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The Diecast Toy Collecting Bug!

What is it about miniature versions of things that capture people’s imaginations so?

Let’s not think too hard about it as it will inevitably get ‘Freudian’.

Maybe it’s just that we haven’t got enough space to collect the full size versions which is probably why I find myself with thousands of model cars taking over my home rather than a life size collection like Jay Leno’s. I am trying to catch him up though with three full size motors but my elderly Jaguar, MG and Pontiac are not quite in the same league. Our Pebble Beach invite has yet to arrive!

If you were to look through our old family snaps (no chance!) you would see a bit of a theme about the pics with young me in them: knitted clothing and diecast model cars !As far back as I can remember I had a whole drawer full of diecast cars in the sideboard (google it young people) and I never left the house without a car clutched in my sticky hand or highly flammable nylon shorts pocket. Those early ones were well and truly run into the ground but a few survived and although worthless now due to their condition they are still priceless to me.

The first car I remember buying myself I still have and love but few others would share my enthusiasm for it. It’s an orangey brown Solido BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ with no doors and that’s how I found it in a long forgotten junk shop which is now buried under the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Wigan. I distinctly remember finding it in a box of battered old diecast cars on the floor and proudly holding it aloft declaring

‘ I want this one’ to which my mum replied

‘It’s got no doors, find another one’.

But I stood my ground and 30 years later it’s still here. Well it’s in here somewhere anyway, I haven’t seen it for a while.

This brings me to the problem most collectors have, what do you do when your collection takes over?

You start off with your miniature dream garage displayed proudly on a shelf then they start popping up all around the house then they end up in boxes packed away and what is the point in that?

I know my battered CSL is safe in a box but is it in the spare room or the garage? If you challenged me to find it in 10 minutes I probably couldn’t so what is the point in me keeping it? Well if I sold it then I wouldn’t have one and I’m a collector, and what’s a collector without an orangey brown door less CSL? A poor collector, that’s what!

I really haven’t got space for any more full size motors so the dream garage will have to stay small and boxed for now, Citroen SM, Jensen Interceptor, NSU Ro80, Cadillac Hearse, Renault Fuego Turbo, Lancia Flaminia, Mercedes Unimog and many more.

Then of course you have to have them in multiple colours and I like to think my collection is a bit different and that I can always meet the challenge of

‘I bet you haven’t got a ….. NSU Prinz?’  I certainly have in blue, beige and red thank you very much!  

‘I bet you haven’t got a …..Studebaker Avanti?’ Don’t bet against it!

‘I bet you haven’t got a ….. Lancia Monte Carlo? ‘ In 2 sizes and 6 colours!

‘I bet you haven’t got a ….. Hillman Avenger Tiger?’ Oh yes and if I told you about the Chrysler Valiant Ghia Coupe it would just be bragging. Oh and Goggomobile! Sorry I just couldn’t resist blurting that one out.

I think the answer lies with that great philosopher and god of all car related TV programmes Wayne Carini who sums it all up perfectly…..

 ‘ It’s all about the chase!’

Have you got the collecting bug? How did you start and when? Tell us about your collection –  leave a reply in the box at the bottom of the page. We’d love to hear from you!


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