Vote for your favorite collectors

Announcing the top 30 collectors in the running to join this year’s Diecast Hall of Fame! As a reminder, nominations were made for the following categories –

  • Automotive Legend – Recognizing those within the industry who have set the bar so high and achieved such success and accolades as to be considered premier automotive legends through design or deed.
  • Collector of the Year – Recognizing those who embody the spirit of the hobby; a dedicated collector who gives back to the community, helps strengthen and grow the hobby and is an all-round diecast star.
  • Diecast Customizer  – Recognizing those who have taken the art of diecast collecting to a new level with their hand crafted design efforts.
  • Diecast Designer – Recognizing those who provide the most accurate and interesting scaled model replication to the community.
  • Diecast Entrepreneur – Recognizing those who have made a successful living while improving the Industry for the collector community.
  • Diecast Historian – Recognizing those who have continued to share their knowledge of the hobby and industry whether in print or on the web digitally with audio, video or static representation

With your help, one nominee from each category will be inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame in November. The final winners will be selected based on a combination of committee and public votes. For each category, you can only vote once and for one nominee. Once you submit your votes and email address, you’ll receive an email link you have to click on to confirm your vote. Thanks for voting for your favorite Diecast Hall of Fame Nominee!


Automotive Legends

There’s something about comedians and cars that we can’t figure out. It seems that as they get older, their passion for cars deepens. There are lots of examples, from Jay Leno to Jerry Seinfeld. This time, we’re going to discuss Tim Allen’s (star of Home Improvement and Last Man Standing) extensive American classic car collection. When the comedian saved enough money, he decided to make his childhood dream come true. Tim Allen made a collection of cars inspired by toy cars with which he used to play as a kid. His collection includes a 1933 Ford Roadster, 1986 Ford RS200, 1962 Chevrolet 409 Bel Air, and a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT, of which only 1270 were built with only 604 sold in the U.S. 

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Ray Evernham currently works as a NASCAR analyst for ESPN and a consultant for Hendrick Companies. He has also worked as the auto racing crew chief for Bill Davis Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, and was the owner of Evernham Motorsports from 2001-2010. Evernham was Jeff Gordon’s crew chief when Gordon won the Winston Cup Series three-times. In 1999, Evernham won the NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated “Person of the Year”. Prior to his career as a crew chief, Evernham was a modified racer until he crashed in 1993, damaging his brain stem and impairing his depth perception.

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As CEO for all of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Design, Ralph Gilles has been instrumental in creating myriad vehicles that have led to classic die-cast vehicles. During his tenure as a designer and now head of the entire program, he has been involved in the Gen 3, 4 and 5 Dodge Viper, all variants of the 2006-present Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300, 2009-present Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Jeep Wrangler just to name a few. He is a top-notch race driver, pure car guy and the ultimate ambassador for both FCA and the car culture in general.

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Rick Hendrick is the owner of the NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports and founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Marrow Program. Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 NASCAR Cups and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017. Hendrick also founded a drag boat racing team in the late 1970s, winning three consecutive championships and setting a world record of 222.2 mph with Nitro Fever before moving to NASCAR. In the NASCAR Model Sportsman Series (now the Xfinity Series), Hendrik earned a victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Dale Earnhardt. In total, Hendrick’s foray into automotive racing has won 12 Spring Cup Series, 1 Xfinity Series, and three Camping World Truck Series.

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Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. She has the first and only win by an woman in an IndyCar Series race when she won the 2008 Indy Japan 300. Patrick can also claim the highest finish by a woman in the Indy 500 when she placed third in 2009. In 2013, Patrick became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole after running the fastest qualifying lap since 1990. Her eight place finish in the 2013 Daytona 500 is the highest finish for any woman.

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Diecast Customizers

Joe Alvarado is a model car customizer who specializes in Hot Wheels and other diecast cars. In 2015, he placed 1st in the Diorama Class at the 2015 Hot Wheels Nationals for his entry ‘Taste The RainBLOWN’ and 2nd in the Pro Mild category at the 13th Annual Collectors Nationals Custom Car Contest in 2013 for ‘Gas and Glown’. He is known in the customizer community as LoRide57 Customs.

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Bannarit is a Thai maker of extremely high-detail one-off handmade model vehicles in various scales. He is also an accomplished painter of automotive and other subjects.

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Steve Hamm is a diecast customizer. Hamm creates exact customized scale models to match his customers’ vehicles, as well as creating new and unique customs. Hamm uses castings and will add details such as hood scoops or spoilers, or chopping them to add or take away items, such as fenders or bumpers.

Hamm and his wife Christine helped starting the Rhode Island Hot Wheels Club with help from friends Jim Lombardi and Dan Spaulding.  The pair have worked as staff members at all five Summer Smash conventions.  In the summer, Hamm attends car shows with his mustangs.

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Brian Moffitt’s customizations are known throughout the community as being different and unique. Moffitt’s pieces will almost always feature at least one modification to the body, such as adding an extra axle, a stretched cab, or removable pieces. He is a contributor to the Hot World Customs blog.

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Karli Sanger is a well known German diecast customizer. Sanger’s work often features science fiction themed customizations, including Freddy Krueger, zombies, and, most commonly, Boba Fett. He is even known in the community as KMS KrautCustom-KarliFett, which refers to the Star Wars character. He recently was recognized as the “VIP Customizer” at a Hot Wheels convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was featured in Chris Walkers’ book The Ultimate Guide to the Hot Wheels Drag Bus.

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Diecast Designers

Sei Cho started as designer at Jada Toys in 2003, then worked for Hot Wheels, then moved on to a different design industry and came back to die-cast industry as a manager at Jada Toys since May 2016. He has worked on casting and graphic design for Big Time Muscle, Just Trucks, JDM Tuners and entertainment vehicles such as the Fast and Furious and Transformers models.

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As an “80’s” air brusher Kevin has been around custom cars and shows for almost 20 years. Before working at toy companies, Kevin was designing shirts and logos for car shows and aftermarket automotive companies. His career in the toy industry started at Jada Toys in 2002 where he was the art director. Kevin helped Jada Toys set one of the biggest wheel trends and graphics known as DUBCITY, Import Racers, Road Rats and others. Some graphics were used on 1/1 scale real cars as well. Kevin still designs but spends most of his time focused on photography and videos for Maisto Inc.’s Bburago and Bb Junior for marketing and tvc usage.

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Tony Karamitsos currently serves as Brand Manager and senior designer for Round2. Tony is known for his attention to detail having designed hundreds of highly detailed die-cast replicas for numerous scales for Johnny Lightning, Auto World, Racing Champions, American Muscle, Legends of the Quarter Mile, Silver Screen Machines, slot car replicas, resin models & model kits throughout the years. Tony has been designing die-cast cars since 1999 starting at Playing Mantis. Karamitsos was one of the four original Playing Mantis designers. He went on to work for RC2 when Playing Mantis was sold in 2004.  When Tom Lowe started Round2 he was hired in from the very beginning to present time managing all of the die-cast and slot car brands.

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Brad started drawing big rigs as a child and has never looked back. He started at the age of 13 airbrushing and sign painting and also worked for 2 ad agencies as creative director and art director for numerous automotive magazines and automotive aftermarket companies in San Diego. His first exposure to the toy industry was when X-Concepts brought him in as senior designer of the Tech Deck brand. At X-Concepts he was instrumental in creating the Tech Deck Dude line, Tech Kart, Tech Bike, Tech MX brands and also their first and only automotive line for X-Concepts, MODIFIERS. Brad has been a senior designer and product designer at Maisto/Bburago for 12 years. He’s kept the company in the hobby market with his Maisto Design, Elite Transport, Allstars, Tow & Go designs along with play lets, motorcycles and radio control vehicles and more. Brad was one of the main designers responsible for all of Maisto Custom Shop, G-Ridez, Players and Pro Rods. Brad has an affinity for design and an exciting dedication to the die-cast community.

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Brendon Vetuskey began working for Hot Wheels in 2007 for the Track & Play Sets team working on numerous Trick Tracks product lines. He eventually became a design manager developing Hot Wheels Entertainment track/play sets including Monster Jam, Marvel, and Max Steel, among others. After nearly three years, Vetuskey decided to return to a pure design role within Mattel so he could “focus more on designing toys rather than attend meetings.”

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Diecast Entreprenuers

Lyndon Davies is the founder of the highly successful Oxford Diecast brand, a company famous for its variety of diecast in subject matter and scale. Davies built the Oxford Diecast Brand from scratch, starting as an apprentice for Mettoy. Davies is now venturing into Model Railways while Oxford is continuing to offer high quality diecast vehicles.

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Paul G. Lang is the founder of Minichamps, which was originally founded as Paul’s Model Art GmbH in 1990 in Aachen, Germany. The first diecast car Paul’s Model Art made by Minichamps was a 1:43 scale of Hans-Joachim Stuck’s DTM-winning GTC Audi V8.

The company officially changed its name to Minichamps in 1996. Due to their highly detailed model cars, Minichamps came to produce official promotional replicas for the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. Prior to Minichamps and Paul’s Model Art, Paul Lang owned the trade company Danhausen.

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Jennifer and Mark Millhollin are the owners and operators of Collectors Events Unlimited. The diecast power couple have Collectors Events Unlimited organizes the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Conventions and the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Nationals. The long time enthusiasts are also owners of the L.A. based, Far Out Collectibles, a specialty diecast retailer.

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Steve Reddell was among the original diecast customizers of ethid 90’s. He took his talent and passion for diecast and turned it into a successful career. Redell is a renowned customizer as has provided products for Hot Wheels Annual Conventions, other national conventions as well as U.S. promotional pieces for corporate awards.

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Jimmy Yee is the founder of AUTOart, a global leader in model car manufacturing. Yee’s large manufacturing plants, competitive labor rates, and skills of his laborers contributed to AUTOart becoming the world’s largest producers of 1/18 scale diecast models. Yee’s drive, knowledge, and attention to detail has been the catalyst for AUTOart’s incredible work and sustainability.

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Diecast Historians

Bill has written a large body of articles for DiecastX Magazine 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: Exoto, CMC, AutoArt, Kyosho, Minichamps, GMP and others. Besides writing, Bill has also consulted with Precision Miniatures, Replicarz, Kyosho and CMC on project selection and histories. His collection numbers around 500-550.

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Jack Clark is a well-respected expert, historian and Hot Wheels pioneer as an author of several comprehensive collectors’ guides dedicated to the early days of the hobby. Over the course of more than 20 years, Clark tapped into his expertise of Mattel products, circa 1966 through 1977, via publications such as the “Ultimate Redline Guide” and the “Elite Redline Guideline” series. Clark also lent his knowledge of Redline-era diecasts to websites such as Chickluu’s Fabulous Redlines and the now-defunct website redlinesonline.com. 

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Robert (or short Bob) Fellows specializes in Auto Word and Johnny Lightning, documents both brands and early-on started Social Media accounts for both: Started the Johnny Lightning Facebook, searched and invited designers from the Playing Mantis era, currently works on a concept to document Johnny Lightning prototypes on www.jlproto.com (not yet active), started a Auto World Facebook group that includes many of the Round 2 designers, started the Auto World Instagram fan page runs the Twitter pages for Auto World, Johnny Lightning and Racing Champions and just launched www.AWcollector.net (with Wyatt Davis). Also collects automobilia, in particular Baldwin Motion pieces (Bob grow up in Baldwin, NY).

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Theodore (Ted) Gray 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, ’68-’77. The site features details of the variations of the diecast cars, associated track sets, promotions and mechandise. The OLRG is also the comprehensive on-line resource for information on the rare Mexican redlines made under license by CIPSA. Ted’s personal collection focuses on the Hot Wheels castings which feature turbine engines such as the Superfine Turbine. He also has assembled the most complete collection of CIPSA diecast cars to date.

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Paolo Rampini is an Italian author and publisher of books on cars and vintage toys who has been writing about automobiles since 1965. He became an author and editor of collectible toys and models in 1982. Between 1982 through 2007, Rampini released 17 books, including the Golden Book of Model Cars (1995) and Slotcars Made in Europe: 1930 – 1980 (2003), which found success in the United States. His last book, Model Cars in the World was published in 2007 and holds the record for most individual cars photographed at around 16,000 cars. A lifelong collector, Rampini now has a collection of approximately 12,000 pieces, made up of mostly diecast cars.

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Collector of the Year 2017

Paul David has one of if not the biggest diecast Ferrari collection in the world, with over 300 Prototypes. His extensive knowledge and passion for Ferrari collecting has led him to serve a kind of Ferrari guru to fellow collectors.

 

James Elliot has been collecting and displaying cars since the early 70’s. And still has some of his cars from his childhood.

A great collector with some very rare Redlines and other Hot Wheels. He loves to race them, too. No matter if the casting may be worth thousands of dollars, it will still go down the orange track, and he keeps his entire family involved in the hobby.  Gomez has always gone above and beyond to help others with answers when asked about particular diecast and colors and readability into diecast.

Woody Itson has more than 30 years experience when it comes to collecting Redline Hot Wheels. Itson now espouses that wisdom via his Facebook page the Redline Trading Company.

Tim has exemplified the meaning of collecting Diecast cars. His passion is collecting all types of Diecast Batmobiles which include Corgis, Ertl, Kenner and Mattel. He has well over 200 different types of Batmobiles and variants, both loose and carded pieces. He has well over 1000 instagram followers that enjoy his page.


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