On my recent visit to the Paramount Antique Mall, 2.50 was the number of the day. I found the Peterbilt Tanker, the Site Dumper and each of these Racing Champions Stock Rods for $2.50 each. With the 10% sale discount, my haul cost me under $12.
The question posed by the Stock Rods series of the late 1990s, as it explains on the back of the package, is “What if your favorite drivers traded in their stock cars to race in a classic hot rod from the past?” It’s a fun idea, and in addition to opening hoods and nice detailing, each car comes packaged with a display stand and collector card.
There was an entire display of these, but I resisted all but the Impalas in the bunch. The first one that caught my eye was this Ken Schrader ’60 Impala. I love the giant tires on the back, but I think I would install a roll cage before I got behind the wheel of this beast.
Racing Champions | 1998 Stock Rods #67 | ’60 Chevy Impala | green with black top and hood, Schrader APR 33 trim, opening hood | display base and collector’s card
My son really liked this Terry Labonte gold-chrome ’58 Impala Custom convertible trimmed with Fruit Loops and Starburst graphics.
Racing Champions | 1998 Stock Rods #143 | ’58 Impala Custom convertible | gold with Terry Labonte Fruit Loops 5 trim, opening hood | display base and collector’s card
If gold-chrome isn’t your thing, maybe you prefer the somewhat more understated Ricky Craven red ’58 Impala with extra-wide white wall tires.
Racing Champions | 1997 Stock Rods #8 | 1958 Chevy Impala | red with Ricky 25 trim, opening hood | display base and collector’s card
With the recent announcement that Toys R Us will be closing its last Wichita store, it’s safe to say that the Round 2 products (Johnny Lightning, Auto World and Racing Champions) will be harder to find locally. WalMart – which doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon – is where I found these two models from the 2016 Racing Champions Mint series. By adding this pale yellow 1966 Chevy Nova to my collection, I’ve actually completed the set of four versions.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version A) | pale yellow
This dark green 1964 Chevy Impala is the second of four versions that I’ve found – I also have the silver variation.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1964 Chevy Impala (Version A) | dark green
I saw this Racing Champions Police U.S.A. 1960 Chevy Impala at Scale Model Supplies in June. I had always enjoyed this series and have a few of these in my collection from the late 1990s. When I realized the package had been slit open, I asked for a discount when I took it up to the counter. He reluctantly agreed and I’m glad he did. When I got it home and took it out of the blister to inspect it closer, the hood – which has badly cracked paint – fell off.
1998 Police U.S.A. #34 | 1960 Chevy Impala | light blue Pennsylvania State Police, opening (falling off) hood | package slit open
The following cars I picked up years ago when I was still taking them out of the packages. Kansas City is a great town and the ’66 Nova is one sweet ride, so this combination works well for me.
06130 | 1998 Police U.S.A #46 | 1966 Chevy Nova | light blue with K.C.MO. Police trim, opening hood | 1:56
One of my all-time favorite cars, this beautiful tan 1960 Impala bears the State Patrol livery of my home state.
1997 Police U.S.A. #48 | 1960 Chevy Impala | tan North Dakota State Patrol, opening hood
The Twin Cities are another of my favorite places. Here’s a nice ’57 Bel Air St Paul police black and white. This model also has badly cracked and flecked paint.
1996 | ’57 Chevy Bel Air | black and white St. Paul Police | opening hood
I display my North Dakota State Patrol car atop this limited edition Swifty’s Garage Greenlight International Durastar car hauler. I think it looks pretty great.
After finding a lot of success in the early 90s making licensed models of stock cars, in 1996 Racing Champions launched a line of highly-detailed 1:64th-scale models of original factory vehicles called Racing Champions Mint. Then a few years ago, Round2 bought the rights to bring these models back, and I have since added three of the more recent Racing Champions Mint ’66 Novas from 2016 release 2 to my collection.
I found these two 90s Racing Champions Mint 1966 Chevy Novas when I visited Scale Model Supplies in Minneapolis back in June. The colors are not quite as adventurous as the newer releases from Round2, but it’s fun to have examples of both old and new versions.
1998 | Racing Champions Mint Motor Trend | 1966 Chevy Nova | black, opening hood
1998 | Racing Champions Mint Motor Trend | 1966 Chevy Nova | red, opening hood
I also have another loose Racing Champions ’66 Nova from the 90s. This one is without its original packaging, but this model, with its custom paint and wheels, must have come from a different series than Mint.
182 5SS 01 | 1966 Chevy Nova | metallic charcoal gray with satin orange, opening hood
This nice gray 1960 Chevy Impala is version B from the 2017 Racing Champions Mint Release 1. I have several of the Racing Champions 1960 Impalas from 2000 and prior, as well as two from 2016.
2017 | Racing Champions Mint R1 | 1960 Chevy Impala (Version B) | gray
I recently found two more of the Racing Champions Mint 1966 Novas from Release 2. The white model is Version C and the blue one is Version D. I previously found the green Version B, so the only one I am missing is the pale yellow Version A.
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version C) | white
2016 | Racing Champions Mint R2 | 1966 Chevy Nova (Version D) | blue