The SHELBY AMERICAN
Winter 2016 62
Model cars play a large role in the Shelby and Cobra collectible arena. In the 1960s there were only a handful of 1:25-scale plastic
models. As the slot car craze caught on, Cobra and GT40 plastic bodies were created for slot car chassis. Plastic models continued
through the 1970s and 1980s with many of the same kits receiving make-overs (new box art, decals and pieces like wheels and
engine parts). Every five years or so an entire new generation of young model builders entered the hobby. The latest kits were totally
new to them. For collectors, these re-issues added to the scope of collecting. Smaller 1:43-scale (usually pre-built) metal models,
mostly from England and Japan, became popular and small-scale plastic toys such as Mattel “Hot Wheels” filled toy store shelves.
By the 1990s larger, 1:18-scale pre-built metal diecast models became popular. They were highly detailed and historically accurate,
but not overly expensive (around $100) thanks to factories in China full of child laborers working for pennies an hour.