Volume VII, Number 3

Race on Sunday - Sell on Monday
Miniature NASCAR Models of the 1950's
by Doug Breithaupt

Collectors are finally seeing examples of the cars that built NASCAR in the 1950's. At the same time, stock versions of these models are also available. Here are four different stock cars and their close relatives from the show-room. In the 1950's the 'stock' in stock car was much closer to the truth. In the first California race in 1952, one driver, Frank Mundy, did not have a car so he arranged a rent-a-car and finished 11th! Try that today.

Recent models from Team Caliber are celebrating these first years of stock car racing and it's about time. These early models have far more style than the current cookie cutter cars used in NASCAR today.

1952 Hudson Hornet stocker - Team Caliber
In the early 1950's, the Hudson Hornet dominated NASCAR racing. Driven by the famous Flock brothers, the Hornet offered plenty of power and due to it's low center of gravity, better handling than the competition. The success of the Hornet on the track translated into sales of all Hudson models in the showroom. It is great to finally have both racing and production versions of the Hornet.

1951 Hudson Hornet - Racing Champions

1956 Ford Tudor stocker - Hasbro
While the hot Chevy models of 1955-57 get more attention today, the Fords of the same period were just as popular. On the NASCAR tracks, Fords were frequent winners. The K2 model by Hasbro represents Dale Earnhart's first stock car. In the showroom, the Crown Victoria was Ford's most impressive model. Racing Champions did the 1956 model for their Mint Edition series.

1956 Ford Crown Victoria - Racing Champions

1955 Chrysler C300 stocker - Team Caliber
In 1955, the Chrysler C300 blew away the competition with Hemi horsepower and style. Driven by the likes of Tim Flock and Lee Petty, Kiekhaefer Racing won their first race at Daytona and the championship. The example here is modeled on the Daytona winning car. With only minor changes for 1956, the 300B continued Chryslers success on road and track. Johnny Lightning produced a lovely 1956 model.

1956 Chrysler 300B - Johnny Lightning

1959 Plymouth Savoy stocker - Racing Champions
Chrysler was riding high in the late 1950's with success on the track and the most stylish showroom models. Lee Petty won the 1959 NASCAR Championship and son Richard won his first race that year. Plymouth had introduced the hot new Fury in 1957 and the 1958 model by Ertl is perfect in red and white. This model later became a movie star in 'Christine'.

1958 Plymouth Fury - Ertl