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Tuner Evolution Page 2

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The most popular 1:1 tuner cars: The most popular die-cast tuner cars: The aftermarket brands preferred by full-size tuners: Top aftermarket brands seen on die-cast tuner cars:
> Honda Civic
> Acura Integra
> Honda Accord
> Mitsubishi    Eclipse
> Ford Focus
> Honda CRX
> Subaru WRX
> Mitsubishi    Lancer (EVO)
> Mazda Protégé
> Toyota Celica
> Mitsubishi    Lancer (EVO)
> Subaru WRX
> Nissan Skyline
> Toyota Supra
> Mazda RX7
> Acura RSX
> Acura NSX
> Nissan 350Z
> Honda Accord
> Honda Civic
> AEM
> APC
> Eibach springs
> GReddy
> HKS
> Jackson Racing
> Kosei wheels
> Neuspeed
> Nitrous oxide    systems (NOS)
> Toyo Tires
> APC
> Eibach springs
> Endless
> GReddy
> HKS
> Kicker
> Momo
> NOS
> Tanabe
> Yokohama
Average value of a daily driven
tuner car:
$25,000
Average price of a die-cast
tuner car:
$10


A newcomer to the die-cast tuner scene is Hot Works USA. These cars offer owners a chance to tune their models with extra parts such as exhausts, wheels, hood and body kits and rear wings—just like the real thing!

THE DIE-CAST CONNECTION

Stepping up to meet the demand, the die-cast industry has begun to sell scale models of popular tuner cars, and one of the first companies to answer the tuner car call was Jada Toys. Luis Tanahara, vice president of product development, wasn’t just a casual observer of the trend; he’s an insider to the lifestyle. He quickly put into play designs that were indicative of the influential trends being seen on Southern California streets. The result was collaboration with Import Racer magazine and a series of tuner-style cars that feature many popular components being used on the 1:1-scale cars.

Muscle Machines is another SoCal-based die-cast company that’s making waves in the tuner space. Best known for its wacky domestic-marque hot-rods with engines, tires and wheels, the firm’s line of Muscle Tuners is more accurate in scale and truer to the market than its line of cartoonish hot-rods. Available in 1:64 and 1:18 scale, the Muscle Tuners feature many aspirant models such as the NSX, RX-8, Evo and even a Datsun Bluebird SSS. Like Jada, Muscle Machines has partnered with a respected publication in the space-Import Tuner-to create an RJ De Vera signature line.

And, not to be left behind, Mattel released its Tunerz brand of 1:64-scale Hot Wheels.


Left: Dodge’s ferocious Neon SRT-4 offers serious performance despite its mundane origins.
Right: The Muscle Tuners series from Muscle Machines offers one of the broadest die-cast tuner lineups. The RSX you see here is a popular choice for hopups both in scale and full size.


For the most part, all these new tuner versions of die-cast cars include the same trick modifications as you’ll see at your local Hot Import Nights car show. Wild paint schemes, custom vinyl, huge chrome wheels, lowered suspensions and loud interiors are just some of the items you’ll find.

Whether their cars are in the driveway or on a bookshelf, tuner enthusiasts can now express themselves in their own unique way. You can bolt on those new wheels, swap out the exhaust, or install a new body kit without getting your hands dirty. Or you can simply display your dream tuner car and let everyone know what you’re all about. The die-cast industry has taken bench racing to a whole new level at price points that appeal to everyone.

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