The Driver Suit Blog-Die Casts Examined

43-combs1 - CopyBy David G. Firestone

Recently, I came across a design quirk I had never seen on a car before.  Take a look at these two cars above.  These two design schemes were used by Rodney Combs in 1994. He raced in the Busch Grand National Series. He had 3 top 10’s, and led 11 laps. Now while these two paint schemes look completely different, they are a lot more connected than you might think…43-combs1 43-combs2 43-combs3 43-combs4 43-combs5 43-combs6 43-combs1 - Copy (2)Yes this was an actual paint scheme used on a real race car. I had never seen a design scheme like this before or since.  It is one of the oddest paint schemes I have ever seen. Normally if two different companies sponsor a car, one runs their scheme for a number of races, and the other runs their scheme for a number of races. The driver suit is no less unusual. But I bought this for another reason besides just the paint scheme.  This is an example of a NASCAR bank. These were marketed for a number of years to kids as collectibles.  They were marketed to kids in the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s.   They are 1:24 scale, and are the same design as their die-cast toy counterparts. They faded out after a while. After trying to use one, I now understand why they faded from use. Let’s look at the bottom.43-combs6

The bank opens with a key and the door that the coins are supposed to come out of is much too small for a standard American coin to fall out of. I tried to remove some coins and it took me 45 minutes to remove all of them. While they were a good idea on paper, their practicalities made them next to useless and needlessly annoying.

We move from the old to the new, with this Carl Edwards design from 2013.   This is my first die-cast scheme of the Gen 6 car, and I have to say, I’m amazed at the detail.  Check it out.99-edwards1Carl ran the UPS scheme for one race in 2013, at the Quaker State 400, where he started 2nd, led 35 laps, but finished 21st. This is an autographed version, of which only 900 were sold by Lionel. Unlike the bank, this is a very accurate design. It’s made of a more lightweight metal, the window net is cloth,99-edwards1 - Copy (2)the grill is accurate,99-edwards3 - Copyso are the door decals.99-edwards1 - CopyThe hood opens,99-edwards4

the deck lid opens,99-edwards9

the roof flaps work,99-edwards12

the details are really accurate, and the paint scheme is amazingly accurate.99-edwards1 - CopyIt has all the details of it’s on track counterparts at a 1:24 scale, with a nice Carl Edwards signature on the windshield.   My biggest complaint is that the hood is difficult to open, and does not open very far.  It takes away from the appearance.  99-edwards2 99-edwards1 99-edwards3 99-edwards4 99-edwards6 99-edwards7 99-edwards8 99-edwards9 99-edwards11 99-edwards1299-edwards5Now we move on to the real thing with…


Michael Annett #7 Pilot /Allstate Peterbuilt/St Jude’s Chevy SS Great color scheme, great simple design, A+

Clint Bowyer #15 Speed Digital Toyota Camry Clint keeps up a streak of bad schemes with his RK Motors scheme but with a different logo. D-

Greg Biffle #16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford Fusion Great color scheme, good design, I give it an A-, the number still looks horrible.

Ty Dillion #33 Rheem Comfort Products Chevy SS From this moment onward, anytime I see camo on the side of a race car it will be an automatic 1 letter grade deduction. In this case it takes a great scheme, and ruins it. It would have been an A scheme, but with the contrasting designs, it earns a C-

Landon Cassill #40 CRC 1 Tank Renew Chevy SS Decent color scheme, but the design is a bit overdone. If it didn’t have the yellow stripes on the back I would like it more, but this is a decent scheme, worth a B-

Justin Allgaier #51 Auto Owners Insurance Chevy SS Can’t say anything bad about this scheme, A+

Michael McDowell #95 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ford Fusion Let me get this straight, The Turtles are in a Michael Bay directed movie that to date has made over $242 million and this scheme seems to go out of its way not to use the movie? I’m trying to make sense of that…OK, now the color scheme is good, but the back of the car is very cluttered. Even still it’s a B+ scheme.

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