Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1959-1960 diecast 87th scale model cars

I have a distinct memory of my mother buying me a few tiny diecast cars at Kresge's. They were sold separately in tiny, individual cardboard boxes and were ten cents apiece. For years I tried to find out who made these strange little models which I remembered as being reasonably well detailed for their size, but for years no model experts on the internet seemed to know. Then one day, I found this website and from there I sought out and actually found two nearly complete sets on Ebay imported by Ahi, Inc. The name is not, alas, Japanese, as one might expect. It stands for the distinctly non-Japanese sounding Azrak-Hamway International. There were at least four sets of American cars (1957 though 1960 model years) and at least one set of foreign cars as well as sets of 'old timers', military vehicles and road equipment vehicles. In these sets, a dozen cars were displayed individually in tiny plastic showcases. Admittedly the sculpting is somewhat crude but they are still recognizable with specific features on grills and hand painted trims. I must admit I still find them rather endearing, mostly because it makes me recall that one day long ago in Kresge's at Bacon's Shopping Center in Louisville, KY. Each is slightly less than 2" long.
1959 Buick
1959 Cadillac
1959 Chevrolet
1959 DeSoto
1959 Chrysler
1959 Dodge
1959 Ford
1959 Oldsmobile
1959 Plymouth
1959 Pontiac
1959 Rambler
1960 Buick
1960 Cadillac
1960 Chevrolet
1960 DeSoto
1960 Dodge
1960 Edsel
1960 Ford Falcon
1960 Lincoln
1960 (?) Opel Capitan
1960 (?) Volkswagen
1960 (?) Daimler DK400 Limousine

3 comments:

Eric J. said...

Great page here with some very nice photos. I have a few of these myself and I really enjoy this series of cars. Your comment on the years produced is correct as every one I have found falls within this time period. Ebay is about the only place I see these cars offered. And I keep coming across previously unknown body styles. Thanks for posting this page. Great stuff.

Unknown said...

I wanted to thank you for such terrific pix of these AHI / Cragstan diecast models from Japan. I bought a set off eBay recently and your post helped me quickly identify most of them. 87thscale.info has some group shots of this short lived line. Perhaps you will consider posting yours there too so they will be easier for collectors to find since info is so scarce. Yours are in perfect condition and quite rare. Thanks again!

Scott Santoro said...

Actually, I did send jpegs of the cars to 87th Scale, some of which he included on his site.