BY STEVE BUTLER
FOR THE WORLD’S FAIR in Chicago in 1934 National Products Corporation of Chicago produced four pot metal promotional autos of approximate 1/28th to 1/30th scale. The four were all 1934 models and included a Chrysler (Airflow), Graham, Terraplane (Hudson) and Studebaker. All were four-door sedans. The cars were sold for a quarter each at the makers’ exhibits and/or the Firestone exhibit (possibly dependent on if the car was or was not wearing “Firestone” tires on their red wooden hubs.)
These four toys/models essentially initiated and helped define promotional production and collecting as has continued for decades thereafter.
During those ensuing decades many books, magazine articles and price guides by multiple authors have appeared – none seem to include any mention of a National Products 1934 Ford. Then, about three years ago one of these 1934 Fords surprisingly popped up on an internet auction site. It was competitively bid to a net price approaching $4000 by an avid and knowledgeable collector vs. several other unknown but obviously serious bidders. (I had thought that number to have been around $3400 but was quickly corrected by two collectors.) And, the auction Ford with about 85% original paint was severely and irreparably damaged.