Every serious collector of diecast and scale model cars I’ve ever enjoyed meeting knew that collecting did not hold out much if any promise of return on investment. You collected because you loved to collect the models. You had a better chance of making money investing quarters in a parking meter.


Still, we’ve been curious what might be the return an astute collector might have made over the past decade. A collector who bought models that were exceptionally well done, and exceptionally limited. And who avoided the sentimental selection; a SunStar replica of the car you drove on the first date with your wife.

We don’t know of any studies to cover this fascinating subject.  (Know any, please contact us!)

What we’re offering here sure is NOT SCIENTIFIC, only for fun. But just for fun, suppose we calculated the annual compound rate of return of 10 mint cars issued in 2007 and 2008. We would have the issue price and we could get the current value from auctions concluded in the past 2 – 3 months.

Which 10 cars? We turned to Tony Perrone, exalted Diecast Zone impresario, and original board member. He consulted his astrological charts and that day’s specials at Tupelo Honey Cafe, choosing 5 Franklin Mint and 5 Danbury Mint models.

Yes, this is a ludicrously low sample; if you’re looking for Big Data, this ain’t it. Below we give our results.

Among the five Danbury Mint models from 2007, the rare T-Bird shows a compound annual rate of appreciation as high as 26%. That means this replica appreciated at a rate of 26% per year. Three of the other models appreciated at least 8% per year. Hey, better than a bank CD during this period!

Had you sold the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado 2 years after issued, you could have realized a 70% annual return. The 1968 Corvette Convertible yielded 40% by 2010. But if you held on until this year, annual returns below 8%.

You got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

This time period (since 2008) was particularly fraught for Franklin Mint. Of the five models, only the 1967 Corvette Roadster put out by Michelle Peters shows a mighty annual return of +20% per annum. Two of the models, including the 1968 Mustang Bullitt model, actually lost 8% per year. The remaining two were financial caterpillars.

Here are the details – this is per year appreciation; compare to your bank returns…

Production Year – 2007 – Danbury Mint

  • #DM1523-DM 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Coupe + 8%
  • #DM1522-DM 1947 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon + 11%
  • #DM1509-DM 1969 Dodge 440 + 9%
  • #1497-DM 1959 Ford Thunderbird Coupe – White + 27%
  • #1465-DM 1968 Corvette Convertible-Pro Touring + 5%

Production Year – 2008 – Franklin Mint

  • #E816-FM  1967 Corvette Roadster -Independent Retailer + 21%
  • #E904-FM 1968 Ford Mustang GT Steve McQueen Bullitt – minus 7%
  • #E789-FM 1958 Plymouth Belvedere Convertible – minus 8%
  • #E501-FM 1936 Hudson Eight Convertible + 3%
  • #E838-FM 1971 Dodge Challenger Indy Pace Car + 4%