In the late 1960s, Monogram hired car designer Tom Daniel and began to release plastic model hot rods, funny cars, and other custom vehicles. From 1967 to 1975, Daniel was commissioned to design over 85 model sets for the company. His designs were often outrageous for the day and extremely popular with model kit builders and readers of classic magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft.
Released in 1968, The Red Baron represents one of the early successes of this collaboration. The 1/24 scale model included a giant chromed surfer helmet, dual machine guns, and a six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz aircraft engine. The Red Baron was an instant hit, selling more than a million copies for Monogram, and foreshadowed the many iconic designs that followed.