Restoring those Little Toy Cars

Watching a master make things look like new!

A little while ago Nacho carried an article about those little toy cars that EVERYONE either had or knew someone that had a collection of them, especially as a kid. Recently I found something that takes that one step further in RESTORING older metal toy cars. These have seen better days and need a little help. With some effort, this Youtuber makes them look like new and in many cases better than the original.

The host of these fun restorations is Marty of Marty’s Matchbox Restorations. Based in Australia his videos introduce a model of car and goes through the history of the toy car being featured, including the model number and the year it was produced.

Since this is a restoration Marty will then go over some of the things that need to be fixed. Old Paints, peeled stickers, cracked plastic, and even dents in the metal. All kinds of things that would need repair. And considering many of these cars are from the 1960’s, there is usually a lot of crap that needs to be cleaned and fixed on these Matchbox cars.

Then the fun begins. The big thing of these videos is. not only does Marty makes these cars look like new, but he shows you HOW he restored it, step by step.

Usually, these cars start by separating the metal parts of the cars from the plastic that makes up the wheel s and underside of the car. In some cases, even the undercarriage is made out of metal too. He removes the translucent plastic that makes up the windows and the windshield before the metal parts are stripped of all the paint and gunk that these things have build up.

With things down to bare metal things are polished and painted. This is also where some repairs may be done as well. Marty’s got a few tricks he has picked up like using Baking power in with glue to repair broken metal or using Brake Fluid as a replacement for paint stripper.

Color is then added with the application of paint. With the small size of the cars, a lot of the painting is down with a small paint gun. The type of spray guns used in model making and painting smaller things. For these videos, Marty tries to match the original color of the car when it was released, a mark that there is a lot of research going into these projects behind the scenes as well. After the paint is applied any stickers that go onto the car are put on.  Marty will use something called  Water Slide Transfers instead of sticky backed stickers to makes for a better appearance. I need to learn those sometimes myself.

After the wheels and axels are worked over as they need it to get the little car rolling again. Sometimes it can be simple, sometimes it required another layer of paint. He shows that too.

When the repairs that were needed are complete, he puts everything back together. These types of cars are usually held together with metal rivets, but Marty “customizes” a little bit and will use a screwdriver or even drill for a small screw to be used instead. ?That will make things much easier if he ever has to do something on one of the cars he has worked on in the future!

And with new paint, polished plastic, clean metal, and stickers if they need them, the cars are then put together with whatever he has. The video shows off the Matchbox car in its new condition and gives you a look at what he accomplished.

These videos have only been going for a couple of months so hopefully, there is a lot more to come from Marty’s Matchbox Makeovers! Whether you are a collector, a model maker, or like me, you just wonder how do they do that, these videos are a bunch of fun to watch and teach ways to makes these old cars from generations passed look new again!

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