Car Collecting Scaled Down – Promo Cars

A while back I wrote about collecting die-cast cars (See  – When You Just have to have that Classic/Muscle Car?…Think Small!!!!).   My collection continues to grow and I’ve added a new dimension.

A few years back I pick up a 1984 Corvette…my first Corvette ever and it was my daily driver.  I did a lot of work on it and it brought home two trophies best in class.


While looking for display items for a car show set up (brochures and the like) I ran across what the dealer ships called “Promo Cars”  These were basically scale model (1/24 or smaller scale) cars given out to promote the car that year.  They were plastic and normally no movable parts (doors, hoods, trunks didn’t open), most had rubber tires that turned and a detailed interior.  So I picked up a couple for my ’84 Vette along with the boxes, in fact two of them were ‘red’ that matched my car color.  Eventually I sold the C4 and purchased the my C6.


1984 C4

1984 C4

2007 C6

2007 C6

Just recently I ran a cross a batch of promo cars and realized that there were a lot of car manufacturers that produced these back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  I thought they’d make a good addition to my current collection.

They all varied in quality and detail especially when a 1960 model is compared to a 1980’s model.  I recently ran across a promo car for the 1961 Thunderbird and I purchased it for $10.00.

1961 Thunder Bird

1961 Thunder Bird

Some Nice Detail

Some Nice Detail

Door don't open but detailed interior

Door don’t open but detailed interior

Rubber tires with White Walls

Rubber tires with White Walls

Nice detail there

Nice detail there

Not great quality looking at the front scoop

Not great quality looking at the front scoop

The really interesting view is of the bottom of the model.

Pretty Good Detail of the undercarriage.

Pretty Good Detail of the undercarriage.

What’s up with all the text?   They promote the options for this model year!!!!   Very cool!   Let’s take a closer look.

On Tank it states "Thunderbird...unique in all the world"

On Tank it states “Thunderbird…unique in all the world” Hey…”Triple Life Aluminized”  Mufflers

Unmistakeably New - Not a Hair Wider Unmistakeably Thunder Bird - not 1/10 longer

unmistakably New – Not a Hair Wider
unmistakably Thunder Bird – not 1/10 longer

Notice that is has “Special Three-Phase Rust Prevention Treatment”.  Sports a “Cruise-o-Matic Drive, Power Steering and Self Adjusting Brakes – All Standard Equipment”




“Welded, Integral Body and Frame for Quietness and Strength”    “New Wing-Away Steering Wheel (Optional)”  (BTW that actually function on the promo model – you can push the steering wheel to the side.

"Wider Tread" on the axle

“Wider Tread” on the axle

Gas tanks reads “New 12,000 or 1 Year Warranty

"New Thunderbird 390 Special V8"

“New Thunderbird 390 Special V8”

Oil pan says “4000 Miles Oil Service Changes”

The seats are two-tone and the steering wheel swings to the side.

You can notice that the tires are rubber, the wheels are plastic and they are on metal rods.

Do you have a scale car collection?  Let us know.

Thanks for reading.


dealer promo car modelsdealer promo car modelsdealer promo car models

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4 Responses to Car Collecting Scaled Down – Promo Cars

  1. Tim Sweet says:

    Richard Rupert likes this.
    Average Guy’s Car Restoration, Mods and Racing

  2. Tim Sweet says:

    Steve Sears I did note the rust on the axles of the model. Probably didn’t get the same 3 stage rust inhibitor the full size car got. LOL
    Like · Reply · about an hour ago

  3. Bill says:

    I like that Barracuda!
    Have you seen the promo collection at Jim Click Ford? Really nice Ford promo models from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.
    I had a really nice 1970 LeSabre promo new in the box that I think got lost in my last move.
    I do have a 1992 Viper promo that I keep in a display case.

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