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Promos?


Collectors of “Dealer Promotional” scale model cars have been disappointed in recent years with the seeming demise of this ancient and venerable aspect of our hobby. After toy cars, but long before plastic model kits, the promotional models, commonly called promo’s, were what automobile enthusiasts sought to acquire and admire.

Originally intended as a sales aid and/or advertising medium for the auto industry, they spawned an industry of their own due to their widespread acceptance by “kids” of all ages who loved cars. They appealed to drivers and those who were too young to drive.

With the automobile industry being the primary customer for these models, and the availability of other mediums which supplanted, and negated the need for, promo’s, they all but faded from the scene. Having been in continual annual production since 1948, it was indeed disappointing to long time collectors who could no longer add accurate scale models of the new cars to their collections.

When the auto industry ceased ordering these models, it could have spelled the end, but it didn’t. Some dedicated individuals recognized the “need” for and interest in this type of scale model and kept them alive. In recent years the variety and quantities have been much smaller, and the prices much larger, but we could still add to our collections if we wanted to.

Both AMT and Revell in various years offered limited quantities of Corvettes as promo’s in the late ‘90s and into the new millennium. Despite being Corvettes only, there were various colors, body styles, and models of the marque offered.

Then Tom Lowe came along to inject new life into various aspects of the model hobby. In 2008 the new Challenger was offered, at the behest of Chrysler Corporation, as a promotional model. This was a “limited run” of 7,000 pieces, according to the box. They were not advertised, showing up on eBay mostly, and were gone fairly quickly. They still appear on eBay now and then. The only color offered was orange.

Since then, Corvette promo’s have been “on again off again”, the last annual production bring 2007. We were told there would be no more. Then, after the fact, some more were produced in limited numbers of the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Corvettes.

Now, Tom Lowe strikes again! Calling them “predecorated”, and “Showroom Replicas”, rather than “promotionals”, AMT is offering four models of the 2010 Challenger: Detonator Yellow R/T Classic, with black side stripes, and black interior; Plum Crazy R/T Classic with white side stripes, and two tone black & white interior; B5 Blue, with black hood graphic and black interior; Furious Fuscia, with black hood graphic, and two tone black & white interior.

These four are more readily available than the Corvette (and rumored new Camaro) promos, which continue to be obscure and from limited sources.

There is cause for promo collectors, and anyone who doesn’t build kits, but wants to continue a collection of annual new cars, to rejoice. Thanks, Mr. Lowe! “Keep on keepin’ on!”.




2008 Dodge Challenger - 7,000 produced for Chrysler.

 
 

2008 Dodge Challenger


2010 Doge Challengers - SRT8 (Furious Fuscia); R/T Classic
(Detonator Yello)

 
 

2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with two-tone interior.

2010 Dodge Challengers - Two different models available in two colors of each.
 
 

2010 Dodge Challengers produced for scale model collectors.

-Jim Amado

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Jim Amado: The plastic surgeon, builder, collector, writer.
page updated 8/28/2011