Book Spotlight: ‘Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits’
As a child, I spent many afternoons helping my dad put together scale models of classic sports, muscle, and race cars in his workshop. Like the glue we used to adhere numerous tiny plastic parts, we bonded over the hobby that he had growing up — and was passing along to me. Although I don’t spend time assembling model cars like I used to, I still enjoy revisiting those days by looking over our old creations and browsing vintage kits on Ebay.
A recent way my Dad and I have revisited our old hobby is by reading Tim Boyd’s new book, Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits. Published by CarTech Books, this publication chronicles the biggest decades of model kit production.
Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits:
A Showcase of America’s Most Popular Model Kits
by Tim Boyd
Product Details: Softcover, 176 pages, 8.5″ × 11″
Publication Date: July 2018
Publisher: CarTech Inc.
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Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits summary
If by chance you pick up this book and don’t have enough of an understanding to comprehend or appreciate what’s to come, Boyd begins Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits with a useful introduction. It outlines the need-to-know basics, including the model car kit fad, what a muscle car technically is, and how to read through the book itself. The first chapter delves deeper into hobby, discussing the types of kits, leading manufacturing companies, and the evolution of production. The second chapter follows up with definitions of model car kit terminology and development/reissue trends.
From there, the reader has an ample understanding of the hobby to tackle the rest of the book, which is organized by automobile OEM — Ford, Pontiac, Chevy, and such. Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits concludes with a spotlight on current enthusiasts’ efforts to collect and preserve original kits.
Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits review
The pages are filled with full-color images of the kit boxes in impressively pristine condition. Photos of out-of-box, completed model cars are relegated to “Scale Showroom” sections at the end of each chapter. It would have been nice to have more pictures showing the “guts” of the models and the contents of the boxes, but considering the book focuses on collection rather than assembly, the current photos suffice.
What the photos might lack in detail and originality, Boyd makes up for in the text with his colorful writing style and thorough familiarity with the industry — both scale models and the original full-size vehicles that inspired them. Particularly, his insight into how designers adapted full-scale cars into plastic models — and the hurdles they encountered — was intriguing.
As the title suggests, Collecting Muscle Car Kits is much more about researching, understanding, and preserving specific kits rather than honoring the art, inner workings, and customization of model car kits. Some readers may find the lack of pictures of the kits themselves disappointing, but Boyd covers a lot of production history and development/release information within 176 pages. Thus, his book makes an excellent addition to the library of current kit collectors and those wanting to revisit an old childhood hobby.
Boyd’s thorough research of and own affection for muscle car model kits, which saturates the pages, make Collecting Muscle Car Kits a nostalgic read.
Collecting Muscle Car Model Kits is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, and other retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.