Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Corny" NASCAR Collectibles

In the world of diecast collectibles, I doubt any one category is as big as NASCAR. From very inexpensive off-brand 1/64 scale (Hot Wheels size) to the very detailed (and often very pricey) 1/24 scale models, if it has ever made a left turn at a NASCAR race, it has probably been issued in diecast. 

Typically, collectors will pick a theme and follow a racing series, a driver, or a team. In my case, I tend to follow sponsors for their flashy and stylish graphics. I personally like the Kellogg's cars. The Kellogg's iconography fits well with my general fondness for pop culture and advertising memorabilia. I also like that a good selection of cars are offered as cereal premiums rather than strictly as collectibles. To me, digging into a box of Cheerios to find a #43 Richard Petty car is way cooler than just picking it off a peg or ordering it online. Additionally, these cereal premiums are still relatively inexpensive. Check around the high shelves in flea markets or in the plastic bags in the bins. Treasures abound.  

However, you like to collect, NASCAR diecast has something to suit your taste and budget. 

I found this six car set that was originally a mail-in premium in 1996 for $5.00 on the shelf of a little flea market in Independence, Kansas. I like it because it includes a car you don't see very often. In 1990, the #97 car, driven by Chuck Brown, was the first NASCAR racer to carry the Kellogg's colors. At the other end of the spectrum, is the 1996 "Iron Man" car specially built to celebrate Terry Labonte's 500+ consecutive starts. It's toys! It's advertising! It's history! That is a nerd triple-play.

1996 Mail-In Kellogg's NASCAR Diecast Set (c) Terri Lynn Coop
Now, these cars I dug out of the Cheerios and Wheaties with my own sticky hands, just like going after the cereal box toy when I was a kid. Man, we at a lot of cereal at my house while the car promo was going on . . . .

2008 Kellogg's Cereal Box Premium

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horny Mike Horned Helmet Accessories

When I was visiting Count's Kustoms in Las Vegas this August, I was out in the parking lot getting spare disks for my camera so I could keep snapping away until they threw me out. Off to one side, I saw a flash of movement and color as the biggest damn spiked helmet I had ever seen flew by. 

I asked at the office and was told (with a laugh) that I must have seen Horny Mike. I grabbed a business card and did some research. Michael "Horny Mike" Henry is a customizer and airbrush artist for the Count's hot rod and motorcycle shop. As seen by the helmet below, it is obvious that he is also an imaginative and skilled artist.
Horny Mike Custom Helmet (c) Terri L. Coop
Parked in the Count's swag shop is the incredible, stunning, splendiferously radical horned bike built by Mike. Check out the vid, because stills just don't cut it.

I christened this the "Demon Bike" when I saw it in the swag shop at
Count's Kustoms in Vegas. Created by Horny Mike. (c) Terri L. Coop 

Horny Mike has created adhesive helmet horns for the do-it-yourself customizer. To learn more about them and hope of some of the cool rubs off on you, visit his site at You can also keep up with The Count, Horny Mike and the rest of the crew on History Channel's "Counting Cars"

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hood Ornaments: Cruising in Vintage Style

I am always on a photo safari. I carry my camera wherever I go in my hometown of Fort Scott Kansas because the town is a mecca for classic cars. This 1936 Plymouth sitting out in front of La Hacienda was no exception. Photos don't do this beautiful vintage lady justice. 

1936 Plymouth, Fort Scott Kansas: (c) Terri Lynn Coop
However, while a customizer might be curious about what is under the hood, I am a geek for the trim and accessories. This car had a stunning hood ornament in the classic Plymouth sailing ship style. 

Plymouth adopted the sailing ship style in 1935: (c) Terri Lynn Coop

The hood ornament matched the badge on the grille, keeping the sailing ship theme. Plymouth ornaments morphed into airplanes in the 1950s.

When it comes to hood ornaments and chrome, I am more of a virtual collector. I like photographing the chrome on the cars in good natural light. I don't have to worry about them breaking or rusting and I don't have to use my limited display place. Also, price. Hood ornaments can sell for $2.00 to $2000.00 (and more) depending on the rarity. That's a lot of mini-discs for my camera. So, if you see someone in cargo shorts leaning over a classic car on your street, don't call the cops, it's just me and I know to look, but not touch.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fuzzy Dice. Yes, I Said Fuzzy Dice

"You was laughing at me, I was doing James Dean
You was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen
When you rolled your eyes and twirled my pink fur dice."
Sawyer Brown: "Some Girls Do" 1992

So, I like fuzzy dice. Sue me. They invoke a sense of nostalgia and history in me and make me wish I was out cruising and dropping the flag on a street race instead of reading on the Internet about WWII veterans street racing. 

Vintage Fuzzy Dice are the mascot for my
car memorabilia Facebook page (c) Terri L. Coop

On my Vegas trip I searched for the right souvenir
and on Fremont Street, ta-dah! Set to lucky number
seven (c) Terri Lynn Coop

Las Vegas Harley-Davidson Cafe

About halfway through my vacation visiting my friends in Vegas, they both had to work. I know, whatever was I going to do with myself? I had my bestie dump me at the Strip with a promise to call if I needed anything. 

Well, anybody can hang out at a casino. When you've seen one video poker game, you've seen them all. I was much more interested in the sights and sounds of America's biggest outdoor theme park - Las Vegas Boulevard. I started my hike at the Statue of Liberty (you can see her on the right edge) and was way ready for a break by the time I got to the midway point. And to my delight, that included the Harley-Davidson Cafe with the giant bike leaping out of the second floor ready to roar down The Strip. 

Harley Cafe on the Vegas Strip (c) Terri Lynn Coop

This second photo comes from the observation deck at the top of the escalator. The detail is amazing, right down to the logos and chrome. Hah! From this perspective, it looks like the front wheel is sitting on the pavement ready to rock and roll. I even got a shadow.

The Vegas Harley is ready to ride! (c) Terri Lynn Coop

Inside, along with cold beer and hot BBQ is a collection of vintage and customized bikes that roll by on a chain drive in the ceiling. The bikes circle the restaurant then climb out of sight. The restaurant has an amazing collection of celebrity photos and memorabilia as well. A perfect lunch or break stop for a car and motorcycle fan. The Harley-Davidson Cafe is located at 3725 Las Vegas Boulevard and is open from 9 in the morning until midnight, seven days a week.

Harley 1200 Low riding the drive (c) Terri Lynn Coop

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pawn Stars - Viva Las Vegas!

Gold & Silver Pawn at 713 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Home of the "Pawn Stars": (c) Terri L. Coop

No trip to Vegas is complete with a stop at the "Pawn Stars" pawn shop. Well, at least no trip if you are a pop culture junkie like yours truly. My friends were great sports and we headed down there early on a Thursday morning to get in line. My luck was good and we barely had time to get exterior photos before being ushered inside. And, yes, it is hella cool, just like on the show. It is fun to go inside and see what you've seen on TV dozens of times. Yes, I am geeky like that. Unfortunately, Rick and company were in Sturgis at the bike run, so no filming and no stars. But, I'm sure that's why the crowds were lighter. So, it was still a win. I found a nice variety of car collectibles, including diecast and gas and oil signs. 

Get in line early! (c) Terri L. Coop
1:18 scale diecast: (c) Terri L. Coop
Ultimate NASCAR
Collectible: (c) Terri Coop
Ready to drive home: (c) Terri L. Coop


Yes, for $50K, you can have your own 1:1 scale NASCAR racer. Low miles, mostly left turns. Has had several drivers, but still has a lot of life in it. I guarantee you will be the only kid on your block. Also plenty of autographed car memorabilia, sure to please any gearhead. On your way out, check out the great pedal car collection over the showcases. 

Vinrage pedal car: (c) Terri L. Coop

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pimping Your Ridez at Ridemakerz

Toy Shack Bats McQueen: (c) Terri L. Coop
I got my first look at a Ridemakerz custom toy car when I visited the Toy Shack on my trip to Las Vegas. I asked about the clever 1:18 scale Pixar character cars and heard the magic word - Ridemakerz. Intrigued Terri was intrigued. . .

Toy Shack Ridemakerz McQueen: (c) Terri L. Coop
Toy Shack Capt America Tater: (c) Terri L. Coop

So, I visited the Ridemakerz website and found a nerd world so compelling that I ended up playing with the build-a-car app for a couple of hours.

Ridemakerz offers more than Disney cars. You can build realistic racers or fanciful funny cars. There is a radio-controlled chassis option as well.

Ridemakerz also has several stores where you can pull up to the bench and build your car yourself with the help of the on-site service crew. They even will let you have your birthday party there.

Just how freaking cool is that?

Check out the site and have some fun. Watch your cart, your creation can get pricey fast. However, with 649 million possible combinations, it will be a one-of-a-kind. Ridemakerz also offers gift cards that I think would make an awesome gift. *cough* Ya know, if you were having trouble deciding what to do for Christmas. *halo*

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Las Vegas Toy Shack

Next stop on my Vegas reality show tour was the Vegas Toy Shack, home of Johnny Jimenez, toy expert for History Channel's "Pawn Stars." I talked with one of his staff and got the scoop on a burning question, "did they go back and buy that outrageous Transformers collection?" The answer was "some of it" and that there was even more to the collection than shown on television.

The Toy Shack is a mecca for diecast and toy car collectors. They specialize in Hot Wheels, Matchbox, 1:18 scale diecast and model kits as well as action figures and other pop culture toys. One look at the storefront (guarded by Lion-O) and you know you are in the right place.

The Vegas Toy Shack in Neonopolis:  (c) Terri L. Coop

I admit to being just fascinated by the customized 1:18 scale (or there abouts) Disney Pixar CARS characters. Some were done at Ridemakerz, but some, like the outrageous Tater below came all from the minds and craftsmanship of the Toy Shack staff.

Pixar CARS Custom McQueen: (c) Terri L. Coop

One of a kind custom Pixar CARS Tater: (c) Terri L. Coop

Diecast & Model Kits: (c) Terri L. Coop
The Toy Shack is a great place to buy, sell, trade, and just hang out and talk toys. Located in Neonopolis at the far end of Fremont Street, it is a destination all by itself. Check. It. Out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Count's Kustoms - So Cool, It's Hot

I know the photography rules so well at  Count's Kustoms in Las Vegas because I hadn't been there five minutes before I violated them.

Rut roh . . . 

I worked out the misunderstanding because The Count's staff and minions are truly as cool as the man himself. However, keep an eye on where you point your camera.

Once inside, be prepared to be smited with style (or is that "smote"? meh, roll with me). From Horny Mike's bike and spiked helmet combo to the hot rod swag shop, Count's Kustoms has got it going on. And you aren't even to the cars yet!

Follow your guide and stay on the path (*cough* okay, that was my second warning, but I was just like a kid in a candy-apple shop!) and treasures will present themselves . . . 

There's rare. There's really rare. And there's ZOMFG-freaking-can-you-believe-it rare ... 

Even the logo is rad:  (c) Terri L. Coop
An utterly cherried-out turquoise Chevy Bel Air convertible, perfect right down to the turquoise fuzzy dice...
Fit for a Countess: (c) Terri L. Coop
Where automotive paint work becomes fine art . . .

Automotive fine art:  (c) Terri L. Coop
 The ultimate piece of car memorabilia . . . a full-size Hot Wheels

The ultimate collectible, a life size Hot Wheels: (c) Terri L. Coop

The bona fides:  (c) Terri L. Coop

And, now, before we conclude, here is your trivia for the day. Back in the early 1990s, the Koker family, including Danny Koker of Count's Kustoms, owned a local Las Vegas TV station that featured Danny Koker as "Count Cool Rider" on the B-movie "Saturday Fright at the Movies." A few years ago, a dear friend of mine, Las Vegas artist Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, was part of a Vegas-wide art project to paint and decorate utility boxes. Suzanne did hers in homage to classic Las Vegas television personalities. Here is her tribute to Count Cool Rider himself . . .

Count Cool Rider Utility Box Las Vegas (c) Suzanne Hackett-Morgan

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Las Vegas Fun: Rick's Restorations

Rick's Restorations Exterior, (c) Terri L. Coop
When I planned my trip to Las Vegas, my friends asked me what I wanted to do. Well, duh, I wanted to go to Rick's Restorations, so off we went. Unfortunately, Rick Dale was at the Sturgis Run, but his gorgeous wife Kelly (the model behind the saucy retro logo), talked with me.

You are in the right place! (c) Terri L. Coop

Kelly - sexy and smart! (c) Terri L. Coop
After laying out the rules on photography (customer privacy and to not accidentally reveal projects for upcoming episodes of their show American Restoration), I got an awesome tour of the workshop area from Brett "The Butcher."

I cannot overstate how warm and fun-loving the crew at Rick's Restorations is. Every visitor was treated like a long-lost friend and the entire operation is set up as a combination business, museum, and tourist attraction.

When you arrive, check out the retro small town street scene. Classic cars, restored and unrestored, grace the front for browsing and photo-ops. (Hint, look all around the parking lot, there was some fun stuff to see tucked away in the corners.)

Chrome details on one of the restored beauties
outside of Rick's, (c) Terri L. Coop
Then try your luck at figuring out which of the doors actually leads inside. Luckily, you get as many tries as you need. Once inside the showroom, take your time and explore. The display isn't huge, but the variety and craftsmanship is stunning (I seriously want the slot machine Kelly is posing by AND the gas station paper towel dispenser).

It was practical! Yeesh! (c) Terri L. Coop
And no trip is complete without browsing through the souvenir shop. Why yes, I did get a hat, why do you ask? Las Vegas is very sunny and hot this time of year. It was practical, I tell you, practical. Next time you are in Vegas and, um, need a hat (or an antique vertical gas pump restored), be sure to stop by Rick's Restorations at 1112 South Commerce Street. Hours are 9 - 5, Monday through Friday and 10 - 4, Saturday and Sunday.  You won't regret it one bit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

Hi everyone!

I just got home from a vacation in Las Vegas and wanted to let you know what is coming up this month in posts about awesome car memorabilia:

1.  I visited the pawn shop made famous by Pawn Stars on History Channel and discovered some cool automotive collectibles.

2.  I then visited "Rick's Restorations" where I met Rick's wife Kelly and got a tour of not only the restoration shops, but a look at the fun collectibles they offer.

3.  Then over to the lair of Count Cool Rider himself, Count's Kustoms, just four days before the premiere of his new show! A great tour of the car collection and memorabilia and gear shop.

4. What? There's more?  Yes, a stop by the Toy Shack and a chat with the toy expert featured on Pawn Stars. I got a look at the fantastic custom toy vehicles they make based on the Disney/Pixar animated movie "Cars." True one-of-a-kind collectibles.

5.  Scratch a car lover and you find a Harley fan. So, a trip to the Harley-Davidson Cafe on the Strip was in order. It did not disappoint.

6.  Whew . . . then a trip to the Goldwell Open Air Museum in Rhyolite, Nevada to check out the remains of a sculpture titled "Desert Flower" made entirely of vintage automotive chrome (one of my favorites!). Tragically, the sculpture was destroyed in a wind storm. However, you'll see before and after photos of this lost artwork.

7.  And yes! We have a new avatar for the About Car Memorabilia Facebook page. I had given away my vintage fuzzy dice in a contest the week before my trip. However, Las Vegas abides and Fremont Street provides. I'll be unveiling our new mascot on Sunday.

So, how was your weekend?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Luxury Car Memorabilia Auction August 16 - 18, 2012

Enzo Ferrari Prancing Horse Sculpture (c) Russo & Steele 2012
Russo and Steele, home to classic collector automobile auctions will be holding its 12th Annual Sports and Muscle auction in Monterey California on August 16 - 18, 2012.

Along with 250 automobiles, the sale will include a spectacular array of automotive memorabilia including the famed Ferrari "Prancing Horse" (Cavallino Rampante) sculpture that graced Enzo Ferrari's office for twenty-five years. This is a one-of-a-kind piece and the king of Ferrari collectibles will be sold without reserve. It is scheduled to be lot number one and sold before the automobiles.

Starting at 5:00 PM each day there will be a huge selection of certified ephemera bearing the signatures of some of automobile history's greatest figures including Ford, Bentley, Chrysler, Ferrari, and Howard Hughes. All sales are without reserve.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shining It On . . .

Fancy Lady: (c) Terri Lynn Coop 2012
I love chrome. Yes, I know the plastic bumper on my 1995 Mercury Tracer station wagon is safe, sane, and economical. Whatever . . . My heart and my eyes follow the fancy vintage ladies from Detroit loaded down with the shiny stuff. It's a little known fact that chrome makes your car go faster. True story . . . Trust me . . .

Chrome plating was patented in the US in 1926 and car makers caught the bug over the next ten years. By the 1950s it seemed like the Big 3 auto makers were in competition to see who could hang the most chrome on their new models. If GDP could be measured in tail fins, then the US led the world.

So, when I'm out and about, if a pretty lady catches my eye, I whip out my camera and snap her photo. This vintage Plymouth was basking in the sun outside my office building in Independence Kansas. Out comes my smart phone and she is part of my collection. Part restored, part vintage, she was a beauty. Not perfect, but stylish and classy. There were bigger cars in the parking lot and fancier ones, but she was the queen.

When I look at newer cars, I am always bewildered by the lack of style. Look that the burgundy car in the upper corner. Sleek, streamlined, utilitarian and . . . meh . . . Then I realized what the problem was. It has no chrome! The uni-body style with the bumper incorporated into the body is, frankly, boring.

Luckily, you don't have to have Jay Leno's garage to enjoy vintage chrome. Hood ornaments, grille badges, and side panel emblems are a great addition to any collection. With a little care, your house can shine like vintage Detroit on a sunny day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's 1984 and Mustang was Turning 20!

1985 Ford Dealership Mustang Standee Side 1

A few years ago I attended what started out an as an auction, but  turned into a battle-of-wills marathon.
The auction was the estate of one of the most successful Ford dealers in the Midwest and it ran over with rare an unusual pieces from the business.

The sale was a two-ring nine-hour marathon of unintended memorabilia. It wasn't that the family collected Ford memorabilia. It was that they never threw anything away. 

This treasure is a never used promotion standee intended for the dealership showroom. It advertises the 20th anniversary edition of the classic 1964 1/2 Mustang pony car. The limited edition Mustang, produced in 1984, came in Oxford White with a Canyon Red interior. It had the original pony badge on the front fenders and came with a plaque engraved with the owner's name and the vehicle's production number.  Overall it is about 16 by 44 inches. Each side of the folded triangle would measure about 15 by 17 inches.

These backroom pieces are always a rare find, especially in flat unpunched condition. Neither the bottom flaps nor the side flaps have been creased. The entire unit is nicely flat and the colors are vibrant. I've chosen to keep it flat and display it on top of a shelving unit. However, carefully folded up and notched together would not significantly detract from the value.

Unusual pieces are often found at auctions. Businesses put extra items in the backroom and forget about them, sometimes for decades. Be prepared to be patient and dig through a lot of boxes. This beauty was in the barn. I'll be posting more about this crazy auction. Stay tuned, it was not your everyday sale.  Photos (c) Terri Lynn Coop 2012
1985 Ford Dealership Mustang Standee Side 2

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cop Car Cool

1987 Ford Brochure: Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop

I like collecting advertising. The longer you read this blog and my car memorabilia collecting site you'll see that I talk about it quite a bit.

To me, advertising often captures the essence of both the item and the era. It also gives me clues about memorabilia and helps me identify mystery items (That came in blue? Who knew?) Often overlooked by collectors and pickers at auctions and estate sales, a patient and persistent shopper can come away with boxes or bags of ephemera full of surprises.

I became a collector of vintage police car advertising by accident. I was at an estate auction for a man who had been the police chief of a small town in the 1980s and 1990s and was, frankly, a hoarder. The sheer volume of boxes that came out of that small house was staggering. The entire front yard and back yard was covered in boxes of books, paper, model trains, and all manner of household goods.

Most of the buyers were there for the trains, so I was left virtually alone to pick through the boxes of paper. Before long, I started turning up all sorts of advertising and paperwork from his days as police chief. I found equipment catalogs, weapon catalogs, and an entire expanding file full of brochures for police cars, motorcycles, and ambulances.

The brochures are amazing, each a full-color capsule ofautomotive and law enforcement technology and history.

While bidding was hot for the trains, I stood by and quietly picked up most of the police paper for $1 - $2 per box. Also about a half pallet of vintage SEARS catalogs, but that is a story for another day. Auctions require feet of iron, nerves of steel, and a poker face worthy of Vegas. However, they are a great way to add to and expand a collection. 

Art of Advertising

Car and Driver Magazine, Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop

For a car enthusiast and memorabilia collector, a gallery of art and photography lurks in every automotive magazine. New magazines have slick full-color spreads of what is new and hot.

However, in my opinion, the real treasures are between the covers of the vintage hot rod rags from the 1960s and 1970s. 

The 1960s is when advertising changed emphasis from line drawing to photography and is considered to be the "Creative Revolution" and the birth of branding. For the first time, cars and products were sold as lifestyle choices as much as products. 

And it worked. The Corvette and the Cadillac are both cars. Four wheels, seats, and chrome. However, they represent very different outlooks on life and driving. This branding is what makes advertising art fun to collect.   

Car and Driver magazine is one of my favorites. Founded in 1955 and originally called "Sports Cars Illustrated," Car and Driver showcases the best in American cars and a solid sampling of foreign cars in every issue. The magazine is a combination of reviews, buying guides, photo spreads, and advertisements printed on nice quality glossy stock.

Individual vintage issues in decent "reader" condition typically run $3 - $5 online and at collector shows. However, the key is to always check through the boxes of magazines at garage sales, especially if the sale includes tools or car stuff. I've picked up new car magazines for a dime a piece and vintage 1960s beauties for $2 for a foot-thick stack. Always check under the Popular Mechanic issues for the hidden hot rod treasures.

Don't leave inexpensive vintage magazines behind because they aren't pristine. You have to take the good with the bad. Crumpled pages, water damage, and missing covers are common. However, the prizes, the singlepage advertisements (tear sheets) are often intact and can be turned into high quality collectible art.

What is your favorite vintage automotive advertising? The indestructible VW Bug? The sophisticated luxury cars? The untamed hot rods? Let me know and I'll see what I can dig up for pictures.

Driving In Style

1963 Car and Driver, Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop
In car culture, clothing invokes images and expectations. 

Whether it's the rugged respect and individualism of a black leather motorcycle jacket or the sleek poplin racer jumpsuit, when we see a driver in a certain outfit, we have a vision of what kind of vehicle he owns.

Clothing makers have always capitalized on this tendency. Garments and accessories like dusters and goggles had a practical application in an open top Model T or roadster. However, they quickly morphed into style statements by adding flowing scarves and stylish caps.

Starting in the post-WWII boom and the rise of car hobbyists, magazines catered to enthusiasts with advertisements from specialtyapparel makers like Vilém B. Haan and Stirling Moss. 

Whether a car collector or a memorabilia hobbyist, they promised their customers a look rife with European class and élan.

For the apparel collector, ads are a good way to identify a garment or item found at an estate sale or racks of a second-hand store. I am big on identifying and dating my purchases. I don't just want to know that I found an MG logo lighter. I want to be able to place it in the 1963 Car and Driver magazine Haan advertisement. Finding it is half the fun. Identifying it is all the fun. 
1963 Car and Driver, Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop

Taking It to the Redline

One of the Hot Wheels from my favorite score. Photo (c) Terri Coop 

When I was a kid, every year for Christmas I asked for race cars and Legos. As a girl, I usually got dishes and dolls. So, I played with the cars the boys didn't want anymore (by the way, doll dishes make great jump ramps in the sandbox).

As an adult, the only thing that has changed is that I can eat dessert first and collect all the race cars I want.

Like most kids (grown up and otherwise), I love Hot Wheels. Mattel introduced these 1:64 scale muscle mites in the 1960s and are still going strong more than half a century later.

Like most Hot Wheels enthusiasts, I have a fondness for redlines,the original series of Hot Wheels produced from 1968 to 1977. Finding a redline Hot Wheels is finding a piece of the past and a piece of my childhood.

Most collectors can tell you where every car on their shelf came from. My biggest find or "score" of Hot Wheels redlines came from a flea market in Claremore, Oklahoma. I was out with my husband digging around when I saw several plastic silverware trays (you know what I mean, the ones in your drawer with molded compartments for each utensil) in a dealer booth. The trays were mixed with cheap toys and small appliances. They were tightly wrapped in plastic film and the hand-written tag read "TOY CARS BOX - $2.00"

Quick look.


Double take.

Closer look.

Happy Squeal!

There were five trays and they were full of redlines. About 50 in all. They weren't perfect. All were in what is called "good played-with" condition. Didn't matter. They were redlines and they were mine.

Many years later, this is still one of my favorite Hot Wheels memories. What is yours?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Have a Hallmark Hot-Rod Christmas

Every April, Hallmark drops the Dreambook of Keepsake collectible ornaments for that Christmas season. 

For car collectors, gear heads, and the people who love them (and never know what to buy them), it also means a sneak peek at the newest muscle car ornament. For 2012, the 21st first ornament in the “Classic American Car Series,” is the 1968 Ford Mustang GT. In diecast metal with working wheels, this highly detailed muscle-mite is the latest from legendary Hallmark designer Don Palmiter.

Since 1991, Palmiter has created highly detailed miniatures for the classic cars Keepsake collection. From the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, to the 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, to this year’s rendition of the 1968 Mustang GT; these ornaments are a delightful and fun addition to any car collection. Also check out the 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS, the 17th in the “All-American Trucks” series.

The Mustang ornament can be seen on page 45 of the 2012 Hallmark Keepsake catalog. Item number QX8847. Suggested retail price $17.95.

Bobby Nolan – Hollywood Death Cheater

1938 Event Poster: Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop

One of the best parts of going to garage sales is finding something odd and unusual for your collection that also absolutely stumps you. A few years ago, I came across a promotional poster for daredevil driver, “Bobby Nolan – Hollywood Death Cheater.” From July 25 to July 31, 1938, you could see Bobby “Crashing 24 Inch Brick Wall At A Mile A Minute [sic].” He also did the “Death Defying Ski Jump” and “Alternate Ski Jump” and it was all “FREE-FREE-FREE.”

My Internet search for information turned up that Chippewa Lake Park was an amusement park in Medina County Ohio. It operated continuously from 1878 until it closed down for good in 1978. Fire scarred the structures and the park has been completely demolished. 

However, I can’t find our anything about Bobby Nolan – Hollywood Death Cheater. So, not only does this poster add an interesting vintage touch to my car memorabilia collection, it also adds a mystery that keeps me guessing every time I look at it.