Collectors of tiny cars rejoice, MotorTrend’s first-ever cover car immortalized in a limited-edition Matchbox die-cast

Collectors of tiny cars rejoice, MotorTrend’s first-ever cover car immortalized in a limited-edition Matchbox die-cast

Limited-edition Matchbox die-cast of the iconic 1949 Kurtis Sport Car, the first car to be celebrated on the cover of MotorTrend magazine 75 years ago.

Motortrend Group

Los Angeles, Calif. MotorTrend Group, a Warner Bros. Discovery company announced the release of a limited-edition Matchbox die-cast of the iconic 1949 Kurtis Sport Car, the first car to be celebrated on the cover of MotorTrend magazine 75 years ago. An instant collectable, the Matchbox Kurtis 1:64th die-cast is now available for online purchase exclusively at for $30.

The public debut of the Matchbox Kurtis die-cast took place at the first stop of MotorTrend’s HOT ROD Power Tour 2024 in Bowling Green, KY.  Displayed alongside the die-cast will be the life-size version of the actual cover car from the September 1949 issue. The third of 18 ever built and the first production model, the Kurtis Sport Car serial number KB003 is a time capsule of American car culture.

Frank Kurtis, founder of Kurtis Kraft Inc., is said to have been one of the inspirations for the start of MotorTrend. Following HOD ROD magazine’s success, publisher Robert E. Petersen was given the suggestion by Kurtis to create a magazine that covers new cars. Petersen then took the photos of the Kurtis Sport Car himself for the cover and the first MotorTrend issue went into production. The vehicle also has a deep connection to HOT ROD, as founding editor Wally Parks drove the car — fitted with a special full race engine — to 142.515 mph at the inaugural Bonneville National Speed Trials. Parks autographed the glove box lid, right next to the small plaque commemorating his achievement, making it the only car he ever signed.

“Petersen could have put any car on the first cover, but he chose the Kurtis because it spoke to future automotive design and cutting-edge trends,” said Ed Loh, Editor-in-Chief of MotorTrend Magazine. “Bringing the Kurtis to life as a die-cast for the world to enjoy is the ultimate way to celebrate MotorTrend’s 75th anniversary.”

“Creating this special Matchbox Kurtis die-cast reminded us of the legacy that MotorTrend has created through decades of reporting on the car trends that define our industry,” said Bryan Benedict, Key Principal Designer, Matchbox. “We’re excited to offer this special collectible with fans and celebrate automotive innovation and excellence with MotorTrend.”

The exclusive collectible Matchbox Kurtis is part of a year-long celebration as MotorTrend commemorates its 75th anniversary. The Matchbox release follows a reader vote to name the Chevrolet Corvette the most iconic vehicle through the MT75 Icons program, the release of 75th anniversary merchandise, and the historically significant release of MotorTrend’s full archives in digital format for the first time ever.

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About MotorTrend Group – MotorTrend Group, a Warner Bros. Discovery company, is the world’s largest automotive media group dedicated to introducing, inspiring, and intensifying people’s passions for the motoring world. Comprising more than 50 iconic brands including MOTORTREND, HOT ROD, ROADKILL and more, MotorTrend Group is the ultimate source of entertainment and information for both auto enthusiasts and car shoppers, with a monthly audience over 30 million in addition to over 70 million social followers. Featuring world-class automotive entertainment across the No. 1 television network for automotive fans, digital streaming channels, iconic events, the largest automotive social network, category-leading podcasts, over seven decades of print and digital editorial content, and cutting-edge resources for new car shoppers, MotorTrend embodies every corner of car culture. From electric vehicles to timeless classic customs, MotorTrend Group brings the latest motoring trends to fans of all generations.

About Mattel  – Mattel is a leading global toy and family entertainment company and owner of one of the most iconic brand portfolios in the world. We engage consumers and fans through our franchise brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends™, UNO®, Masters of the Universe®, Matchbox®, Monster High®, MEGA® and Polly Pocket®, as well as other popular properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include toys, content, consumer products, digital and live experiences. Our products are sold in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering generations to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. Visit them at

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