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Monday, January 30, 2017

1989 Racing Champions / Action Promo Set

    Hello again, and welcome to the 100th installment of the NASCAR Racing Champions blog!~ I wanted to make this a special post, since it's the 100th one.. so I picked this rare set from 1989, pairing Action, and Racing Champions, in what was the first Racing Champions cars produced~ I do not own these cars, but a friend of mine was kind enough to take some pictures for me, and I was able to make them work~

    I've put in a lot of hours during these 100 blog posts, and I've learned several things along the way that I was never aware of, as well as re-lived some of the memories that I could remember~ There's definitely no shortage in Racing Champions cars, so here's to 100 more posts!~ :) With all of that out of the way, let's get into this special installment of the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog~

                              Frank Wagenhals - President and Founder of Action Products Inc.~
Frank Wagenhals 1989 Racing Champions Action 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog promo red black

    These business cards I show in the post are also courtesy of my friend, Jeff Glover~ This one is of the President/founder, Fred Wagenhals~ Fred is known in the industry as the "Godfather of diecasts"~ He was inducted into the Diecast Hall of Fame in 2010~

   Wagenhals is currently the founder and chairman of Winners Development LLC., a real estate development company~ Wagenhals and Action were in a legal dispute in 1999, and the company was sold to Bruton Smith by 2005~

                                  Fred Miller - Director of Racing at Racing Champions Inc.~
Fred Miller Waterbed Racing Champions Blue Max NASCAR 1/64 diecast blog Director of Racing

  "Waterbed" Fred Miller may be best known as part of the team behind Raymond Beadle's three consecutive NHRA Funny Car Championships in the Blue Max Mustang~ He was a well respected, and highly regarded mechanic, and he traveled along with Beadle to over 100 events per year, as well as both U.S. Championship tours~

    Miller was Wagenhals' first employee, and was hired to deal with the licensing side of the business~ Miller was with Wagenhals when he made the trip to North Carolina, to attempt to obtain the licensing rights for Dale Earnhardt~ Once there, they boarded Earnhardt's boat on Lake Norman, and Earnhardt didn't hesitate to ask how much he was going to get out of the deal~

    Without thought, Wagenhals blurted out the number 300,000, and Earnhardt happily agreed, but wanted his money up front~ There was one problem.. Wagenhals didn't have the cash~ So he rushed back, sold his house, moved into an apartment, and handed Earnhardt the check a week or so later~

    In an interview about his time with Racing Champions, Miller stated "I was approached by Fred Wagenhals with this idea of putting a car in a blister pack with a trading card, under the name Racing Champions. They were going to sell it wholesale~ It looked like a good opportunity because I was though racing, so I got involved in the licensing of things~" He was later fired by Racing Champions, but quickly scooped up by Action~

                         Tod Wagenhals -  National Accounts Manager at Action Products Inc.~
Tod Wagenhals Action Racing Champions NASCAR 1/64 diecast blog 1989

    Tod is the son of Fred Wagenhals~ He was 24 years old at the time of this business card, and was a National Accounts Manager with the company~ He graduated in 1983 from Arcadia High School, in Phoenix, Arizona~ He is currently the Executive Vice President, and C.O.O. of Winners Development LLC., the real estate development company, owned by his father~

    Local charges were filed against him in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 26th, 2006, and he appeared in the Scottsdale Municipal Court~ I'm not sure of what the charges were, or the outcome of the case, but it did go to a jury trial~ I'm guessing since I can't find much on it, that whatever it was, the charges were dropped~ Tod is currently 52 years old, likes to golf a lot, and he's pretty good at it~

                            Darla Mack - National Accounts Manager for Action Products Inc.~
Darla Mack Perkins Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    Darla Mack (now Darla Mack Perkins) had the same job title as Tod Wagenhals~ I'm sure she did more work than Tod, but was paid a lot less~ Poor 80's women~ :P All jokes aside, Darla's job with the company was to make sure customers were happy, as well as recruit new customers, or potential customers/clients~

    Darla Perkins is currently 55 years old, and lives in Irving, Texas~ She is currently working as a Procurement Specialist at International Power, in the Lubbock/Dallas area~ She is married to John Perkins~ I'm not sure how long she stayed with the company, but I didn't find her name in any of the articles I was finding for this post, so she may not have been around long~

                           Melodee Dean - National Accounts Manager for Action Products Inc.~
Melodee Dean Action Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog 1989



    Melodee Dean was also a National Accounts Manager with Action Products Inc.~ She was influential during the Days of Thunder diecast marketing craze~ She is currently 52 years old, and lives in Florida with her husband, Lawrence Dean~

    Dean also runs a not-for-profit called "First Baptist Church of Floral City Inc.", which operates a pet food drop-off & distribution center~ As with Darla Perkins, I'm not sure how long Dean was with the company, but I do think it was longer than Perkins was~

                                                     1989 Action (black Ford) promo card~
1989 Action Products Inc. Black Car Racing Champions Card 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                             Back of the Action card~
1989 Action Products Inc. Black Car Racing Champions Card 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    This is the card that comes with the black car in the set~ As you can see, it's pretty dull, but gosh... it's so rare~ I love this card, based solely on the rarity of it, this whole set in this post is beyond insane rare~ I'm happy to at least know someone who has them~

    On a quality scale, this card gets a D-, because it's just so boring, but on a rarity scale, it's gotta be an A+, so I'd guess that averages the card out to about a C+ overall~

                                          1989 Racing Champions (red Ford) promo card~
1989 Racing Champions Red #1 Ford Promo 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    This card, besides the fact of having a cooler logo than Action, is even more boring than the Action one~ This is all it is, nothing on the back, just blank white~ I wish they would have written something on the back... some kind of anything would have been nice~ It's still awesome to see this card, since it's such a rare piece of Racing Champions history~

    This one is getting a D+ on the Racing Champions quality scale, since there wasn't anything written on the back~ Enough with these cards, let's get down to the cars themselves, shall we?~

                                                        1989 Action Promo Black Ford~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                              Click pics to enlarge~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                           1989 Racing Champions Promo Red Ford~
1989 Action Promo Mini Cars Electric Pedal Racing Champions 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog
                                                                  Click pics to enlarge~
1989 Racing Champions #1 Red promo 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog

    I would consider these to be the rarest of all of the Racing Champions cars ever produced~ I could be wrong about that, but I know they are super hard to find, at least for sale~ I know of 5 people who have them, and only 3 who have both of them, along with their cards they came with~ As far as the business cards go, those 3 guys are the only ones I know who own them~ I'm sure there are lots more out there somewhere, but they're just super hard to come across~

   You just know several of these sets are lying around somewhere, not being cared about.. I'd say some people have them, and don't even know what they are~ But that's the fun of collecting the old Racing Champions stuff... you just never know what you're gonna find, or what the price will be when you do find it~ I've got cars for as low as 25 cents, still in the packaging.. but I've also paid 62 bucks for a single 1/64... so you just never know, and you've always gotta be on the lookout~

    I'd like to again thank my friend Jeff Glover for letting me use these pictures for the blog~ I hope someday I can replace them with pictures of my own set~ Thank you all for stopping by the blog for this special 100th edition post!~ Below is the bonus car for this post, as well as a video of Fred Wagenhals' HOF speech, and some random NASCAR videos~ Stay safe, and I'll see ya' the next time, here on the NASCAR Racing Champions Blog!~ :)

                             **Bonus car** Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac~
Kenny Wallace #36 Cox Treated Lumber Pontiac Cup Racing Champions green white 1/64 NASCAR diecast blog custom

    If Racing Champions came back, and started making retro 1/64's, this is one I'd love to see them make~ I was always a big fan of both Cox schemes, but this green and white scheme was always my personal favorite~

    This car was a bit tricky to make, but I was impressed with the outcome~ I give it an A- on the Racing Champions quality scale, because it does have some minor flaws, but from a distance, she's a beaut, Clark... She's a real beaut!~ :)

                                         Frank Wagenhals' Diecast Hall of Fame speech~ 2010~

                                                Waterbed Fred Miller Blue Max preview~

                                                     Dale knew how to sell diecasts~

                                                   Bill Elliott sings "Crazy Racing Man"~



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