US Cars of the 50s in Miniature - 1958-1959
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

This is the final installment of this series of 'US Cars of the 50s'. By 1958, rear fender fins of one sort or another were an established styling trend. The sides of the car bodies received a highlighting of much more gaudy chrome then was necessary. GM introduced new styling in all of its 5 car marques this year. These new cars appeared to be even larger and many were more rounded than their 1957 predecessors. This same situation also occurred with most of the other remaining manufacturers including the Ford and Chrysler Corporations in the 'Big Three' of Automobile manufacturing.

In 1959 GM introduced the largest rear fins ever to be produced to date on their Cadillacs. The other lower ranked makes on the GM totem pole also presented their contributions to what is now considered an faddish American design trend. Some of these large cars were beginning to be seen as 'gas guzzlers' although compared to the muscle cars of the 1960's or today's popular SUV and truck models, mpg was not that bad. The 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville actually achieved 15-20 mpg.

As previously expressed, I will present each marque in alphabetical order and then briefly summarize the known models/ toys that have been produced in 1/64 scale to date. Again, I have purposely omitted all trucks, including Sedan Delivery and Pickup models since I no longer keep track of these vehicles due to lack of storage space for my collection. The following listing may not be complete due to the fact some models / toys are not available to all regions of the collecting community.

I have only cited 1 model representative of each casting. This is usually the first one that was issued. The same casting may appear at different times in subsequent series.


Hubley produced a 1959 Electra in the early 60s. All of these Real Toys #428 / Real Type # RT 90 series models are now very scarce.

Husky, predecessor to Corgi Jr, also produced a 1959 Electra HT # 7A from 1964-1968. (model pictured has been re-painted and detailed

Matchbox issued a 1958 60 Special 4 door sedan # 27C in 1960.

Note: All the following models are 1959 replicas.

Racing Champions issued a very nice Eldorado Convertible # 84 in their Mint Edition Series in 1997.

Road Champs issued an Eldorado Convertible with a removable convertible top feature in the early 90s.

Jada Toys have just issued an Eldorado Seville in custom form

Hot Wheels has produced many replicas for this year. The first was a much too elongated and narrow Convertible # 2097 in their regular blister pack series in 1991. The original Hard Rock Cafe Collectible set in 1999 contained 1 car from this year. it was an elongated 'Eldorado Woody' Station Wagon which was never built by Cadillac. If it does represent a full size car, this vehicle had to have been custom built after it left the factory. Hot Wheels also offered 2 models in their Hard Rock Cafe Set ll of 2001. These were identified by Mattel as an Eldorado HT and a Convertible. In 2002 They also issued a Coupe de Ville HT Lowrider Custom in their First Edition blister card model # 52907.

Eldorado Seville (collector series)

Eldorado Biarritz # 2097

Coupe de Ville (lowrider) # 52907

Johnny Lightning has announced an Eldorado Convertible will be available in their Classic Gold Series in 2003.

Summer did a very basic version of the Series 62 Convertible with top up.

Universal issued a somewhat distorted model of the Ghostbuster' Ambulance in the late 80s.

Johnny Lightning produced the Ecto 1A #501 in 1997 as part of the Frightning Lightnings Series.

Golden Wheel Diecasting of Hong Kong released a very detailed model in their Fire , Police and Taxi 4 car sets in the late 90s. Since Checker did not change the exterior design of this car from 1959-1973, this model can be recognized to represent the first year of its production. Summer also offered a Checker model in basic white.


Racing Champions produced a very detailed 1958 Impala HT # 77 in their Mint Edition Series in 1997.

Racing Champions also offered a 1958 Impala police cruiser although a sedan would be more appropriate.

Johnny Lightning also produced this 1958 Impala HT #144 in their American Chrome Series in 2000.

Hubley produced a 1958 Station Wagon in the early 60s in their Real Toys / Real Types RT 60 series.

Revell also offered the 1958 Impala HT in their American Grafitti and Collectible Chevy Series of which the latter is presently available as # 3370.

Revell also issued a 1959 Impala HT # 3382 in their Lowrider Series and Collectible Chevy Series . The latter is still available.

Hot Wheels issued a 1959 Impala HT Lowrider # 16670 in 1997.

Matchbox produced a 1959 Impala HT # 57B in 1961.

Maxwell of India reportedly made a 1959 Impala Sedan # 558 in 1965.

These models for 1958 fall under the C1 Corvette category.
Hot Wheels issued a customized Hot Rod Roadster # 2015 in 1995. Originally an oversize engine protruded from the car, but later the car was produced in a more realistic venue, including the collector version shown here. Majorette produced a Roadster # 2015 in 1999 and is still available.

Midgetoy, long defunct produced a one piece casting of a roadster in the 70s

Hubley , also defunct reportedly produced a model in the early 60s in their Real Toys # 420 / Real Types #RT 80 Series..


Summer offered a 1959 Imperial.
Hubley Real Toys # 423 / Real Types #RT 40 was a 1958 HT model issued in the early 60s.  

Johnny Lightning produced a very nice 4 door sedan model of the 1958 Fireflite Sportsman # 031 in their 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' set in 2001.    


Hubley produced a 1958 Custom Royal HT in their Real Toys /Real Types # RT 10 in the early 60s.


Racing Champions produced a 1958 Convertible #102 in 1997.

A hardtop, # 241 was done in 1999. Both of these were available in the Mint Edition series.

Roco, a plastics toy company in Austria produced a somewhat stylized 1958 HT replica which also has a plastic baseplate and was available earlier in 2002.

Siku produced a plastic 1958 HT # V 98 from 1959-1965. Unfortunately the body is somewhat over-elongated.

Matchbox produced a 1959 Fairlane Station Wagon # 31B in 1960. Yat Ming issued 1959 Convertible and HT models in the early 90s. With the elongated trunk lid , it appears to possibly be a representative of the last year for the Skyliner HT/ Convertible car. Hubley Real Toys/ Real Types produced a 1958 Fairlane 2 Door in 4 different liveries. The regular street coupe # RT 20 was accompanied by a an Accident Squad model # RT 150, Police cruiser # 555 AND # RT 160 and a Taxi # 554 AND # RT 180. These were also available in the early 60s.

Johnny Lightning issued a 1958 hardtop and

a 1959 hardtop in their Thunderbird
series in 2002
Johnny Lightning issued a 1958 casting # 504 of the 'Elvira' car as a convertible with the top down in their Frightning Lightnings series in 1997.

Matchbox produced a 1959 HT #75A in 1960.

This is a customized version of the Matchbox model with new paint and Tomica wheels.
Hubley produced a 1958 HT in their Real Toys #421 / Real Types # RT 30 series in the early 60s.

Johnny Lightning issued a model from Stephen King's car novel of the 'Christine' 1958 Fury # 506 in 1997 in their Frightning Lightnings series. They also produced a pro modified drag racer with the same name # 329 in their Dragsters USA 1 series in 1997.

Ertl offered the same casting as either a 1958 Plymouth Fury or

Belvedere in their American Muscle series. Both versions have excellent detail and opening features.

Racing Champions offered a 1959 Plymouth Savoy in their Richard Petty series.


Although I believe I listed the Hubley Golden Hawk as a 1957 model , additional research has developed that this casting may actually be a 1958 Real Toys #422 / Real Types # RT 50 Ht model. Since I do not have this model parked in my collection yet, I am unable to determine if in fact this car is a replica of the 1958 version. But it does seem possible since all other Hubleys are replicas of 1958 cars and later years. There are no other earlier representations prior to 1958 in this series by this manufacturer.

This completes my review of the 'US Cars of the 50s in Miniature', from 1950-1959'. Any additions, corrections or comments are always welcome. I wonder which toy/ model manufacturer will be next to announce production of a new replica of a car from this decade for the collecting community!