US Cars of the 50s in Miniature 1953-1954
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

The Korean War ended in 1953 and people were able to concentrate on consuming new and better products. The economy was solid and the nation was looking forward to a great future. The GM Motorama toured the country introducing new styling trends and ideas with their concept automobiles on display. GM produced the new wraparound windshield on the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Fiesta Convertibles in 1953. These upper class marques models all received the new windshields in 1954. The recently introduced Corvette also sported this innovative feature. The remaining 'Big 3' and most other car manufacturers were more conservative. Both Ford and Chrysler did not introduce new styling until 1955.

In 1954 the budding rear fender fins were becoming more evident . By the end of the decade the fins were quite large and were in full bloom! Plus, there were many smaller innovations that were introduced at this time. Coincidentally I have discovered most of the 1/64 models that have been reproduced to date are replicas of the GM cars of this time period . But, a few other makes are represented . I am aware this summary may not be complete. Additions and corrections are requested.

Johnny Lightning produced a very nice replica of a 1953 Super Convertible model #140 in their American Chrome series in 2000.

Hot Wheels produced a customized 1953 Convertible in their Collectible D'Agostino set earlier in 2002 which is very nicely detailed. Also introduced by this manufacturer via a McDonalds promotion under license about 3 years ago is another Eldorado Convertible. Except for a protruding air cleaner from the engine hood, it appears in stock condition.

Yat Ming produced a 1953 Eldorado Convertible # 8902 with both top up and down versions about 10 years ago. This manufacturer did not correctly portray the proper windshield. Since the doors do show a slight dip it is presumed to be an Eldorado instead of the regular Series 62 Convertible.

Goodee produced a one piece casting with no baseplate of a 1953 Eldorado Convertible over 25 years ago. The axles and 4 wheels are supported by posts extending from the bottom of the casting. The example shown here has been re-painted.

Jada Toys has just issued a 1953 Eldorado Convertible. This casting has not as yet become available on the East Coast of the US. Thus I have not had the privilege to see this model in person.

Schuco of Germany produced an incorrect model of a 1954 sedan possibly 10 or more years ago. The body is a solid casting in which the windows are painted. The major fault is that this manufacturer does not show the wraparound windshield that was on all Cadillacs for 1954.

Jada produced a 1953 Bel Air Hardtop Lowrider in their Dubz City line earlier in 2002. The additional styling feature on this casting is the external windshield sun visor which was a prevalent add-on in that era.

Hot Wheels produced a 1953 2 door model in their Lowrider Collectibles set in 1999. This model has axles that can adjust to various chassis heights.

These models were reviewed previously in the TofTC C1 article. However since there is a new addition , I am briefly listing them again.
Road Champs 1953 Roadster with removable top
Hot Wheels 1953 Roadster in Collectible Corvette set
Johnny Lightning 1953-54 Roadster # 731
Racing Champions 1953-54 Roadster in Gift set #3
Kidco 1953 Roadster
The new addition for 2002 is from Tack Cheung of Hong Kong and is found in the Dollar Tree stores in a set available in both kit form and already assembled.

Racing Champions issued a slightly larger model of what appears to be a 1953 2 door coupe in their Petty Nascar anniversary series in 1999. The detail previously produced by this firm in the former Mint Edition series is sadly missing.


Goodee produced a 1953 mainline Sedan over 25 years ago. This model was stylized and had no baseplate.

Renwal according to Wieland and Force in 'Detroit in Miniature' produced a metal diecast models of 1954 Victoria Hardtops and Sunliner Convertibles- also over 25 years ago. These are identified as S Gauge or 3 inches in size in their book.

In 2001 Hot Wheels introduced the 'Jaded' model in their First Editions series. It is a radically customized 1953 version of the Henry J compact fastback produced by the Kaiser- Frazer Corporation and also sold as a Sears Allstate.


Goodee produced a 1953 Capri Hardtop over 25 years ago.


F&F, a plastic model manufacturer produced 1954 sedan, sports coupe and convertible models as a promotional for Posts Cereals over 40 years ago. These models did not have baseplates .

Johnny Lightning produced a custom 1954 Rambler Wagon in 1997, #554. It has bee re-issued several times in other series. This was the first year for the Rambler wagon.

Tootsietoy produced a 1954 Metropolitan convertible model about 30 years ago. It was a 1 piece casting with no baseplate. The Met was built in England by Austin and designed by Pinin Farina of Italy but it was primarily a product for the American market.

RC/Ertl introduced a very nice replica of the 1953 Caribbean Convertible # 25 in their Classified Classics series of 2000 and it has be re-released in black for the Concept and Muscle series in 2001. This is an excellent casting of a rare car and looks quite striking in red and white.

Esso/ Morestone / Budgie issued a 1953 Mayfair Convertible over 30 years ago. The windshield is a separate piece if plastic and is not shaped properly.

Hot Wheels introduced a radically customized 1953 Starliner Hardtop 'AT-A- Tude' # 18843 as a First Edition in 1998. The body is modified to portray a drag race car. What a shame this beautiful Lowey Coupe has not been done in stock form.

This concludes my latest installment of Cars of he 50s. I make no claim to have included every model . I have only included mention of 1 model casting for each model - usually the first one introduced, although the model may have appeared subsequently .