Novices begin by purchasing a few randomly-selected pieces that appeal to
them. More sophisticated buffs work toward a focused collection, unified by
manufacturer, gauge, scale and-or time period. It takes research to become
a sophisticated collector.
Child collectors hope Santa may be able to put the car of their dreams under
the tree this coming holiday season. All it will take to snag that Ferrari,
Lotus, Porsche or Jaguar is a few weeks' best behaviour, the right words in
the right ear- and a willingness to downsize a bit.
Properly done, this should earn you a jewel-like scale model of one or more of
the world's most fabled cars.
These miniatures are anything but kids' stuff; indeed, they're intended for
display and admiration.
Becoming a Collector
It is estimated that 10 per cent of those who begin collecting model cars
become avid collectors who will make money following their favorite hobby.
People may collect Formula One championship winner's cars, or their dream
red Ferrari in miniature, the Villeneuve Formula One cars or the trend-
setters such as Chrysler's PT Cruiser and Volkswagen's New Beetle.
Someone's collection may contain Formula One winners; a full grid of Le Mans
participants; a lineup of sedans, coupes or wagons from one given
manufacturer; or a diverse range of sports cars.
It's also worth learning about the various brands of model-manufacturer and
the scale (size) of models the person collects. Popular models range in size
from 1:18- about the length of a man's fore-arm- to 1:43, a little longer than
a man's thumb.
They boast fascinating details such as an opening engine compartment, mesh
covered air-intakes and ignition or spark-plug leads.
Smaller, 1:43 models can be even more surprising. Many are built in limited
numbers with a total of perhaps a few hundred for global distribution. The
best may be hand-finished in painstaking detail. Prices can range from just
over $100 or so for a mass-produced model to $40,000 for that rare model.
There was a time was, boys and adult hobbyists focused mainly on gluing
together and customizing kit-cars. Today's collectors are more inclined to
the pre- built, with an emphasis on cars since World War II. Many of last
century cars are making wealthy collector's out of those that began as mere