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The truth is, that like the 1948 Tucker, the missing molds were bought by shill bidders from AMT & Revell.

Then they were hidden at a ranch in Roswell, NM & later went to a storage hanger at Area 51 where they remain till this very day.....

I bet it was Jimmy Hoffa who set that deal up

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Many of the molds were defaulted on a workmans lien either for work done on them, or for molding of kits that wasn't paid for by Okey.

Not to prolong the mystery (well, sort of), but if true (and I'm not doubting what Tom said), it's possible (though probably unlikely?) some of the tooling inserts for certain kits still exist, and there may be another complete kit which could be pieced back together. Using that to actually produce a kit is another hill to climb, though.

I will admit Jo-Han kits never had much appeal to me, but I find the "little guy" aspect to the Jo-Han story to be very appealing.

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Reminds me of the Aurora "Train Wreck" story and its molds.

Jo Han did some really neat stuff, but, it is a really niche market today and if any of those kits where really hot, I am sure one of the current kit makers would tool up a new one. I can only wonder what would have happened if they went into the Hot Rod or show rod realm. What could have been.

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Makes one wonder how an accurate representation of ________ ( 1969 GTX for example) could be produced back then , but yet the current offering from AMT sucks.

I'll take all the johan kits I can get my hands on to fill the subject matter I concentrate on ( just bought an unbuilt 1962 Dodge today actually) This is about 2/3rds of what I own

johan.JPG

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art anderson sez:

> it's wise to remember that in the 1960's, kids were not enamored with model kits of AMC Ramblers, Rambler Americans, Cadillacs, full-

>sized Oldsmobiles, Studebaker Larks. Likewise, while HARD to believe today, Plymouths, Chryslers and DeSoto's were pretty low on

>the popularity scale with the kids who were the 1960's primary market for model car kits. This factor alone dictated that for the most

>part, JoHan kits were pretty low on most 12-16yr old model car builders' radar screens.

that was exactly my experience as that (lower end of) 12 - 16 model car builder back then. those sort of prototypes just were not cutting it up against 32 fords, dragsters and model Ts, and for me personally, the Revell line of rods and customs. particularly the American Motors cars...pretty low on the desirability scale back then and i tended to think the customizing accessories were hopelessly outdated. Now of course i wish i had a couple sets of those glue on "louvers" and some glue on fins and that other junk but back then i thought that stuff was dumb and looked dumber.

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What could have been.

I always drew a parallel between Jo-Han and AMC, both being independents, and compared to their much larger competitors, not nearly as well funded.

I remember walking into Hobbytown Model Empire for the first time in 1992 or so, seeing some of the X-El '55 Belvedere (maybe it was the '55 Pontiac?) promos with the green tinted "glass", and wondering "Why green?"

FWIW, there was someone on ebay selling what looked to be original Jo-Han artwork a few months ago, and the seller was located in Romeo, MI. I think the Comet or Maverick artwork was one of the items, and it was not very expensive...$30 or so. I always wondered if the person had a connection with Jo-Han or not, but never thought to ask then. -_-

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The truth is, that like the 1948 Tucker, the missing molds were bought by shill bidders from AMT & Revell.

Then they were hidden at a ranch in Roswell, NM & later went to a storage hanger at Area 51 where they remain till this very day.....

I thought I knew a lot of the history, but that story is completely alien to me.

B)

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I thought I knew a lot of the history, but that story is completely alien to me.

B)

All stories about Area 51 are baseless. ;)

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Very punny.

But seriously folks, I bought a '56 Olds 98 4-dr a while back, apparently produced as a taxi in yellow plastic with green windows. Marked Johan on the bottom. I had intended to hack it up into a '55 custom. What's the deal with the thing? Both the model and the box look like they were made last week.

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I would suspect that many of those molds got worn out over time. For example, my original Gold Cup series Mercedes 500K kits are very sharp and precise, while the later issue is loaded with flash and not nearly as crisp, with poor chrome coverage.

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I always drew a parallel between Jo-Han and AMC, both being independents, and compared to their much larger competitors, not nearly as well funded.

Now imagine what might've happened if Jo-Han had decided to gamble big on a project to help shed their stodgy image and improve sales prospects. They decide to kit the American Motors AMX 3 based on the anticipated sales that would accrue via the magic of exotic box art, blissfully unaware that AMC's costs of development would eventually relegate it to an engineering exercise. AMC agrees to allow them to produce the kit, but with the proviso that Jo-Han is not allowed to use outdated Rambler engines in it. Does the gambit work, or does the modeling world's lack of awareness about the real car keep it from being a success?

fs__amx3a.jpg

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I found the whole Seville Enterprises story pretty interesting, too, and again, we're left to wonder what might've been if that Cadillac promo made it to production and Jo-Han/Seville actually had a new promo/kit in its lineup. -_-

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I remember walking into Hobbytown Model Empire for the first time in 1992 or so, seeing some of the X-El '55 Belvedere (maybe it was the '55 Pontiac?) promos with the green tinted "glass", and wondering "Why green?"

Because the factory tinted glass in early and mid 50's cars had a green cast to it, and over doing the % hid the lack of interior.

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that AMX 2 is super. might have totally saved AMC if they had put it out. might have broken them too. as with JoHan vs Revell/AMT/MPC, they were kind of in a whole nother (lower) stratosphere than the big 3

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Because the factory tinted glass in early and mid 50's cars had a green cast to it, and over doing the % hid the lack of interior.

That makes perfect sense. -_-

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I was just looking at some of my unbuilt Jo-Han kits the other day and other than the body, they are rather crude, even for those times.

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I was just looking at some of my unbuilt Jo-Han kits the other day and other than the body, they are rather crude, even for those times.

Which is why I dont get why everyone wants or wished Jo-Han would return

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Which is why I dont get why everyone wants or wished Jo-Han would return

Not everyone wants Jo-Han to come back, and I think almost all of us realize they probably never will, but the history of the company and its products, and the emotions and memories their products stir up and bring back have a certain value to some.

As Antonio mentioned, they had a very unique product lineup, which seems to have been a boon for them earlier on, and hinderance toward the end.

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Yeah, the subjects are "The Thing" why I'd like to see Jo-Han kits reissued, under Jo-Han name or under any other name. Those AMC kits are very cool and they had very much cool Drag Car kits, and kits from cars that were never produced by anyone else. And Jo-Han bodies are good too. I have currently 4 Jo-Han kits on my bench and actually I have one Jo-Han Turbine Car Glue Bomb too. I'm trying to buy those Jo-Hans every time I see them with decent price.

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Not everyone wants Jo-Han to come back, and I think almost all of us realize they probably never will, but the history of the company and its products, and the emotions and memories their products stir up and bring back have a certain value to some.

As Antonio mentioned, they had a very unique product lineup, which seems to have been a boon for them earlier on, and hinderance toward the end.

Dont think I am hating on Jo-Han, there are lot of Jo-Han kits I would like to get, but not paying the going rate, and I do have memory's as kid building the Caddy hearse /abmo kit, the Fury police car, the Caddy Eldorado kit, to me as a kid, they were good kits, and would love to get be able to do those over again.

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In the early 1980's (1980-84) I worked for a burglar alarm company in Detroit, one of the older accounts was the Jo Han building on Moran. Over the years I had to go there 4 or 5 times to do repairs to their alarm system. Other than the fact they made model cars there-It was like every other machine shop we went to. I do remember they had an addition/lean to built on the rear of the building where they stored what looked like the dies/molds shown above.

A couple of years ago I talked to my old boss from the alarm company and he told me he had that account back when it was called "Ideal Models" and he remembers John Hanley very well.

It was a bad neighbor hood even back then- And another funny thing is the address listed on the original box art, it said "17255 Moran, Detroit Michigan 48212" which is not Detroit at all-it's technically Hamtramck.

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