Ertl Co. is an American toy company best known for its diecast metal alloy collectible replicas of farm vehicles and equipment. In 1945, Fred Ertl Sr. started making toy tractors in the furnace of his home. He was a molder at a Dubuque firm that was temporarily closed. With a wife and familiy to support, he started taking defective aluminum aircraft pistons and melting them down. He poured this aluminum into sand molds, and started making toy model tractors. In 1959, Ertl built a larger facility in Dyersville, Iowa and moved all production to that facility. The Ertl Company was acquired by Victor Comptometer Corporation in 1967 which was subsequently purchase by Kidde, Inc. in 1977.

In the 1990s, Ertl also began production in Mexico, inevitably laying off the employees of the original Ertl factory which would become a warehouse/distribution facility and an outlet store.

In the early 1990s Ertl started the American Muscle line up of diecast collectible cars and trucks. These were 1:18 scale replicas that quickly found a dedicated following of baby boomers. Limited editions of 2,500 were especially sought after. Many of the earliest releases have fetched upwards of $500. The most popular and desirable is the 1957 Chevy Bel Air known as Peggy Sue.

In the last 20 years, Ertl -now RC2- has produced over 58 million die-cast tractor and the popularity is undoubtedly due to their detailed, small-scale representations of tractors and other vehicles.

"ERTL... just like the real thing, only smaller!"

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ERTL catalogs

Links

Updated: 25 Dec. 2015

Ertl value and price guide

What's your 'Ertl American Muscle' worth? Here are some recently sold items (UK):

Picture Title Date sold Price
1 18 Collectibles American Muscle 06/2019 £1 000.00
1 18 Biff Tannens 1946 Ford Super Deluxe 04/2019 £175.00
Joyride 1 18 Dukes Of Hazzard 1974 05/2019 £112.12
Starsky And Hutch 1 18 Scale American 06/2019 £100.00
Autoworld 1 18 Scale Dukes Of Hazzard 04/2019 £109.99
See all sold items for more prices

Ertl forum (5 comments)

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Maria - May 5, 2019

I have a New York Yankees Ertl diecast 1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, 641 of 750. I cannot find it anywhere and would like to know a bit about it.Thanks for any info you can provide.
►reply: Hi, also try this link, maybe you can find yours: ERTL Rocket 88

James - March 2, 2019

I have a blue first edition 1989 tractor scale model is all it says have never seen another one like it wondering more about it.
►reply: Maybe you could try and search the listings on this page to identify yours: ERTL blue tractor.

Jason - August 31, 2013

hi I was want to know if you help find this kit please I would like to buy AMT/ERTL AUTOCAR DUMP TRUCK MODEL 6671
►reply: Search for ERTL dump trucks.

Linda - March 26, 2011

I am looking for a IH McCormick 55 W haybaler. Please let me know where I can find one

Tony - January 18, 2011

I am searching for instructions for a 57 chevy stepside truck plastic model. Is it possible to get instructions?
►reply: Difficult but if you search for: ertl instructions one may pop up.