Diecast Manufacturer's Specials - Promo Racers
by Doug Breithaupt

Toy car makers love to do race cars as they usually sell well. Unfortunately today, licensing fees for use of manufacturer and sponsor logo can be expensive. One solution is to create a race car with the toy car manufacturer's own racing colors.

In some cases, toy car companies have been actual sponsors of real racing teams. The most impressive was when the original Johnny Lightning brand by Topper sponsored Al Unser's Indy 500 winner in 1970. Curiously, Topper never released a toy version of this car! After the JL name was revived in the 1990's, Unser's winner was done.

Five sport/GT and five open-wheel race cars are shown here. I'm sure you can suggest more cars to fit this theme.

Chevrolet Camaro Trans Am - Hot Wheels This is an actual example of Jack Baldwin's Camaro Trans-Am racer by Hot Wheels. The Hot Wheels Indy car came in many different color schemes including this HW Racing version.
Indy Car (1992) - Hot Wheels

Mercedes-Benz AMG C-Class - Matchbox
In their Premier Edition Series, Matchbox could not resist creating their own racing team. The Grand Prix F1 racer by Matchbox looks good in company colors.
F1 Grand Prix (1988) - Matchbox

McLaren M8F - Siku
Siku is more modest on their McLaren M8F, limiting themselves to a simple logo. Siku went generic on their nice F1 models. This one is in McLaren colors.
F1 Rennwagen (1999) - Siku

Nissan Skyline Silhouette Formula - Tomica
Tomica may have been an actual car sponsor as shown on their Skyline Silhouette Formula. In 1970 Johnny Lightning was the primary sponsor of Al Unser's winning Indy car.
1970 Indy JL Special - Johnny Lightning

Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC - Guisval
The Guisval logo is on the top and sides of this Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC. Did these cars actually race? High Speed's F1 race car is clearly generic and the rear wing identifies the company's name.
F1 Grand Prix (1992) - High Speed