If you can remember comic books, you’ll probably recall some of the preposterous ads that ran on inside covers and spare pages. Some, like the one above, promised sure-fire schemes for making a buck. This one suggests that a kid could start his own fully awesome car and (especially) van customizing business by merely sending away for a free booklet. Did any CC’ers ever try this out? I presume you’d have just received a catalog of junky tools for sale and a mimeographed sheet of instructions on airbrushing.
But that’s not all, kids! You could try your hand at motorcycle maintenance, in case you were more of a nuts and bolts guy. Once again, it’s FREE to get started. And once again, you’d write to an address in tony Newport Beach, California…same department, but a different address. I guess the van customizing school and motorcycle college shared some management; a natural fit. (I love the blanks where they ask for your age. Try that today!) Anyhow, both suggest that they offer great deals on parts and tools, including, but not limited to, drapes, paneling, spoilers, test instruments, and gauges. And there’s no need to quit school or your job!
Of course, some stuff was honestly just for kids. Maybe the folks in Morton Grove, Illinois weren’t quite as cynical as those California slickers. This XKE model even comes with a working clamshell hood and crank windows.
Finally, an offer for something of lasting value. And by that I mean something made of honest-to-god potmetal, complete with action figures. And nothing for free either, Dinky Toys required a 50¢ payment before you could gawk at their free(?) catalog of potentially collectible goodies. Or you could just visit your favorite toy store, that is, back when you could go downtown and find an actual toy store. Me? I’d take the old NCC-1701 herself, a perennial classic.