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Joe_Materasso

History Of Promo Car Models?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Art, I hope you still have that "$50 dollar car". <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Wayne </div></div>

Uh, what the hey! I did with it as I was supposed to do--played with it, wore it out! But, those early promo tires, with that flywheel motor--talk about black tire streaks on Mom's clean kitchen floor! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Art

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I hate to dig up an old thread like this but I have a question to pose to Art and guys like Dennis Doty.

As Art stated earlier in this thread Quote:

"True enough, but I believe I would separate "salesman's samples" from the concept of the promotional piece, as the former weren't generally offered for sale, or given away for the purposes of promoting the sales of the actual products. "

End quote

Why is it that powered promotional cars have been largely ignored by the promotional car community?

They were given away by dealerships for the purposes of promoting the sales of the full size cars. But unlike the 1/25 scale versions that are so well known they were electric or gas powered and would actually carry one or two children or adults. They were used by the dealership much like the smaller scale versions to attract potential customers generally with their kids dragging them in for test drive promotions for the kids, additional promotions and were produced at the same time as the cars they represent with the cooperation of the manufacturers. They also change styling each year to match the full size cars and in most occasions were made in advace of public release so that they could be used in opening day festivities at dealerships.

Some of the companies that produced powered promotional scale model cars are.

The powercar Company of Mystic CT,

Donalson company of Kansas City KS,

Silvestri art studios of Chicago,

Conval industries of Springfield MA,

Robel of Berwick PA and

Barry toycraft of St Paul MN

some samples of the cars I am discussing are.

Thunderbird Juniors made from 1955-66.

56thunderbird3.jpg

Plyouth Fury Juniors 1958-60

58fury5.jpg

Desoto Firemite 1958

s_mite10.jpg

And so many more

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I was the proud owner of a few cast gold plated Tucker scale models that my uncle found several of in the dump after Tucker went belly up.

I tried my best to destroy it (As I was about 10 years old) but it took a terrific beating before the front axel finally fell off.

I have often wondered what they would be worth now.

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On a trip through Indiana and Michigan visiting car museums in 1983 I bought a coin bank that is a 1934 La Salle rumble seat coupe model. It is made out of heavy cast material, off-brown or off-gray in color. It is seven inches long and may weigh close to 2 pounds. On the bottom it has a plain plate with a coin slot. Four small screws hold the plate on. The only marking is the word LA SALLE on the bottom of the driver's side running board. I thought it was a Banthrico model but I could be wrong as I foolishly trashed the box it came in. I assume it was made about the time I bought it. Anybody know if it is a Banthrico model, is it pewter or something else, and how common is it today?

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Not to mention the 1/32 scale 1936 Cord miniatures, given to those who had not received their new Cords, promised for December 1935 delivery, in order to placate them and prevent cancellation of orders. Originals today are so highly coveted and few in number that the bronze model has been reproduced.

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There were some fairly accurate hard rubber promos built in the 1930's and early 40's. I have seen Oldsmobiles, Fords and even International trucks. Someone with more knowledge may be able to list the exact makes and who produced them?

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In this photo is a tan rubber Chrysler Airflow "promo"tional toy car. The detail is astounding, but the scale and proportions are off somewhat. O.K....it DOES have front fender skirts. After all...it IS a toy. The green one is metal with rubber tires. Sorry the photo is blurry...it's a pain to get into my toy display case.

post-37352-143138121741_thumb.jpg

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The first promo I had was a yellow '54 Ford Convertible. My uncle sold Chevies in NH and used to give me a promo for Christmas every year - I remember having a '55 Corvette, '56 Cameo P/U, '57 Bel Air convertible, '58 Nomad wagon, '59 Impala sport sedan, etc. Unfortunately, I only still have the last one he gave me, a '66 Impala radio. The others are long gone as I played with them. Basically, though, I started collecting in 1957 - promos and model kits - right into the 70's. I've often said that if I had every promo or model kit that I had, I would have 2,000 or more of them. Through the years, I've built and sold my collection several times - depending on family need. A few years ago, I started collecting the 1/18 die casts and Danbury and Franklin Mint models. My heart is still with promos - I have about 85 now and buy a few each year. Right now, I am working on getting one of each color '63 Ford Galaxie's - convertible and hardtop. I also keep looking for ones I had as a kid. I bought two at Hershey this year, a red '63 Galaxie convertible and the orange/brown '73 Caprice hardtop. I've bought several from Joe Wheat, including 2 Memory Lane models which he no longer sells. Also, have bought a dozen or so from William Landis at Hershey. Only problem with most promos is the price. I kind of have a self-imposed limit of not spending more than $200 on any one of them. Always on the look out, though.

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Last night going through my book collection I can across a book done by Steve Butler a couple years ago. It is the full history of promotional models, it is wonderfully complete and does not miss anything. It was $19.95 in soft binding. I would watch the swap meets for it. Well worth the effort on this great subject.

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I came across this thread when searching for the toy car that some original mold patterns produced that I came across in an antique story years ago.

 

After MUCH searching and asking questions anywhere I could find, finally with the help of the internet world the question has been solved!  Have a look at the original mold patterns, amazing amount of work and skill making those molds.

 

These molds made the PMC 1952 Chevy two door coupe promo bank! 

 

I now believe that this car below was indeed made in the molds I have.  To my eye, every detail seems to match.  Right down the to lower three faint horizontal lines on the rear fender under the main offset line. Hood and trunk emblem are perfect match, as are the door handles.

 

The round injection holes match perfectly on the bottom, and notice the interior fender swells from the bottom.  The front is rather round, but the rear is swept back quite a bit.  The openings for the axle, and the surface steps toward the ends. Same as the mold:

 

The front/rear bumper were separate pieces were added later:

d1.jpg

d4.jpg

d6.jpg

d7.jpg

Edited by Black Frog (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, Black Frog said:

I came across this thread when searching for the toy car that some original mold patterns produced that I came across in an antique story years ago.

 

After MUCH searching and asking questions anywhere I could find, finally with the help of the internet world the question has been solved!  Have a look at the original mold patterns, amazing amount of work and skill making those molds.

 

These molds made the PMC 1952 Chevy two door coupe promo bank! 

 

I now believe that this car below was indeed made in the molds I have.  To my eye, every detail seems to match.  Right down the to lower three faint horizontal lines on the rear fender under the main offset line. Hood and trunk emblem are perfect match, as are the door handles.

 

The round injection holes match perfectly on the bottom, and notice the interior fender swells from the bottom.  The front is rather round, but the rear is swept back quite a bit.  The openings for the axle, and the surface steps toward the ends. Same as the mold:

 

The front/rear bumper were separate pieces were added later:

d1.jpg

d4.jpg

d6.jpg

d7.jpg

 

Now that is really cool!!! :)

  • Like 2

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Thanks!  I've had these quite a while, I thought they were too unique and cool to pass up!  But I need to start downsizing, and time for someone else to enjoy these.  I was motivated to do some investigation into finding the actual product of these molds before putting them up on Ebay.  It took a whole lot of searching and looking at thousands of photos, but glad it was finally solved to put my mind at rest.  Originally I was thinking die cast, but someone mentioned promo car banks...  I started looking at those and realized the bottom rectangular plate on the mold matched that same coin slot on the promo car banks.  :-)

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Interesting that this post came up today.  I was actually working on my Promo car model.  My wife purchased the Monterey Promo car off of Ebay about a year ago and I decided to change it up to look like the Meteor that I have.  I matched the color and painted the interior the same as my car.  Had to re work the body trim and do a few other changes, but came out pretty good.  It's not even close to the degree of Roger's models, but to put on a shelf to collect dust it should be just fine. :)

IMG_3887.thumb.JPG.5d4ff853cdff3df19500ba25d3701684.JPGIMG_3888.thumb.JPG.4f2c388adba2d436694da3f6880b6b8f.JPGIMG_3889.thumb.JPG.45d60aa1f3dec48c6e886efab6abbc27.JPGIMG_3890.thumb.JPG.02d33be621438270cba04fe675c4119b.JPG

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I currently have 202 dealer promos on display. I still have the first promos that my father got for me in the mid and late 1950's.

 Since I can't have all the full size cars I want, I had to resort to collecting 1/25 scale models and promos, with a total of 574 on

 display in show cases.

Edited by Tom99 (see edit history)

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What a nostalgia trip it's been reading thru these posts!   Like many others, I started by building models with friends back in the early 60s.  My cousin in Detroit dated a girl who worked at AMT and we always got plenty of extra parts by the bag-full to customize the kits.  I eventually gravitated to the muscle cars and must have built those GTOs every way possible, from stock to drag cars. 

Terry

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In the early 1960s Ford was giving away promo cars at the local dealerships as shown by this postcard I found recently.  It was hoped you would buy the real thing too after getting the free promo.

Terry

 

IMG_0958.JPG

IMG_0963.JPG

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