Die casting is a process by which molten metal is forced into a mold until they cool and harden into the desired shape. The process was invented in 1838 for use in the printing industry. However, you are probably more familiar with its role in creating scale versions of your favorite vehicles. From the affordable Matchbox and Hot Wheels brands up to the expensive Tamiya and AutoArt examples, you can find any vehicle which you might desire. Are they mere toys or can they be considered works of art?
I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Your basic Matchbox car was (still is really) a fun toy to glide across your kitchen floor or table. However, an example like the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta shown above is much more than a basic toy. It has hand crafted attention to detail on par with the original 1:1 version.
Yet it is still basically a toy of sorts. It just happens to cost close to three hundred bucks, and you might actually cry if it breaks. The good thing is that you wouldn’t cry as much as the guy who actually owns a real one and put a scratch on it.
The diecast market is full of amazing examples of wonderfully crafted machines. The artists who put them together have a loving attention to detail and one could stare for quite some time taking in all the minutia. It’s more than just making sure the paint and wheels are correct. These mini masterpieces make sure the stitching on the seats and the radiator cap are perfectly matched to the original.
Diecast cars represent a wonderful arena for automotive enthusiasts to capture pieces of the machines they love. I think that there is a level of production and quality that pushes many examples of this work into the realm of true art.
I am very new to this world of collectible diecast cars but I have a few sitting next to me. A Porsche 356 Roadster, a Ferrari 550 Maranello, a Datsun 240Z all in 1/18 scale are occupying space on my desk garage. A mini Ford Raptor is still wrapped in the packaging it came in, as is a scale electric version of the STILLEN Ford GT. In fact, I just received a new arrival in the mail last week and I will share it with you later this afternoon.
Please share your favorite examples or even bits from your own collection in the comments below.
[Photos courtesy of Diecast.org]