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Die Cast Essentials

Die Cast Essentials

A. J. Foyt 1961 Watson

Recently, while reviewing my collection of die cast racing cars, and I asked myself a very simple question – what am I missing? As a student of history – especially autoracing history –my collection of Indy racers almost to the point where I believed most of the definitive cars in 1:18 scale were included in the all star grid. I didn’t have every Indy racer made, not by a long shot, but I had the important ones that, historically speaking, captured the spirit of this special category of American open-wheels competition. In my book, these cars that were important because of one or more of the following criteria: Technology, success or the success of the drivers that raced them, or the car represented a marked turning point in the sport.

To reinforce my decisions, I contacted my good friend, Greg White at Designs-In-Motion in Chesterfield, Missouri, and said: “Greg, I feel like I have collected almost all of the important 1:18 scale Indy cars that are available. Here’s my list ……. what am I missing?” A few days later Greg e-mailed responded by saying that I was missing three cars he felt were important to have a really definitive collection. After careful review follwed by additional research it was easy to determine he was right on the mark. I have since added those three cars to my collection.

This exercise got me thinking, wouldn’t it be interesting if we took a particular type of car and came up with a list of 1:18 scale cars that really defined that type, or at least as well as we could with what was currently available. I know there are some collectors out there that will feel that we have too many or too few, but my initial target was to have somewhere between 12 and 20 cars for my Indy 500 group.

We will attempt do one type each issue and you can compare your collection with the list we have. At the same time, you can be an interactive part of the process by telling us how what you feel fits in as die cast essentials. It might also give both of us some direction in expanding our own collections. With the recently introductions of new 1:18 scale cars, now is a great time to fill in the holes in any collection and have some fun doing it. We might even find some cars that the manufacturers have overlooked and be able to persuade one of them to build it for us.

Here’s the definitive Indy 500 List:
Indy 500 (USAC-CART-IRL-Champ Car)

CarDriverYearDie Cast maker
Kurtis KraftBill Vukovich1953 or 1954 Carousel 1 4553 or 4554
SalikSam Hanks1957 Carousel 1 5051
WatsonA.J. Foyt1961 Carousel 1 4401
WatsonParnelli Jones1963 Carousel 1  4415
WatsonA.J. Foyt1964 Carousel 1  4406
Lotus 38J immy Clark1965Carousel 1 5201
CoyoteA.J. Foyt1967Carousel 1 4901
Lotus-TurbineGraham Hill1968Carousel 1 5252
Brawner-Hawk   Mario Andretti 1969Ertl
McLarenMark Donohue1972 Carousel 1 4821
McLarenJohnny Rutherford1974 Carousel 1 4801
AAR EagleBobby Unser1975 &n
bsp; Carousel 1 4701
CoyoteA.J. Foyt1977 Carousel 1 4951
MarchRick Mears1984 Carousel 1 5310
DallaraScott Dixon2008Greenlight
DallaraDanica Patrick2008Greenlight

By having these cars in a collection you would have : Winning Indy cars driven by of A.J. Foyt, Bill Vukovich, Mario Andretti and Bobby Unser. A Kurtis Kraft, three Watsons, two each from Dallara, Lotus and Penske, a McLaren, March, a turbine car, plus the first rear-engine winner , first “reunited” IRL/ Champ Car winner and the only winner driven by a women in an IndyCar race.


What die cast car have yet to be offered: The Ray Harroun winner of the first 500 The STP Granatelli/Parnelli Jones “Silent Sam” turbine An Al Unser Sr. winner Many important cars between the end of WWI and beginning of WWII.

A. J. Foyt 1964 Watson

A. J. Foyt 1967 Coyote

A. J. Foyt 1977 Coyote

Andretti 1969 Brawner-Hawk

Bill Vukovich 1953 Kurtis

Bill Vukovich 1954 Kurtis

Bobby Unser 1975 Eagle

Danica Patrick 2008 Dallara

Graham Hill 1968 Lotus Turbine

Jim Clark 1965 Lotus

Johnny Rutherford 1974 McLaren

Parnelli Jones 1963 Watson Ol’Calhoun

Rick Mears 1984 March

Sam Hanks 1957 Salik Laydown

Scott Dixon 2008 Dallara



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  1. Just received the Brawner Hawk from replicarz and am favorably impressed. The details are done well and the red paint is color-accurate and properly applied. First resin car and cannot tell by looking at it that it isn’t die cast.

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