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The 29 years of Die cast car collecting
by Wildman Ishii
Pinstriping
Pinstriping
 
This is the last chapter in my story of diecast car collecting.

As I mentioned before, Mr. U, who was the owner of the vintage diecast car shop "Sunset", drew me into the wonderful world of these miniature marvels. After meeting him, I began looking for vintage diecast cars like mad.

Many rare models were sold at the vintage diecast specialty shop like "Sunset", and when I was capable, I would buy some of them.

But I couldn't keep doing that, of course, so I had to look for them by myself. From the late 70's to early 80's some vintage 60's diecast cars remained at toy shops. The searching area spread wider and wider. The little elementary school boy went to Tokyo from Yokohama. When I was out tripping somewhere with my family, I stopped at every toy shop on the way and looked through every inch of the shop. It was just like treasure hunting. I not only looked around toy shops, but also stationary shops, book stores and etc. Sometimes I found them in unexpected places. And when I found something I felt as If I could fly.

I often found old Tomica toys at stationary shops and local souvenir shops. Of course back then, they were sold at regular price or even lower regardless if they had a high premium price now. When I was a high school student, I spend most of my salary on diecast cars. But after the mid 80's, the older models weren't that easy to find, anymore.

At the same time, Mr. U held a swap meet for vintage toys for the first time in Japan. Right after the swapmeet took off, there were few specialty shops but many amateurs. So the prices were much lower than the general prices and thats where the treasure set.

Then I started to look into some magazine's, for sale ads and was able to get some rare models utilizing them. Recently the Internet auction scene has exploded, and the way to find these rare diecast cars has changed. The number of distribution increased and the temporary mania also increased. They don't love and respect diecast cars like we do. Their purpose for collecting is speculation and profit. That makes the price go up. It's hard for the true collectors like us.
Thank you for reading such a long story(I know, too long!). I have collected diecast cars for 29 years by many of the methods mentioned above. This sickness is difficult to cure so my wife and friends call me "Wierd-o".

I know this type of hobby is endless but I still can't stop. Now I think I'm normal and everyone else is a wierd-o. Telling myself, "Why don't they collect die cast cars?"

If you see me looking at a show case somewhere, please say hello. Now, let me introduce some American diecast cars from my collection at last.

Die cast cars are forever! Thank you so much!

-Wildman Ishii


MATTEL / '70 FORD MUSTANG BOSS302
 


MATCHBOX / FORD GT40

Here're the Mattel's '70 FORD MUSTANG BOSS302.
The big one is my favorite. Mattel merged the Italian die cast maker Mebetoy and let them make it. The proportion is not so good but the muscle car made by an Italian company became very popular! The BOSS engine stood for by the full action and when you look at the interior, the Hurst shift knob which was equipped in the real one is in the small die cast car. The late model often has such equipment but it's made 30 years ago. I feel the craftsmanship with it. The small one is Mattel's sizzler series which runs with a battery. Considering the scale is same as Hot Wheels, it's great! The proportion is more like the real one than the bigger model.
The 3 variations of the Matchbox Ford GT40.
You can see the Ford 289 engine from the rear window. The center yellow model is a very rare color and it has the very first wheels design so it became a collector's item. The right white one is the basic model and the red one was limited production.


DINKY TOY / BUICK

MERCRIN / BUICK

PLAMETA / BUICK
Here are my Buick models. All of them were made in the 1950s so they are over 50 years old now!
Each of them a massive model. The blue model was made by Dinky Toy of France. It has fantastic detail on the front grill, almost looks like Niagara Falls.

The brown 2 door sedanet is made by Mercrin of West Germany which is a popular train scale model maker. It looks like a '49 or so and has 3 port holes on the front fenders. I was so glad to find the 2 door. It was very difficult to get. It took over 20 years!

The red one is the '46-'47 model and the oldest. It was made in Germany under the occupation of USA. The maker was called Plameta. The policeman standing in front of the car is a key. The key is used to drive the clockwork. But because of the weight, it doesn't run well.


DINKY / CADILLAC

MERCURY / CADILLAC

SOLID / CADILLAC
3 Cadillacs, all made in 1950s. The yellow convertible is a '53, I believe.
It was made by Dinky England. It's really low and maybe cooler than the real one. They were made in yellow and pink, with the yellow being fewer than the pink.

The black 55 is the Eldrado convertible and made by Italy Mercury. That's my favorite American die cast model. It has a stylish front mask. The interior and emblem are painted in each color. It doesn't look like it was made 50 years ago.

The light green model is France Solid made and a 50's model. The proportion is not so good but the atmosphere of the massive body is amazing. The hole on the side of the body is so nostalgic and cool.


SOLID / KYSER HENLY J
 

SOLID / NASH LIMO.
Here is one of the rarest models. If you know the name of this damaged die cast car, you're a true mania and "King Geek" to the world. This is made by France Solid as Green Cadi. The answer is Kyser Henly J. Maybe you still don't know. This is a 50s American car. You will be surprised to hear that Mitsubishi produced this car also, so right side steering versions existed.
Next is the Nash Limo. made by Solid. I don't understand why Solid made this kind of minor die cast car. Solid might have had some Nash freaks working in the company.



DINKY / HUDSON COMMODORE
 

TECHNO / MERCURY
This is a very cool one. The Hudson Commodore made by England Dinky. Guessing from the front grill, it may be a 48 or 49 model. The fender skirt is fantastic! There were no windows and interior but stands for the image of the real car. The later model can't beat this powerful version.
This is another Mercury, beautifully finished model. Made by Denmark Techno. It was made back in 1949 and is well over 50 years old already but still shiny as when it was brand new. The action antenna which moves up and down is included and still functional. The red interior fits the black body well.


DINKY / CHRYSLER AIR FLOW
 

LONSTER / El CAMINO
This is the oldest piece in my collection. Chrysler air flow which is made by England Dinky and made in '34. Wow, it's 70 year old! The toy was made before WW2! It has no chassis and the tires are placed directly on the body. This simple toy is a part history now.
Next is a '60 El Camino. England Lonster made this model. Lonster made lots of cheap die cast cars but the proportion is good and only a few El Camino die cast cars were made in those days so it's kind of rare. The tail gate can be opened.

HUBLEY / CORVETTE
This Corvette was made by Hubley, which was a popular maker for Plastic Models. The American die cast car itself is rare. USA only imported and bought the die cast cars in those days and it's hard to find old American die cast cars.

 
 
This tri-wheels truck is not a die cast car but a tin toy. All is Mazda tri-wheels truck. The two in the back have the bar handle and the front one has the circle handle. All is made by Bandai. They must have loved Mazda. The small grey one is the rarest.   The funny 2 models are made by Bandai. The tri car is Mitsubishi Reo and the small truck is Conny Guppi. They are so cute. I only saw the real car of Reo in the museum. The Guppi is only 200cc engine and only 11ps. The 2 seated car could carry only 100kg! I love these kind of cars. The model was reproduced the automatic 2 pedals.   The last one is the Modelpet giftset. Many people don't know about this gift set and even the most respected expert collector says he had never seen anything like it. This is my best one. It includes the first Japanese die cast car TOYOTA CROWN. And the other 4 cars are Corona, Land Cruiser, Masterline and ToyoAce. They are all made by TOYOTA. I don't know if that's an accident or intensional. The old sign emphasize the nostalgia. A die cast car set like this must have been very expensive back then and was for the rich man's son, only.

The 29 years of Die cast car collecting by Wildman Ishii >>Vol.1<<___ >>Vol.2<<
 
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