Race Car Replicas

Written by Henry Baum
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Race car replicas look like the real thing--and that is just the point. A replica is not just a toy, it's a precise rendition of cars that are actually being raced on the tracks of Daytona and in the Indy 500. The difference between a Hot Wheels car and a replica is stark. Replicas are normally 1:24 or 1:25 scale, meaning they look like miniature cars, not large toys.

Often replicas are used as a promotional model for an upcoming series of cars--compare this to a scale model of a building before it is constructed. There are a number of different types of promotional replicas. A "coaster" is a replica which has actual mechanical parts. A "detailed" replica is one that is touched up with paint that may be used on the full-size factory models. For those purchasing cars today, the quality is of the utmost importance, but buying cars of a limited production number is also a good idea.

Older Replicas

Car replicas of the 1950s and '60s may be worth a lot more now, but they are also more fragile than the cars that are made today. For instance, the replicas of the '50s were often made of plastic components that distorted easily from exposure to heat. This led to something called "warp" which can seriously detract from a car's value. Because of this issue, there are relatively few mint-condition promo cars from the '50s and '60s still in existence.

Promo car collectors often choose cars that were used as dealer promotions, rather than those that were sold through retail avenues. The main reason is that dealer promos were often made with finer detail than retail models. The debate between retail and dealer promos is one of the enduring arguments in model car collecting.


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