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Finding AMT Automotive Models and Kits on eBay

If you are a collector or hobbyist of model car kits, particularly those depicting car makes and models from the heydays of the 1950s and 1960s, searching the worldwide listings on eBay for AMT model car kits can offer you a wide range of choices. AMT model cars share key features that are prized by collectors. Understanding the different features as well as changes to the manufacture of AMT models over the decades will help you in determining the value of the collectible AMT model kits eBay offers.

Understanding the changes in affordable AMT model kits over time

AMT, which stands for Aluminum Model Toys, was founded in 1948 in Troy, Michigan. The company has been sold several times since its inception; each successive change in ownership has also led to a change in kit offerings and values. The company history and kit offerings over the years include

  • 1948-1978: Owned by founder West Gallogly, Sr. and models kits focused on American automobile makes and models, promotional kits for American automobile manufacturers, trucks in the 1960s, Star Trek vehicles in the 1970s, and finally, fire trucks during the 1970s.
  • 1978: AMT sold to British Lesney, the manufacturer of the widely loved Matchbox die cars; model kits declined in response to the fuel crisis of the late 1970s that impacted the American automobile industry.
  • 1983-2007: AMT sold to Ertl and rebranded AMT-Ertl; model kits offered since 1983 include several reissues of highly prized 1950s and 1960s kits.
  • 2007-present: AMT under the corporate umbrella of Round 2, LLC; kits offered include classic 1960s reissued models.
Features of vintage AMT model kits

Model kits produced by the originally formed AMT company during the years between 1948 through 1973 are considered prime vintage kits and prized by collectors. Common features of these vintage kits include

  • Kits issued prior to 1949 are aluminum cast; kits issued 1949 and after utilize injection plastic molding to form the pieces.
  • Early models issued in the late 1940s and early 1950s also had working windup motors.
  • Early models featured an all-metal chassis and genuine 100% chrome bumpers; later models had chrome-plated plastic bumpers.
  • Early models featured applied paint that matched the official make and model paint applied by the manufacturer.
Which AMT model kits are valuable or rare?

Given the changes to the ownership of the AMT company over the decades and the ensuing changes to model kit manufacturing and offerings, several factors contribute to increasing the value of collectible AMT model kits, including earliest releases, limited releases, and overall condition of the model. Several models and model kits are highly prized by collectors, including

  • AMTs 3-in-1 sets offered during the 1950s, which featured three model cars.
  • 1960 Ford Falcon AMT promo model, which had an error; the model was offered with a hardtop, but the actual Ford Falcon manufactured by Ford Motor Company was not offered in a hardtop.
  • 1954 Buick Roadmaster which was available through dime stores and offered a remote control engine.