Yeeeeeha! Texas Bull S#!t Scraper at the Petersen Automotive Museum

1900_Overland_06What do you get for the actor who has everything? Well, in 1971, Bob Hope wanted to present something unique to his good friend John Wayne for his birthday. So he commissioned  legendary customizer George Barris to modify a covered wagon. The result is the 1900 Texas Bull S#!t Scraper, a covered wagon with a not-so-covered engine. Cow pattern upholstery and a rack of longhorns up front help complete the look. And there is a load of fake manure in back for good measure.

Despite appearances, it is street legal, with disc brakes and seat belts. It’s powered by a 283 Chevy V-8 hooked up to a Powerglide transmission, so it has slightly more horsepower than the original 1900 configuration (that would be, 2-4 real horses.)

1900_Overland_18-1This car is one of hundreds of historic custom and classic vehicles on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Petersen is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example.

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Yeeeeha, funky! I had one of those Zowees and had wondered where the idea came from.

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Use the hobbyDB Wish List to Complete your Collections!

We get a lot of emails at hobbyDB asking if a specific item, such as a diecast car model, is for sale. Hopefully this post will explain a bit more about how the hobbyDB Marketplace works.

Users can buy or sell items easily and safely on our site. And any time an item is available for sale, you will see a red banner on the item.


But here’s what you might not know… Items for sale are posted by individual Users, not by hobbyDB. And not everything on the site is for sale. Users can choose to put an item on display in their collection without putting up for sale. If an item is for sale, it will have a banner that indicates the offering.

The best way to keep an eye out for when an item you want becomes available is to add it to your Wish List. You can then visit your List from time to time and see if any are up for sale. And coming soon, hobbyDB will be able email you when something on your Wish List is offered for purchase. (And if an item you want is not currently listed at all in our catalog, you can create an entry and then add it to your list.)


Start filling in your Wish List today, and keep your eyes on the prize!

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Robert Graves Jr. joins hobbyDB’s Advisory Board

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

We are excited to add the diecast expertise of Robert Graves Jr. to the hobbyDB Advisory Board. Rob is one of the co-founders of the South Texas Diecast Collectors Club, and his South Texas Diecast website is the most authoritative lists of Hot Wheels models on the internet.

An early fan of Hot Wheels (he was born the same year as the first Redlines), he collected many of them over the years until family and career pushed the hobby aside. While his young son was in the hospital in the late 90s, the two bonded over Hot wheels, and his interest was rekindled.

In 2002, seeing a void in good Hot Wheels information on the web, he posted his personal database online. He then began working with Hot Wheels own forum as one of their photographers and has also now become a moderator there.  You will normally meet Rob at the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Convention, the Hot Wheels Nationals, SuperToyCon and other diecast up and down the country.

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I love Rob's site and use it all the time and also like where hobbyDB is going, this is a great combination.

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Why should I Manage my Collectibles? (Besides the Obvious…)

by Ron Ruelle

by Ron Ruelle

Among the great mysteries of life: “Who really built the pyramids?” “What happens when we die?” and “Do I have that 1:18 scale 1970 Chevelle SS model in orange, and if so, does it have black stripes or white, and, where did I store it and what did I pay for it?”

My father-in-law collected die cast models. A LOT of them. He amassed thousands of Dinky, Corgi, Solido, and other cars, mostly 1:43 scale. And almost all of them were still in their packaging. Since there wasn’t room to display them all, most were in storage and got shuffled around over the years.

Don't let your loved ones mistake your collectibles for a pile of trash!

Don’t let your loved ones mistake your collectibles for a pile of trash!

When he died, no one was sure what to make of the collection. I got the job of processing the lot but had no idea what was in all those boxes or what they might be worth. Then I found a binder of his records: reference numbers, where and when he bought them, what he paid, and notes on what might make a particular model special or rare. And a guide to which boxes contained what models.

I kept some of my favorites, but most of them were sold at an antique store or online. Without those notes, I would have badly underpriced a lot of it.

Wouldn’t it be neat if you could keep track of your collection online, with detailed, searchable information? At hobbyDB, we are on a mission to help make collection management easier. Thousands of model vehicles are already in our database, so with a few clicks, you can add them to your own list. You can also put other models and variations in the catalog if they aren’t listed. And if your collection is as big as his was, there are places to list condition, storage and prices too.

Of course, collection management isn’t just for afterlife purposes. All this information will help you enjoy your collection in the here and now and assist you in buying and selling as well.

So we’ve answered two of life’s great questions. Not sure about those pyramids, though…

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30,000 Item Collection

[…] would be a good time to point out that hobbyDB is a great way to keep track of your collection… what models you have, what you paid for […]

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“Borrowed” Details Can Lead to Interesting Errors

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Every now and then, you look at a model car and notice a detail that just doesn’t look quite right. You start to wonder if the model is based on the actual car, or if perhaps the measurements and details came from somewhere else. In many cases, a model company will “borrow” part of a casting and modify it to their own purposes, not realizing there were some incorrect features in the original. Or they may use an existing model for research, unaware that a certain detail should not be copied.

Here at hobbyDB, we love learning about diecast oddities like these, so we made sure to include features that allow users to link copies to their originals and vice versa. One of our favorites is the YatMing Porsche 911. You probably remember YatMing, a respectable company that made a large range of original castings, mostly in 1/24 and 1/18 scale.

Before that, however, they borrowed quite a few castings for their small-scale range. In the early 70’s, Corgi Toys created a nice, detailed original mold for their Porsche 911 Targa Police car in 1/43 scale, including an opening engine cover and doors. It also included an emergency light on the left side roof pillar… A couple years later, YatMing released a similar model. Even though the new model was much smaller (1/64 scale) and the detail was a bit fuzzier, and the engine bay and doors were sealed, there was a curious but familiar detail. The YatMing Porsche had an extra “opera” window in the left side roof pillar. Turns out that was where the police light was mounted on the larger original and nobody at YatMing realized that hole should have been filled in.

Corgi first offered this Porsche 911 casting in the late 1970s.

Corgi first offered this Porsche 911 casting in the late 1970s.

YatMing offered their own version of the Corgi 911 but forgot to plug the hole where the police light attaches.

YatMing offered their own version of the Corgi 911 but forgot to plug the hole where the police light attaches, turning it into an extra opera window.


Here’s another case… Husky was Corgi’s first attempt to steal a slice of the small scale action from Matchbox in the early 1960’s with cars like a 1959 Buick Electra coupe. Around 40 years later, a company called MEV created a slot car of a ’59 Buick Electra that looked an awful lot like the Husky model. Even though the body was shorter to fit the running chassis, some odd details such as a crooked driver side door panel line made it into the later version. Yep, MEV started with the Husky car and modified it to their needs. Completely different model in some ways, and yet so similar. MEV also made a station wagon version of this car, and while carving the lines for the extra doors, they still left the crooked line in place. Models of 1959 Buicks are hard to find in any scale, and these revised castings are otherwise even cleaner than the original, so no one seems to be complaining.

The original Husky 1959 Buick model (left) is a bit longer than the MEV slot car.

The original Husky 1959 Buick model (left) is a bit longer than the MEV slot car.

Can you think of any other instances where one company surreptitiously borrowed the molds or designs from another company? Post them below, and better yet, add them to the hobbyDB catalog!

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Knockoffs and Copies are Surprisingly Common

[…] while back we took a look at how certain model cars featured unusual discrepancies that were also found on earlier models of the same car by different companies.  In these cases, […]

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