BY STEVE BUTLER
THE 1950S seems to have been the golden era of dream cars. At least that was my impression at the time. Exquisite examples were produced by all of the major U.S. manufacturers with the most notable issues from General Motors. Theirs at least seemed to have been reduced in toy form more than others. Included were the LeSabre and XP-300 from Buick which were copied by Marx, Tootsietoy and Ideal. Pontiac, Lincoln and other dream cars were produced
in tin by a variety of Japanese firms.
Mattel had not begun what would become its significant foray into toy vehicle production, but did begin their venture with issues of dream cars of their own design in about 1955. The first of these issues was their model number 465 DREAM CAR. This car was a 10.5-inch vehicle with a plastic body, steel chassis and friction motor.
This Mattel DREAM CAR had a few unusual design features. First, it was wide at the front and tapered to the rear. The convertible had a removable bubble top and a partially detailed interior consisting of an instrument cluster and a steering wheel. Top and rear fender panel ornamentation consisted of very highly polished (perhaps chrome plated) applied tin inserts. The steel grill/bumper was somewhat reminiscent of a 1950 Buick.