A Passion For Collecting Diecast Model Cars
Article by Adriana Noton
A passion for collecting Diecast model cars is a serious hobby as online forums and the Diecast Magazine indicate. If you love cars and collected miniature toy cars, you might be considering the more mature hobby of diecast model car collecting. Today quality diecast model manufacturers produce models that are miniature engineering feats. Meticulous detail is recreated in these replica models released in scales popular with the growing fraternity of diecast collectors. This is an international hobby, so the market for such cars is huge. These miniature models can range in prices ranges from a few dollars for Mattel Hot Wheels type to even thousands of dollars for highly detailed cars from a manufacturer like Autoart. Vintage cars can cost thousands. They can also be made from kits, so you can participate in their construction and have a sense of pride in the final product. A significant number of these model cars have limited production runs and come numbered with a certificate, which as time goes by will make them increase in value.
Fully constructed die cast metal scale model cars are very popular with collectors. Scaled models are manufactured in a range of scales such as 1:12,1:24,1:43,1:64 and others. Cars that are especially attractive are those with a real eye to detail. Doors, hoods, trunks and fuel caps that open, ashtrays that slide out and glove compartments that work are some of the realized features. Some models cars even have hanging ignition keys and removable hood pins to open the hood. Most have working car steering and suspension with real materials used in the interiors.
Though most car models are not powered vehicles, some individual model builders have powered vehicles using different devices. Such models may suffer in comparison to the more detailed replicas found in the best static models. However, some more sophisticated commercial examples have the scale and details to be comparable. Commercially-produced power car models include those developed in the 1930s that could be found until the 1960s. Most of these cars known as tether cars used small internal combustion engines. There are models that are wound by a key or a friction mechanism. These were common until electrically slot cars that run on tracks succeeded them in the 1960s. In fact, the original Scalextric line which was sold in 1957 for the first time was essentially a motorized version of earlier clockwork Scalex racers. Radio-controlled cars can be bought assembled or can be built from kits.
Some collecting tips
To a new collector the number of models available may seem daunting. Some degree of specialization will make choice more manageable. How about a certain style or model, by manufacturer, a certain year, a certain scale, type of material used or a themed collection? NASCAR models have a large number of fans. If you single out a manufacturer, brand new models can be purchased on release and you can search for bargains and rare examples from car boot sales, flea markets, yard sales, forums and that great resource internet auction site like ebay. Before you start you may want to check out helpful sources online such as instructional videos, books and links about the hobby of collecting model cars.
When you decide to start collecting you will find you can purchase cars on many venues: the internet, trade magazines and trade shows, in toy stores and hobby shops, or other ways like estate and garage sales, flea markets and the like. When you purchase that is not new, be sure to check the condition of the model and whether it has original parts before you commit yourself.
Joining a user forum will get you acclimated and you will become more informed. Here you might need to explore the options as you might like some forums and not others. A good forum for you will be a very positive experience. Collectors are a friendly community where members assist others to locate a desired model. Get familiar with the abbreviations and terminology collectors use in discussing cars in these user forums. You will become familiar with terms like chase cars which signifies a rare car collectors covet. Almost every Diecast company has its own chase car. It may be a particular model and make, color, or a series.
You should get familiar with how much cars cost. Cost of chase cars and vintage cars is useful knowledge to acquire. Vintage cars in mint condition, can be worth a packet. Consider anywhere between USD30-15,000. They can even sell for higher as the USD 85,000 purchase price of a very rare old Hot Wheels Red Line some years ago illustrates. I bet the kid who bought that car long ago never dreamed it could sell for this price. Attending Diecast shows are also very helpful. They can take place locally as well, so travel time can be saved. For example Dallas has one every month. When attending these shows consider being there from the start to the end. Morning attendance will aid your effort to obtain any hot cars you are interested in that may disappear later in the day. At closing time, dealers wishing to unload their stock will lower their prices or be in the mood to reduce the price for a determined bargain hunter.
Collectors are drawn to this hobby and the time and money involved for different reasons. It could be a passion for collection of skillfully crafted replica cars in miniature. It could be an investment with the hope the collection will increase in value; or some other urge to collect these miniature models of motoring perfection. Once you start on the collection route you may not be able to stop. You may want to expand your activities into restoration and the building of cars from kits. This could become an addiction. No matter what your age, collecting model cars can become an exciting hobby. Some enterprising individuals have even turned it into a business; and its growing audience now includes the female gender, especially former tomboys who loved playing with model cars in their childhood are revealing a passion for collecting Diecast model cars.
About the Author
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