On Saturday January 31 hundreds of model car enthusiasts showed up in the quiet town of Santa Clara CA. They filed into the show hall at the Great America Convention Center to one of the largest model car shows in California. This is an annual event in Santa Clara and the NNL has annual events all over the country. The show is set up with the model display tables on one side and selling tables on the other. The show tables fill up with the best-built and wildest car kits from the best builders in the area. The show is open to all and is an eye opener for the novice builder or those unfamiliar with the hobby.
The swap meet is always fun with lots of vintage and modern kits for sale. Not to mention the decals and photo-etched accessories. Several of the vendors have huge boxes of old model parts and built kits. Scavengers like me just love that and dig through the boxes of junk for hours.
I saw plenty that I wanted to buy but exercised uncharacteristic restraint and only came home with two. I wanted the old Revell ’54 Chevy panel for some strange reason. Actually I have a few build ideas in mind.
Also, I had been looking for a cheap un-built AMT Deora kit. I was able to acquire one still in the shrink-wrap for a mere $10.00. Years ago when I was doing the Sketch Pad for Scale Auto, I suggested crossing the Little Red Wagon drag truck with the Deora. Since both are based on the same Dodge A-100 truck it should be fairly easy. I called it the Little Red Deora. I noticed that someone recently built one and it made it into the pages of a model magazine. Now that I have the kit, the Little Red Deora is now officially on the waiting list of projects. I should get around to it sometime in the spring…of 2031.
I saw two build-ups of the AMT ’50 Chevy Texaco service truck kit that I provided the artwork for. Brad Diemer built a very sanitary green and black version that I had painted for the box side panel. He’s an excellent builder and a nice guy. We chatted for quite a while and that evening he went home with his own Hot Rod Bunny book.
Then there was a very cool weathered red and white Texaco truck from the illustration on the box lid. Actually, I wanted the illustration on the lid to be a used truck with a few dents and scratches. It was thought at Round 2 that it probably wouldn’t pass with Texaco’s approval so it was illustrated in pristine condition.
Sean Langer had several really nice kits. He’s one of the best painters I’ve seen. He uses real automotive paint and a large air gun much of the time. Add several coats of clear and his paint jobs look very deep and flawless. I thought the color combo on the ’62 Ford truck was great. Some else brought the Trumpeter ’64 Falcon Ranchero custom built as a panel or sedan delivery. I provided the box art for the Falcon series and heard that their was a sedan delivery planned at one time. However they were too scarce to find a real car to provide dimensions.
I saw a funny build-up of the Revell Pontiac Club De Mer show car. This is one of the best uses for that kit I’ve seen in a while. I provided the appropriate background. Speaking of space another builder brought his bevy of AMC Pacer kits. All were factory correct colors and trim. I think he has the subject covered.
A nice AMT ’56 Ford Gasser built like the vintage box art. Very cool. I also liked the old AMT ’60 Chevy El Camino custom. It was executed very well.
Speaking of Rancheros and El Caminos… here are a few interesting takes on the subject. The AMT ’62 Buick and Thunderbird kits converted into domestic haulers. A few nice truck kits that caught my eye. The ’36 Ford was believable as a farm truck.
Above; I just had to take a picture of the ’60 Plymouth 2 door sedan track car. Although not quite finished it had my attention. Also Robert Fletcher, who is best known for his wild kit-bashed vehicles brought some box stock kits! Hodad and the AMT Wackie Woody. Nice job Fletch. Oh, and he is a proud owner of an HRB book too!
And finally, Since this is the Hot Rod Bunny blog it can’t be complete without tipping our hats to the next generation of Hot Rod Bunnies. They were at the front table with the boys assembling a free Revell snap kit of the ’69 Camaro.
I donated a bunny book to the raffle and the little girl below won it. It was funny because there weren’t many models left to pick out toward the end so when her number was called she grabbed a new Chrysler 300 kit. Not a fun choice for a little girl. One of the other winners was up there and showed her the bunny book. He waved in front of her face and then she grabbed it and set down the Chrysler kit. Later, she proudly wrote her name in the book and showed it to her mother. Mom checked it out to make sure is was okay. It’s okay mom! -Brad