Posts from ‘Automotive Collectibles’

Oct
04
2017 Fiat 124 Spider

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

by Don Sikora II

Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

Back in the Sixties and Seventies, buyers in the market for a small sporty roadster had quite a few choices. Sure, they were mostly British or Italian, but there were choices. Heck, even a decade or so ago, Americans had several reasonably affordable two-seat drop tops to shop. Remember the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky?

Feb
11

2017 Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger

2017 Chicago Auto ShowAt the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ aftermarket division took the wraps off the latest in a long line of special-edition Dodge Challengers. The 2017 Mopar ’17 Challenger commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Mopar brand. It’s a limited-run model that adds a special paint job and other unique trim features to a 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker Challenger with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Jul
28
Collectible Automobile Magazine

Having a hard time shopping for a car guy? We’ve got five good suggestions for you.

Shopping for friends and relatives can be something of a challenge—especially if that person is old enough to have acquired a certain amount of fun/frivolous/indulgent stuff for himself or herself.

May
13
Magnus Walker and Jun Imai

Magnus Walker (L) and Jun Imai pose with the recently announced line of Magnus Walker-branded Hot Wheels cars.

Jun Imai has one of the best car-guy jobs in the world. As Design Manager for Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy-car brand, Jun gets to make automotive daydreams into reality every day. As always, the current Hot Wheels lineup includes plenty of outlandish, pure-fantasy cars—vehicles designed to stoke the imaginations of children and engineered to zing down orange tracks and off ramps. But over the past few years, Jun and the rest of the Hot Wheels design team have also made the Hot Wheels brand a lot more relevant to full-size car culture.

Apr
21
Fisher Body Craftsman's Guid

Ronald Will’s national-award-winning 1961 Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild model will be among those displayed at the GSL-XXV International Scale Vehicle Championship and Convention.

A rare chance to view the work of participants in the historic Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild (FBCG) model-making program is coming up in Salt Lake City, Utah. A number of advanced-design scale models made for the national competition, which was sponsored by General Motors from 1930 to 1968, will be on display during the GSL-XXV International Scale Vehicle Championship and Convention.

Oct
14
Wildbad 100, Saba

Too expensive for the U.S. market, Saba radios like this Wildbad 100 are fairly rare finds stateside.

One of my most prized possessions isn’t especially valuable in the greater scheme of things. Fully restored, in mint condition, it might bring $1000 if the right buyer came along. But, like most heirlooms and inherited memorabilia, this item’s cash value has nothing to do with why I hold it dear. And, decades after taking possession of it, I came to realize that it has ties to one of my all-time favorite automobiles, making it even more wonderful.

Jul
24
Hot Wheels, Tom McEwan

The cars and haulers of Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen (red) and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme (yellow).

Some of the graying—or maybe balding—ex-children who once imagined their favorite toys coming to life will soon get a chance to see what that would have been like. The legendary 1970s “Snake” and “Mongoose” Plymouth funny car dragsters—famously rendered in miniature as coveted Hot Wheels toys—will make a short tour in the U.S. in August and September.

May
08

Peter Go’s 1/16-scale 1908 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost features incredibly delicate wire wheels and many other fine details.

If you’re a male of a certain age, chances are you built at least one model car kit in your younger days . . . maybe several. You got a kit from AMT, Monogram, or Revell and some paint and glue from Testors, put down some newspaper on the dining room table, and did your best. Maybe your finished product turned out good enough to occupy a spot of honor on your bedroom shelf, or maybe it ended up being fodder for firecrackers in your driveway.

Feb
26
1967 Shelby GT-500

U.S. stamp of the 1967 Shelby GT-500

We don’t know if they’ll actually speed up delivery of your mail, but the latest offerings in the U.S. Postal Service’s “America on the Move” commemorative-stamp series sure look like they could.

Nov
21
Vintage Turtle Wax Bottles

The oldest bottle on display didn’t have a copyright date, but we’d guess it dates from the late 1940s. This is a glass bottle with a metal screw-on cap, and all the graphics are silkscreened—no paper-sticker labels here. Also note the copyright line; Plastone was the original name of Turtle Wax. Company founder Benjamin Hirsch got the idea to call his product “Turtle Wax” while he was on a sales call in Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. He realized the name effectively communicated the “hard shell” protective properties of his wax.

Just like sports broadcasts and Donald Trump’s hair, consumer-product packaging is one of those things that changes so gradually that most consumers are scarcely aware of the subtle shifts. Even iconic brands are regularly tweaked, updated, or outright redesigned to look fresh and new in consumers’ eyes. As the years roll by, those original products gradually make the transition from “outdated” to “historical artifact.” If you’ve ever seen the “throwback” cans of Pepsi or Mountain Dew, or the retro boxes of cereal that are issued from time to time, you know what we’re talking about.