Monday, October 11, 2021

1976 comic book advertisement for "Evil Show Rods"

From 45 years ago, here's a full-page advertisement for Monogram Models' "Evil Show Rods" from the May 1976 issue of Marvel Comics' "Werewolf by Night." Let's dive into the advertising copy:
Monogram's new "Evil Show Rods" ... four sinister-looking
four-wheeled creatures to build and enjoy
Sinister? Yes. But, what fun you'll have building and displaying these 1/24th scale plastic model kits designed exclusively for Monogram by Tom Daniel. Which one do you think is the most "evil"? Pick your favorite ... or better yet, build them all for the "evilest" kit collection in the neighborhood. Available wherever model kits are sold.
These four horror-themed vehicles look like they might have fit in with that era's Wacky Races competitors, right alongside the Gruesome Twosome, perhaps. Here are their descriptions, again from the advertising copy:
  • Hangman: A fiendish custom tow truck loaded with goulish [sic] features  right down to the realistic noose dangling from the towing boom.1 
  • Sandshark: One of the most menacing machines you've ever laid eyes on. A custom show rod with "shark" decals, fins, and custom features you'll really go for.
  • Rattler: The fork-tongued custom show rod that's sleek as a snake. With a deadly Pontiac mill and custom goodies to really rattle your cage.
  • Stinger: Deadly as a scorpion, this wild rear engine rail dragster puts the sting on its competition. One of the most unconventional dragsters to ever hit the asphalt.

The aforementioned designer of these "evil show rods" was Tom Daniel, one of the biggest names in the model kit business. He has a website that's been updated as recently as last month (Sept. 1, 2021). "Tom Daniel was the most prolific designer of wild automotive and cycle designs ever," it states, and that seems hard to dispute, given all the amazing model designs to be found in surfing through website.

There's even some ephemera that can be purchased: Tom Daniels notecards. Tom seems to enjoy connecting with his fans, writing: "As ALWAYS, THANK YOU for all the letters and e mail with your GREAT stories of your childhood modeling escapades! I DO read them all - and I WILL reply - (though sometimes it takes some time to do that)." That's really cool.

It seems some of the "Evil Show Rods" aren't too hard to track down on eBay or other websites, with some being pricier than others. Some of them got re-releases over the years. (Just do a search for Monogram and the car name.) 

Does anyone have any memories of building these "fearsome" models? Let me know in the comments section.

1. Nooses are not cool, kids. Not even a little bit.

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