Volume VII, Number 8

The secret of making old toy cars look like new
by Doug Breithaupt


Just like real cars, toy cars are often found in rather rough condition. Years of play-wear, ground-in dirt and grime as well as too many cycles in the toy box tumbler can take their toll. Unlike real cars, toy car paint and plastic windows and tires are not designed for most automotive polishes or waxes.


This is the Norev Peugeot 305 SR before Speed Shine


This is the Norev Peugeot 305 SR after Speed Shine


One produce works especially well to make old toy cars look new again. Griot's Garage offers a product called Speed Shine. It is labeled as 'The five minute detail' and it delivers. On big cars it is ideal in preparing a car for a show or a quick clean during a tour. On toy cars it is perfect for paint, metal and plastic parts. It is not silicone-based and does not leave any greasy feel. I have used it for many years to make toy cars look their best for 'Tales of Toy Cars.'


This is the Norev Simca 1308 GT before Speed Shine


This is the Norev Simca 1308 GT after Speed Shine


Speed Shine can be ordered online via the Griot's Garage link above. It comes in a handy spray bottle and for toy cars, a small bottle will last a long time.

The models shown here were both received in trade. They are both by Norev of France and not easy to find today. The before and after images show how Speed Shine brings out the best in abused paint and cloudy plastic windows. Compare the two roofs on the Peugeot 305 SR. Look at the back windows of the Simca 1308 GT. These two models have seen considerable play but the Speed Shine makes many of the scratches disappear and the paint re-gains it's original luster.

Speed Shine is easy to use. Just spray the entire car and work the liquid over the model with your fingers. Wipe off the excess with a soft cloth and buff lightly to a shine with another soft, dry cloth. I keep a bottle of Speed Shine and two soft clothes in my toy room desk drawer, ready for that quick detail job. After using this product for the past seven years, I have never seen any adverse reaction. It is even safe for paper, stick-on decals although rubbing is not recommended. Just pat them dry and watch them look like new.

There may be other products that do the same thing but this is the one for me. If like me, you enjoy making old toy cars look bright and shiny again, give Speed Shine a try. Let me know what you think.

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