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The Aluminium Model Toys (AMT) company began in 1948, scrap aluminium was cheap in the early post-war years, as millions of kilos of aircraft grade aluminium were melted down. AMTs first product was the 1:25th scale 1948 Ford Tudor sedan, a promotional1 toy made for Ford under the slogan 'Watch the Fords go by!'.

AMT advanced into the 50's with plastic promotional models, testing the waters with a series of ’3in1’ model car kits in 1953. Consisting of simplified versions of their promotional cars, there were three different cars in each of the three sets they produced. These promotional models were also available as toys in the retail market, some also included rudimentary remote-controls.

Seeing the rising interest the public had of customizing AMTs promotional and flywheel-powered toy cars AMT in 1957/58 added customised parts to the tooling of their cars and the ‘3in1’ Customising Kits was conceived.

By 1961, AMT needed their own production facility, so a new building was commissioned in Troy Michigan. The company continued production at this facility until 1979 when Lesney bought AMT. Unfortunately Lesney were forced to file for bankruptcy in 1982 and the AMT line and tooling were sold in liquidation to the Ertl Company and renamed AMT/Ertl. AMT was then sold to Racing Champions 24 years later in 2007. For a period AMT products were reissued by a number of independent companies such as Stevens International and Model King, before AMT were purchased by Round 2 LLC of South Bend, Indiana.

In a turn of events, like other large companies owning several brands that were previously competitors, AMT now co-exist in the same organization alongside a revived MPC2, Polar Lights and Ertl as "Ertl Collectibles".

Vintage AMT Slotcars

AMT made their entry into the slotcar market in 1965 with four 1/24 and two 1/32 scale kits. They shared a common chassis but the 1/24 kits sported a larger Mabuchi 15R motor while the 1/32 kits had the Mabuchi FT16 motor. The bodies came from 'promotional' models which were also sold as static kits.

A second generation of AMT slotcar kits were released in 1966 with the introduction of four new kits and four new RTR cars. All using a new brass chassis that had been reported to have been designed by Dick Dobson, which proved to be incorrect. The motor was a Mabuchi FT36D with a purple can. There were also four new 1/32 scale kits using the FT16D motor and a one-piece brass chassis, quickly replaced by a zinc plated steel unit. The rather ungainly bodies were vacuum formed from butyrate and painted in shades of gold, metallic blue or silver. Devoid of gimmicks, these cars handled extremely well and remain good performers to this day.

  1. Promotional makers like AMT worked very closely with styling departments of American automobile industry. The manufacturing process involved in producing a model by AMT were similar to their 1:1 counterparts, involved Intricate drawings and styling models and models were first constructed in larger scale clay models often in 1/10 or 1/12 scale and would be crafted in perfect detail. Accurate 1/25 scale dies would then made. Bumpers and hood ornaments would be chrome plated and bodies were often painted in factory colours and baked to produce a perfect miniature of the real thing. Models were used in dealerships as ‘salesmen's samples’. Models would be used to show prospective customers what their new car would look like and of course, they could also buy them at the parts counter. Commonly, especially in the 1950s, they were simply given away in the showroom after a test drive, usually to children. For example, a 1958 Edsel ad prompted, ‘Road Check the Big One, Get a Little One Free’.
  2. George Toteff left AMT in 1963, creating Model Products Corporation, and began that company's line of kits with a 1964 Corvette Stingray Coupe customizing kit. In the late 1960's, MPC, by then a major player in model car kits, sold out to General Mills, who placed them in their Fundimensions Division, which also included Lionel Trains and Kenner Toys. The Big G spun off Fundimensions into a separate company in the early 1980's, Ertl buying up the MPC tooling and line in 1987, blending that line into AMT/Ertl.

Cars produced

1/32 Scale

AMT Ford GT 1/32 scale