I’m excited that the garage sale season is starting up again! This Iso Grifo was a nice garage sale find. It was one of those sales that my wife and son would call a “rubbish sale.” However, their definition of rubbish is sometimes different than mine. It was strange, though, in that it was a bachelor guy who didn’t have any toys, games or children’s clothes. But there, on a table with a bunch of completely unrelated odd and ends was this one nice little Matchbox. It had a bit of adhesive on the roof, which I was able to clean off with some rubbing alchohol.
Early versions of the Italian Iso Grifo, which was made from 1963 to 1974, were powered by a modified Chevrolet Corvette 327 V8.
1968 | 14 | Iso Grifo | enamel dark blue with light blue interior | Superfast wheels
My son isn’t really into cars. He’s much more interested in superheroes and monsters. About the only way I can get him excited about one of my cars is if it has a superhero or a monster on it. Well, he did approve of this eBay purchase – a lot of four superhero-related Hot Wheels from 1979. These are a bunch of fun – and there are a few more superhero cars from 1979 that I’d like to get ahold of as well.
1979 | 2877 | Spider-Man | black, raised bar on base, red & white trim | Hong Kong | blackwalls
1979 | 2878 | The Incredible Hulk | yellow, two small rear windows | Hong Kong | blackwalls
1979 | 2880 | Thor | yellow | Hong Kong | blackwalls
This Corgi Supermobile was sort of a bonus in the lot. I think it’s the only Corgi I have in my collection (so far). My son was the one who figured out how to make the two fists punch out of the front of the car by pushing the red button on the back. It’s missing most of the glass, but the red plastic Superman is still intact in the cockpit.
1979 | Corgi Supermobile | blue, red interior
Update: In my stash of old comic books, I found this ad for the Corgi Superman series on the inside back cover of the 1979 Sgt. Fury #153.
I’d been watching and bidding on a few of these old Impalas on eBay for awhile, but most of them were going way outside my price range – partly because they originated in the UK, but mostly just because they’re worth a fair chunk of money. Finally I managed to find one in Canada that had a hole in the back window, a missing tow hook, and less than perfect paint. A good fit for my misfit collection. I won the bidding and waited excitedly to receive my prize in the mail. But the seller had basically tossed it in a bubble wrap envelope and sent it on its way. By the time it arrived in my mailbox, the roof of the car had been crushed as you see it here. Fortunately, the seller was kind enough to refund my entire purchase, so I accepted the car into my collection despite its many flaws. Even with a crushed top, the lines of the ’61 are undeniably awesome.
1961 | 57 | Chevrolet Impala | metallic blue body, light blue roof, black base | gray plastic wheels
This one is for my niece, a rabid racing fan, and her husband, a stock car pilot and stand-up guy, who will be flying out to the desert to attend the NASCAR event this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I’m not a huge NASCAR fan, and I normally don’t include the more recent model years in my Impala collection, but I appreciate the contribution that Danica Patrick has made to this male-dominated sport. She has had great success in open-wheel racing, including her 3rd-place finish in the 2009 Indy 500. Although she finished fourth at last year’s Las Vegas NASCAR race, she has been given 50-1 odds to win it this year.
Anyway, I hope my niece and her husband have a great time at the races!
2011 New Models | Danica Patrick 2010 Chevy Impala | 37/244 | blue with red and yellow Hot Wheels graphics
These are two old redlines that I picked up on eBay. Eventually, I’d like to pick up the Indy Eagle and the Brabham-Repco F1 from the same year. I love the minimal shapes of these Indy cars from the 60s, and this Shelby is one of my favorite of the Spectraflame colors.
1969 | 6262 | Lotus Turbine | metallic emerald green | redlines
1969 | 6265 | Shelby Turbine | metallic aqua | redlines
I became a pretty big fan of Indy racing when I lived in Phoenix in the late 80s. I worked for a company that did the concessions at Phoenix International Raceway and I was given infield passes for all the races. Those were pretty big days in Indy racing. I remember in 1985 when Al Unser cracked the 160 mph mark at PIR. And in 1987, Roberto Guerrero won the fastest Indy car race in track history by averaging over 138 mph over the course of the 200-mile contest. I would carry around my Minolta camera with a big zoom lens on it and people would assume I had a press pass to get into the pits as well. So I got some decent shots of some of the cars and drivers. One of my favorites is this shot of Michael and Mario Andretti talking to a reporter before the Circle K Fiesta Bowl 200 in 1986.
And here’s a shot I got of both of them on the track. Michael won the race and Mario took third.
Speaking of Indy cars and the Andrettis, I have the Mario and Michael cars that Racing Champions put out in 1989.
Also, back in 1996, Johnny Lightning came out with the Indianapolis 500 Champions Collection. These were two-car packs that featured the Indy 500 winning car and the pace car from the same year. I was never able to find the 1969 Mario Andretti version (a Brawner Hawk) with the Camaro pace car in the stores, but I eventually found this one on eBay.
And finally, another little Indy-related item. This is a ceramic name plaque that I’ve had since I was a kid.