The Diecast Car

Die casting is a process by which molten metal is forced into a mold until they cool and harden into the desired shape. The process was invented in 1838 for use in the printing industry. However, you are probably more familiar with its role in creating scale versions of your favorite vehicles. From the affordable Matchbox and Hot Wheels brands up to the expensive Tamiya and AutoArt examples, you can find any vehicle which you might desire. Are they mere toys or can they be considered works of art?
I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Your basic Matchbox car was (still is really) a fun toy to glide across your kitchen floor or table. However, an example like the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta shown above is much more than a basic toy. It has hand crafted attention to detail on par with the original 1:1 version.

Yet it is still basically a toy of sorts. It just happens to cost close to three hundred bucks, and you might actually cry if it breaks. The good thing is that you wouldn’t cry as much as the guy who actually owns a real one and put a scratch on it.
The diecast market is full of amazing examples of wonderfully crafted machines. The artists who put them together have a loving attention to detail and one could stare for quite some time taking in all the minutia. It’s more than just making sure the paint and wheels are correct. These mini masterpieces make sure the stitching on the seats and the radiator cap are perfectly matched to the original.

Diecast cars represent a wonderful arena for automotive enthusiasts to capture pieces of the machines they love. I think that there is a level of production and quality that pushes many examples of this work into the realm of true art.
I am very new to this world of collectible diecast cars but I have a few sitting next to me. A Porsche 356 Roadster, a Ferrari 550 Maranello, a Datsun 240Z all in 1/18 scale are occupying space on my desk garage. A mini Ford Raptor is still wrapped in the packaging it came in, as is a scale electric version of the STILLEN Ford GT. In fact, I just received a new arrival in the mail last week and I will share it with you later this afternoon.
Please share your favorite examples or even bits from your own collection in the comments below.
[Photos courtesy of]

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  1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    I think I see some space next to the F150!!

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      Maybe for a motorcycle or two. It's narrower than it looks.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    Great collection. I like the obscure stuff, like the green 1960 Ford.

  3. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    I use to have a small collection of die cast cars, but there soon became no room for them when I moved in with the wife. Those are slowly being replaced by papercraft versions of random cars.
    I think I see Prickstine in my future.
    I would also love to own the Zonda Avional 1:5 Model car</I

  4. rikadyn Avatar

    Erm, if i remember too, i'll get pics later…but i have:
    1/18 AutoArt 1999 Oreca Viper
    1/18 Porsche 959
    1/18 Porsche 550 Spyder
    1/18 Dodge Copperhead
    1/18 Dodge Viper GTS
    1/18 Ford GT90(Black)
    1/18 Ford GT90(White)
    1/43 Champion Porsche 911 GT1
    I wish I had more money, cause I'd like a lot more…
    Oh, and an HPI RS4 Rally Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V, but it's an R/C not a diecast

  5. scroggzilla Avatar

    Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! What's that slot car doing in a die-cast car discussion?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      haha… good call, I just lined them all up and didn't think about it.

  6. SSurfer321 Avatar

    2005 Mustang Concept
    2000 Ford Cobra R
    1967 Mustang GT500 Eleanor
    Ford GT
    and I'll be darned if I can remember the name of the diecast mail order catalog I used to receive.

    1. PFG Avatar

      Exoticar? Replicarz? EWA?

      1. Jim Avatar
        Jim (DIECASM) and Replicarz
        EWA is no more and am pretty sure Exoticar may have morphed into something else.

      2. SSurfer321 Avatar

        Exoticar! Yeah that's it. I'll have to look them up.

  7. HarryPR Avatar

    I've had the diecast sickness for years. After it got out of hand I limited my collection to BMW's. Haven't bought any in at least six months (darn economy), but still have over 250 in all scales.
    The two most rare ones are not dipical ones like Autoarts, Minichamps, et al:

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      That is a highly desirable collection of BMW's you have there.

  8. Velocitré Avatar

    I must have the IMSA Audi. Please send immediately. I need me some Aardvark now.
    On a related note, I have only four: three 1/8 scale Ferraris, a Pocher F40 (love!), a Pocher Testarossa (not that big a fan, but it was on sale at The Sharper Image for $250, so I couldn't walk away), a Rosso 643 F1 (love!!!), and a Tamiya 1/12 Enzo. The Pochers are almost two feet long and weigh about eleven pounds (the ex-girlfriend broke the back window of the F40, we broke up), and the Enzo isn't metal, but the quality is so fantastic.

  9. longrooffan Avatar

    That is a nice collection of BMW's you have there.

  10. longrooffan Avatar

    This olelongrooffan has over 300 diecast automobiles and trucks in my collection, some more detailed than other. Since I have yet to acquire the ability to add photos to the comments section here in the Hooniverse, I can only provide this link I did a year or so ago to demonstrate my diecast collection.

  11. longrooffan Avatar

    This olelongrooffan has over 300 diecast automobiles and trucks in my collection, some more detailed than others. Since I have yet to acquire the ability to add photos to the comments section here in the Hooniverse, I can only provide this link I did a year or so ago to demonstrate my diecast collection.

  12. smokyburnout Avatar

    The Audi is on my want list too, but they are somewhat pricey.

  13. dr zero Avatar

    Love the Charger. If it is somewhere on the internet, you might want to check out the (Australian) Touring Cars Masters. Watch some of it on the weekend, and the cars and racing where great.

    1. scroggzilla Avatar

      There are a couple of Aussie based diecast manufactures knocking out high quality Touring car replicas (Trax…who manufactured my Geoghegan Charger, Classic Carlectibles and Biante).

  14. Eggwich Avatar

    I like them, but I don't go berzerko over them. I only buy matchbox and hot wheels (and shamefully, Speedwheels) because I am cheap and handsome. I don't seek them out, but I'll find them on the aisle ends of Safeway once in a while, or at a Walgreens, and I'll think "should I?," then I see one I like and hug myself and think "you're worth it!" ($1.39)
    On the top of my cabinet over my desk at work I have The Muscle Car All Stars:
    (years are approximate, and they are only All Stars because I own them.)
    1968 Mustang GT350
    1970 Plymouth GTX
    1969 Cuda ARX or some weird initials
    1968 Mercury Cougar
    1969 Mercury Cougar
    1971 Ford Gran Torino Talladega
    2010 Ford Mustang GT500
    1971 Oldsmobile 442
    1969 Chevy Nova SS (with blue windows sproing!)
    1987 Buick Grand National (with removable hood jigga what!)
    These cars have started more conversations and opened up more doors for my career than even my "Ask me about my dick" t-shirt.

    1. Eggwich Avatar

      word'em up! Thanks! I felt like a nerd not remembering, but I knew I wouldn't remember to post if I waited to get to work…

  15. marque911 Avatar

    I have literally hundreds of models, from 1:87 up to 1:12 scale. I live in a one bedroom unit, and they fight for space with my hundreds of car magazines, books, posters, DVDs, videos, CDs of engine noises (truly) and other ephemera. And yes girls, he’s single!

  16. Mike Avatar

    I've got an AutoArt Volvo 850 T5-R and I love it. The detail is insane. They modeled everything right down the the electronic seat control buttons.

  17. Anthony Baker Avatar

    Sound good. Its also my favorite topic.That’s great andthanks for the fine sharring.

  18. subaru forums Avatar

    Allow us to introduce you to the Marussia F2 – a vehicle that’s one part mission control, three parts SUV and a dash of Nissan GT-R. The company that brought us the likes of the B2 supercar recently unveiled its new globe-roaming creation at telecommunications conference. Why would a carmaker decide to pull the sheets off of its latest product outside of the auto show circuit? Because in this case, the F2 is loaded with the company’s new multimedia system.