In a recent survey of a sci-fi collecting community, I was surprised at how many people had classic cars as a hobby prior to expanding into the sci-fi universe of collecting. Who hasn’t dropped hints to their significant other to try to get their classic Ford or Chevy on Chip Foose’s Overhaulin’ show on the Discovery Channel? Foose has designed vehicles for major motion pictures such as Blade Runner, Gone in 60 Seconds, and RoboCop, and he’s rebuilding cars for nominees on his show. What’s cooler than that? And who doesn’t wish they had Jay Leno’s garage full of classic cars, and his resources to rebuild them?
Decades ago I dreamed of taking an old classic ’57 Chevy Bel Air and rebuilding it into a street rod. So I did it–via a 1:25 scale plastic model kit, first building the model on the box, then sanding it into a rusted mess, then building it back up into a competition orange rod. Lots cheaper than doing it with the real thing. Finding myself wandering a local hobby shop this weekend I noticed several new retro entries in the model car kit category that I hadn’t seen before. I wish I had time to make them all. So check these out, and if you have a car enthusiast, young or old, on this year’s gift giving list, keep these in mind.
Who you gonna call? How about the Ghostbusters and their Ecto-IA hearse? It’s the car Dan Aykroyd bought and thought was just perfect for the team’s new business. It’s from AMT and available for less than $25.
Who doesn’t think Doc Brown’s DeLorean isn’t one of the coolest cars in all of sci-fi? You can pre-order a Back to the Future time machine car fully tricked out for less than $30. It even comes with a flux capacitor.
Do you miss Shag and Scoob and the rest of the Scooby Gang? How about getting your own Mystery Machine? It’s available for less than $20.
Hey-hey-how about the crazy custom mod Pontiac GTO designed by Dean Jeffries for the Monkees on their 1960s TV series? It’s called the Monkeemobile and it looks like those crazy custom car stickers everyone used to have on their Trapper Keepers. Get one for less than $25.
How about the over-the-top Munsters Koach made for the old black and white series starring Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster? Who can forget this freakish machine? This model kit is available for less than $25.
This is the car kit that caused me to do a double take in the hobby shop–it’s Christine–the 1958 Plymouth Fury that became a little possessive of its owner in Stephen King’s novel turned 1983 horror classic. Christine retails for less than $30.
Every kid in the 1980s at one time had an orange 1969 Dodge Charger from the Dukes of Hazzard, whether it was a Hot Wheels car or model kit, it’s an instantly recognizable icon of the TV show. You can get one for less than $20.
If you think the coolest of all Batmobiles was the Batmobile driven by Michael Keaton, then this stylish machine may be right for you. Seen in the first two Batman movies starting in the late 1980s, this one would look good on your desk at work. It’s available for less than $35.
Then there’s the car anyone could afford–life-sized even. It’s a 1972 Chevy Nova. This one is based on the car driven by Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. Insert your Harold Faltermeyer soundtrack here. You can get it for slightly less than Blue Book for a real Nova, under $30.
Is a post-apocalyptic ride your thing? You can get the Mad Max Road Warrior modified 1973 Ford Falcon for less than $50.
Missing your Bruce Lee fix? Get a Green Hornet “Black Beauty” classic car from the hit TV series for less than $40.
And we’ve saved the best for last–Steve McQueen’s 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback from Bullitt. It’s the coolest car from the best car-focused action flick of all time. These are harder to find, but you can find them for less than $40.
Can’t you just smell the aroma of Testors enamel paint? Get building (or buying)!