How to Display a Prized Collectible Diecast Car

Updated March 23, 2017

Whether you collect manufacturer replicas or NASCAR models, or both, there are hundreds of diecast cars to collect, in many sizes. Displaying your prized pieces is easy, once you know what you want to show off and you find the right display to fit your needs.

Choose what to display. If you have a diecast car that is far more valuable (or otherwise better) than the others, consider displaying that one item, instead of adding multiple cars. Crowding a display may make it look too busy, and viewers may not appreciate particular items.

Choose what sort of display to use. There are a number of shelving systems that can be used for the display of collectibles, and there are displays specially made for diecast cars. Some of these displays are made for multiple models and hang separately; others may be acrylic cases for a single car and need to be placed on a larger shelf. Find the best display to show your best items,not necessarily all of them.

Enhance the display. Add elements that may be related to your diecast-car array to make it more interesting. If your diecast is a NASCAR replica, there are many related collectibles, including driver figurines and diecast bonnets. Pictures and autographs are popular options as well. If your display is not mirrored, purchase craft mirrors from an art or craft-supply store. Place these under or behind the diecast car so all of the angles and details can be appreciated.

Many diecast cars feature a great amount of detail and worksmanship underneath. Prop up your diecast car (as you would jack up a real car) so those details can be seen. Some diecast models come with braces to prop up the car. If yours does not, use a piece of clear acrylic to hold it up.

Add lighting. Some shelf displays, large or small, have optional light kits. These can enhance a display by casting light directly on the metal and chrome, which gives the cars that flashy "dealer-room" look. Light kits are also available from craft stores, usually for a relatively low price.

If your display does not support a light kit, consider installing track lighting on the ceiling above that can be directed onto your display.

Protect your collection. Consider using a polish or wax to enhance the shine on your cars and protect them from dust. One particular wax available from craft stores, called "The Treatment," is made especially for diecast cars. Tamiya Model Car Polish is also made for diecast cars, and is an effective way to give your cars shine and protection.

Keep your diecast cars out of direct sunlight to prevent UV rays from fading the labels on the vehicle. You can also replace the glass or acrylic on your shelves or displays with UV glass, which protects the cars from sunlight.


When adding a light kit to a display (especially directly on a shelf), use a low-heat bulb in the kit. Light kits that get too hot can cause fires.

Things You'll Need

  • Diecast model polish
  • Craft mirrors
  • Light kit
  • Display case
  • Display shelving
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About the Author

Victor Medina has served as a Community Voices columnist for the Dallas Morning News and editor of the NORTH TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS REPORT. He has also been featured in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and several national magazines. He blogs about politics and social issues at