As the Diecast Hall of Fame induction ceremony approaches, excitement is building among the diecast industry and collectors. The nominees to be inducted as our Historian of the Year have spent countless hours over many years researching, documenting, and publishing guides for diecast enthusiasts of all stripes..
And you can help decide who will be inducted… After you read about these talented individuals, head over to the Diecast Hall of Fame ballot and vote!
Here are the nominees in the Diecast Historian category, listed in alphabetical order.
Bill has written a large body of articles for DiecastX Magazine (one of the Hall’s Community Supporter) over 8 years, generally contributing 1-4 articles per edition. He also wrote for Diecast DownUnder and Diecast Zone (Scale 18). Bill wrote box art histories for most of Precision Miniatures Altered Series and all of their 1933 Willys Gasser Series.
His focus is primarily 1:18 scale models, but he also collect 1:12th cars, 1:6th, engines, 1:43rd and 1:64th models. He started collecting Dinky Toys when he was 9 years old and still has his complete collection of Dinkys. He then moved on to Bburago and eventually moved into the high-end of 1:18 scale: AutoArt, CMC, Exoto, GMP, Kyosho, Minichamps and others.
Besides writing, Bill has also been a consultant with CMC, Kyosho, Precision Miniatures and Replicarz on project selection and histories. He estimates his diecast collection to include between 500 and 550 vehicles.
Jack is a Hot Wheels expert, historian and author of several comprehensive collectors’ guides dedicated to the early days of the hobby. Over a 20 year span, he tapped into his expertise of 1966 through 1977 Mattel products with the “Ultimate Redline Guide” and the “Elite Redline Guideline” series.
He collects the Redlines from that era, as you would imagine, as well as the other offshoots from Mattel. “ I also collect all the other related cool vehicles that Mattel produced during the Redline Era,” he sais, “such as Chopcycles, EarthShakers, Sizzlers, Farbs, Revvers, Hot birds, Hot line, Hot Shots, Gran Toros, Small Shots, Zowees and RRRumblers.”
In fact, he’s a fan of toys from the ’60s and ’70s in general. “the very first die-cast cars that I collected were Corgi. I particularly liked the character cars from the TV shows with my favorite being the Gren Hornet Black Beauty.”
His favorite Hot Wheels car of all time is the Olds 442 in purple, which, to no surprise, he would like to own as a real car too.
Clark also lent his knowledge of Redline-era diecasts to websites such as Chickluu’s Fabulous Redlines (another one of the Hall’s Community Supporters) and the now-defunct website redlinesonline.com. “I love that we’re all always learning in this crazy but fun hobby, which enables us to share the knowledge we all have with each other.”
Fellows uses the most modern methods to docment diecast history, employing varoius social media platforms to research and share his findings. He specializes in Auto Word and Johnny Lightning, creating widely followed Facebook pages for both brands. He’s currently working with Playing Mantis era designers to document Johnny Lightning pre-production ad prototypes onlline.
His earliest favorite diecst car was the Hot Wheels Formula 5000 from 1976. “It’s long gone in someone’s sand box but I did buy a mint example several years ago. Super cool casting.”
He started collecting Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars in the early ’90s, and was really struck by the new Johnny Lightning brand a couple years later. “In 1998 I slowed down on the 1/64 cars,” he said. “I started collecting 1/24 and 1/18 NASCAR die cast. I had a lot of fun in the NASCAR hobby, but I was always drawn to the smaller scale and real cars. So back I went.” If space and budget weren’t concerns, he would own a real 1969 Camaro RS/SS.
In addition to social media, he started AWCollector.net, a site documenting all 1/64 Auto World Die cast including their chase programs. He works with Wyatt Davis who owns JLCollector.net. Additional sites including JLProto.com (the aforementioned JL prototype project) and RCMCollector.net (coming soon) for documenting Racing Champions Mint issued by Round 2.
Theodore (Ted) Gray
Ted is the owner, developer and custodian of the Online Redline Guide. For over 10 years, the OLRG has provided detailed information on the Hot Wheels product line from the redline era, from 1968 to ’77. In addition to the cars themselves. his site features associated track sets, promotions and merchandising materials.
Despite his passion for the early Hot Wheels, he has an unusual theme for his personal collection. He focuses on the Hot Wheels castings which feature turbine engines such as the Superfine Turbine.
The OLRG is the only comprehensive on-line resource for information on the rare Mexican redlines made under license by CIPSA. Needless to say, Ted also has assembled the most complete collection of CIPSA diecast cars to date.
Paolo has been writing and publishing books about cars and vintage toys since 1965. Clear photography and accurate information are hallmarks of his work, even if you have to translate them from Italian to understand every word.
By 2007, he had published 17 books, between including the Golden Book of Model Cars as well as volumes on Bburago and Brumm. In 2003 his book on slot cars book became the standard by which all such books are measured. That most recent book, “Model Cars in the World 1900-1985,” features photos of approximately 16,000 model cars, considered a record for a single volume.
Since then, Paolo has only become more prolific. His most recent guides, from 2016, include Mercury (the Italian diecast company, not the division of Ford Motor Company), multiple volumes on Politoys/Polistil, and Mebetoys, broken into books on different scales.
In addition to collecting and writing about model cars, Paolo has tried his hand at marketing his own brand of resin model kits, but publising has remained his primary passion. A lifelong collector, he now has a collection of approximately 12,000 pieces, made up of mostly diecast cars.
The 2017 Diecast Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be held November 2, at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. For more details of to buy tickets, visit the DHOF event page.