Monthly Archives: December 2012

Lionel Joins NASCAR in Joint Venture

Model Train Icon Joins Racing Giant in Exclusive Die-Cast Division

Near perfect engine building, fine tuning and detailed engineering are the ingredients for a winning car on the NASCAR circuit.  Ironically, these same components are what made Lionel toy trains in 1953 ( the LionelTrainmost popular model electric train manufacturer in the world.  Until now, the synergy that exists between these differing businesses has been decidedly overlooked.  The two have formed a joint venture which will allow Lionel to make die-cast models for NASCAR through its Teams Licensing Trust (NTLT).

NASCAR Team Licensing Trust

The NASCAR Team Licensing Trust is the racing giant’s managed organization consisting of race team representatives and NASCAR officers – created to promote efficiency and operational structure for the sports licensed merchandise including die-cast scale models of the series racecars.

Lionel has been offering scale model trains since 1900 and is the epitome of accuracy when it comes to replicating these behemoths of the nation’s rails.  The popularity of the company has varied over the years but the name remains an icon in the miniature model railroad business.  The unique pairing of these two will offer Lionel access to what is one of the largest and extremely loyal fan bases in sports (ESPN). Together with die-cast race cars, this revitalized exposure will increase name recognition of the model train company and considerably enhance the value of collectable Lionel trains.

“Collecting die-cast cars is one of the core ways that fans have of connecting with their favorite teams and drivers” said Jerry Calabrese, CEO of Lionel. “We’re very excited about this new joint venture.  We have more than 110 years of experience making the highest quality die-cast products that have been cherished by generations of collectors and their families.  We’re eager to bring that same dedication and experience to NASCAR and its uniquely passionate fans, and we can’t wait to get started.”

By having NASCAR centralize its die-cast model operations under one roof with a company that is exceptional in quality and engineering, this will give the consumer extraordinary benefits and value.  With over 110 years of experience, Lionel has made superior die-cast products cherished by generations of collectors and their families.  They will now bring this dedication and experience to NASCAR.


The many years that Lionel model trains have been in existence, they have traditionally been associated with family.  The time honored train was set up around the Christmas tree or in many instances maybe a large set in the basement with tracks going through a village with its street crossing arms and switches.  Extra track and special cars or accessories were always welcome gifts for Christmas, birthdays or any other special occasion.  The train set just seemed to evolve as a family tradition.  As years went by, these model sets became collector items.

Drivers and teams in NASCAR have a close relationship and have always considered their organization as family.  Driver Clint Bowyer said: “It’s a special thing to be part of the NASCAR family” (  Tradition, dedication and working together as a team will promote the Lionel and NASCAR partnership through increased recognition and shared value for both parties.  Both sides will experience that emotional bond that is so popular with fans and collectors.

See ya at the races

Ronnie Hier

Home Of Nostalgia Drag Racing

Want to see more Lionel Train information? Click here.


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