Condition Calculator

This has been massively redesigned from the original version I built in 1996. While all grading is subjective, I hope this new, responsive and easier to use format that works well on all devices will help you assess the condition of a car before you buy or sell it.


Restorations and touchups

This calculator does not provide an assessment for cars that have been touched up or fully restored. Selecting this option will result in an 'N/A' grade.

Diecast Metal Condition

Paint Toning %

Toning is a result of darkening in the underlying die-cast metal. It is easier to identify toning on lighter colored cars. The photo below shows a red Custom Eldorado with about 75% toning. The paint is darker across the passenger side door, front fender, across the cowl and in large portions of the hood.

Roughness %

Roughness can be caused by the underlying metal or by the factory painting process. Roughness appears as a texture in the paint. In the example below a Hong Kong Custom Camaro has a prickly appearance that is not as noticeable without magnification. Considering only the area visible in the photo this car has about 80% roughness.

Spotting %

Spotting appears as a series of black dots on the paint resembling tar. Upon close inspection these are not chips and are also not a result of the same chemical process as seen with toning in the paint. In the example below, this ice blue Custom Barracuda is showing about 5% spotting.

Corrosion %

The image below shows corrosion on the front drivers side fender of a blue Hong Kong Custom Volkswagen. This car had no playwear, but the blisterpack had absorbed dampness causing the white, powdery substance seen here.

Base Toning %

Bare metal bases can accumulate spots, darken from greasy fingers, or blacken simply due to the environment and impurities in the die-cast metal. Do not include "bluing" in this measurement as this is covered in the next section. The example below shows a base that is not toned (left), 10% toned (middle) and 95% toned (right).

Base Bluing %

A gun-metal blue hue on the base is a slightly different type of toning. While less impactful to the overall condition (in my opinion) than regular base toning, the bluing effect still detracts from the grade. Blued bases often have hints of yellow in the blue area.

Wheel Chrome

Wheel Chrome %

The chrome on redline wheels often rubs away with increasing playtime. At the same time many factory wheels to not have absolute 100% coverage. Rate the percent of wheel chrome remaining using the image below as a guide. Starting from the left these wheels have 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% of their wheels chrome remaining. Notice even wheels that have 100% of the chrome left may have an area at the center of the wheel that is not chrome.

Plastic parts and stickers

Playwear on tires

If a car has seen its share of sidewalks, driveways and orange track, then there will be evidence of use on the tires. Look at the inner edge of the tires, near the bearing for signs of roughness.

Plastic Part Damaged

Select this option if an original part is present, has some damaged but is still displayable. Examples might include light scuffing on the windshield, a Chaparral wing that has separated from one post, or the roof of an Ice-T that has one broken tab. This is not as impactful as a missing part or one that has been replaced by a reproduction.

Missing or Repro Parts

Select this option if a factory part, that came with the car is missing or if it has been replaced by a reproduction part. Examples might include wheels, surfboards on a Deora, the roof on a Classic Cord, or the wing on an Olds 442.

Missing Stickers

Select this option if a factory applied sticker, such as the roundel on a Spoiler, is missing or if it has been replaced by a reproduction version. Do not count missing sticker sheets that may have come in the blisterpack.

Sticker Wear

Select this option if the applied stickers are worn. Include all stickers that have been applied to the car (including any sponsor stickers from the spoiler series, or flower-power stickers that came with the beach bomb.


Sunlight effects white plastic. Over time white plastic parts exposed to light cam turn yellow. Select this option if the car has white plastic parts that have yellowed. Examples of this include the Ambulance, Racer Rig and Chaparral.

This work is protected under US Copyright Law (Reg.# TX 8-196-914).