toys” rather than NASCAR Diecast collectible cars.
They produce diecast cars under their own brand name with fine quality and detail. They handle most of the paint schemes on the actual cars you see on the race track. But they also own several brands.
One of the Action brands is RCCA. If you’re a serious collector who likes excellent quality and detail, you’ll want to watch out for the RCCA Elite line that is truly superior. Another great Action brand is Revell, which makes really specific cars.
Team Caliber is another well-known brand in the industry, and they have two main lines: Preferred and Owners. The Preferred line is actually not the preferable option because they’re made in lower quality. The “Owner” line, on the other hand, can match the quality and detail of the “RCCA Elite” line. In fact, some drivers have an exclusive deal with Team Caliber, and you can only buy their car replicas under the Team Caliber brand.
A search of Diecast Direct may also get you some result from brands like Brookfield and Ertl. These used to be noted manufacturers of NASCAR collectibles. But today they’re mostly out of business. Ertl sells their NASCAR stuff under the Racing Champions brand. Brookfield now does diecast versions of trailers, haulers, and vans.
So now we come to the crux of the matter. What kind of prices can you expect? The thing is, nobody really knows. It’s more a matter of supply and demand—the price of a particular collectible NASCAR Diecast is often not the price set by the original manufacturer, but how much a collector is willing to pay for it. It can be set to $12, or as high as $175 or higher depending on scale, model and if it’s autographed by a driver, obviously the price goes up.
Often the demand can be great, especially when a famous NASCAR champion drove the car in question. A Dale Earnhardt diecast or a Jeff Gordon diecast will elicit more attention and, therefore, higher prices because these are household names. Even many people who haven’t seen an NASCAR race will have heard of Dale Earnhardt (father and son) and Jeff Gordon.
The quality and detail of the diecast model will also determine the appeal and, therefore, the price. The more beautiful and detailed it is, the more value it will fetch. A 1/24 car with an open hood and clear windows should fetch a higher price than the same car that’s smaller in a scale of 1/64, and the hood doesn’t open and the windows are black.
Most manufacturers only produce a few thousand of a particular model, so as the demand for them increases the price increases too. Once they’re all bought, they become even pricier because not all of the owners would be willing to part with them. And when there’s a special factor at work (the car was involved in a championship win or a notable accident, for example) the interest in the cars may become even greater.
So in a way, it’s a bit like collecting art. Buying NASCAR collectibles can be viewed as an investment because in general NASCAR racing memorabilia such as diecast cars tend to increase in value over time.
But to make your investment worthwhile, you need to buy the cars that you really like to own, and which hold a special meaning for you. They’re like family photographs in a way. Their value depends on what the collectible diecast means to you.
The only plus here is that most people won’t care much about your family photos unless you’re a celebrity. But, in this case, the NASCAR Diecast are the real celebrity, and their fame never really fades. You’ll always find a buyer for them since races get a hundred thousand spectators for live events and millions more follow NASCAR on TV.