Volume IX, Number 2

By Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

This firm is located in Peosta, Iowa. It was founded by the owner Richard Knight in 1992. He had formerly worked for Ertl in Dyersville, Iowa. He originally established his new company in Dubuque, Iowa but moved to the expanded present location about ten years ago. All administrative activities are conducted at the Peosta facility which consists of about 20 employees. This complement includes design and sales personnel in addition to other necessary departmental personnel. All actual manufacturing however, is performed in China. Account Executive Nancy Ludwig advised the American contingent is continuing to expand!

The scale size range of their highly detailed authentic models at present is from 1:25 to 1:64 . Most of the model replicas are of trucks with some cars available in the larger 1:25 scale. These vehicles feature detailed interiors, hand painted lights and other accessories. Many of the larger models offer opening parts including doors and engine hoods.

Interestingly, the company has made only two model cars in 1:64 scale. The truck models in this smaller scale are readily available. But the cars are and were only available by special bulk order. In 2002 they issued a 1940 Ford Coupe " Street Rod". It was specially made for a
Carquest Auto Parts promotional as the "first of a set". The next year First Gear reissued this

1940 Ford Coupe "street rod"

Ford for Tech-Net Professional Auto Service facilities. These are a division of Carquest. The logos on the cars were altered to identify the subsidiary name. Then within the past year First Gear issued a 1949 Mercury "Lead Sled" model in 1:64 scale. It was again made for Tech-Net and mirrors the First Gear 1:25 scale model "coin bank". This model replicates a moderately customized car which is painted a deep metallic blue with a splash of white paint on the nose of the engine hood. The roof is noticeably chopped and the hood and deck chrome have been removed. The lowered body features full rear wheel skirts. The only noticeable differences between the styling of these two models is that the smaller version does not have any opening hinged parts. And the dual spotlights are absent. The small model features full hubcaps that emphasize the large whitewall rubber tires. The interior is well detailed and the seats feature two tone coloring!

The 1:64 car is inserted in a blister pack and states it is the second issue in the series. We were not aware of its existence until a chance perusal of sales literature happened recently. This began a quest to locate some of these elusive models. First Gear advised they no longer had any of the models in stock. but with the mention of the Tech-Net name, a few of these models were able to be located. But no additional sources have been found! However, First Gear did advise they will gladly produce a minimum order of 480 cars in a single color for a unit price of about $5 per car. If we had been unable to locate any models, we may have been forced to go this route. But if a Hot Rod or Car Collectors Club wants some and can provide the funds for the order, First Gear advised they will be able to accommodate this desire.

We are quite enlightened that we were able to find these models and that we can pass on the information to any organization that may be interested in providing such an order.

1949 Mercury "lead sled"