More Weird Diecast Cars To Clog Up My Desk: Malaise Detroit, Warsaw Pact

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
more weird diecast cars to clog up my desk malaise detroit warsaw pact

Once the word gets out that a 24 Hours of LeMons judge has a thing for oddball toy cars, racers will scour the earth to find increasingly obscure and/or terrible examples. What goes with a Leyland P76 and a Nissan Prairie?

Well, a 1:24 scale ’74 Gremlin, for starters. The employees of the Chinese factory making these things must be wondering what the hell kind of crazy country not only builds a car like this but feels nostalgic enough about it to buy toy versions. To go with it, I have this lovely red Pinto.

Completing the Terrible Malaise Era Compact Cars set is this Chevy Vega, in the bilious metallic green color that GM sprayed damn near all these things. All three cars came to me courtesy of the Team-ing With Bad Ideas turbocharged Beetle team, which managed to get an amazing 207 laps out of their VW at last weekend’s race.

This 1:43 scale ZAZ-968 came to me courtesy of the Communists-Я-Us BMW 320i team. I’m a huge fan of the Soviet Corvair, so this car gets a prime parking spot on my desk.

The Moskvitch 408 rally car will park right next to the Zaphorozhets.

As an A100 owner, I’ve always got room for another diecast Dodge van. Supposedly there’s a large-scale A100 piggy bank out there…

Here’s a toy car that doesn’t require a sense of irony or love of Warsaw Pact machinery to appreciate: a 1936 Tatra 77, straight from a toy store in Prague.

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  • Old Guy Old Guy on May 19, 2011

    That Tatra model is beautiful. More pics sometime?

  • Torgen Torgen on May 20, 2011

    Are any of those HO scale? Because that's just the right size for Das Motorsportspiel, and it would be super sweet to race the Moskvitch et al against the A4 and 911 models the game came with.