Model Race Cars

Written by Henry Baum
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Model race cars satisfy a lot of different types of people. Not just a toy for children, these miniature marvels are true collector's items. The high level of detail that goes into the construction is obvious, as every part of the car is recreated to scale. The accuracy of the scale is a good indicator of whether a model car is a collectible or a toy.

NASCAR model cars are the most popular collectible by far for car-racing enthusiasts. One of the major reasons is that there is a good chance a collection can go up in value--that is, if it is well cared for and a collector chooses wisely. While most collectors purchase model cars for the sheer fun of it, most do hope that their collection will be valuable enough to pass on to future generations.

There are a few ways to ensure that a collection will retain as much value as possible. Some appraisers recommend investing in theme collections. Having models of all the cars that a particular racer has driven is considered a "themed" collection. On the other hand, having a diversified set of models also helps to drive up value. Just as with the stock market, diversity ensures that if one part of the collection goes down in value, another part will go up. For example, someone may want to purchase models of both well-known and rookie drivers.


Often, collectors and fans go one and the same. NASCAR fans may be even more fanatical than the fans of other sports. It might have to do with the fact that NASCAR is considered a second-tier sport in some ways; it does not yet have the cache of the big three: basketball, baseball, and football. The relationships between these sports are changing, though, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s Major League Baseball World Series car clearly demonstrates this. Still, most racing fans value loyalty to the sport, and love of the sport often runs through generations, just in the Earnhardt, Allison, and Petty families.

The perception of NASCAR as a secondary sport is changing by the day. NASCAR is now more popular than it's ever been and is earning more fans yearly. It now has more televisions exposure, now rating prime time coverage by a number of different national stations. NASCAR had a boom in the '90s and it is now steadily expanding. The increase in television ratings is proof. People are attracted not only by the sport, but the fan base itself.

NASCAR fans are particularly passionate, either intensely loving or intensely hating certain drivers. This is why memorabilia holds such a unique place for NASCAR fans. They wear a shirt or put a bumper sticker on their cars to show their support for NASCAR on the whole and for a particular driver. In the case of number "3," fans are showing their support for Dale Earnhardt, Sr. after his tragic death. Every NASCAR fan who sees the number three knows exactly what it signifies.

Collecting Model Cars

Because the sport is getting more popular, memorabilia such as model cars has a better chance of being more valuable in the future. Diecast model cars are an extension of the passion for the sport, but it would be wrong to confuse them with toys. A child can own a NASCAR replica and play with it like a toy, but diecast model cars are far better made than the toys you'll find at the toy store in the mall. They are a perfect scale model of a race car, down to the engine and the steering column.

For collectors, models satisfy the twin purposes of expressing passion for the sport, as well as the possibility that their collections will go up in value. The most important thing to ensure a collection's lasting value is to get well-made collectibles and to keep them in good condition. Additionally, the more items there are in a collection, the more a collection will potentially be worth.

There are a number of ways to collect cars: by driver, by year, by car class, by race, and more. This is core to what makes model car collecting a complex hobby. Following buyer trends can help a person determine if a collection goes up in value. For instance, a collection of cars from 2001 may eventually be worth more than a collection of cars from 1999. It depends on the condition of the collection, the rarity of the cars included, and the popularity of the drivers.

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