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Model Cars Collectors: Their Love For The Hobby

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Hobbies

Model Cars Collectors: Their Love For The Hobby

Adriana Noton
SubmitYOURArticle.com
June 27, 2011


One of the most popular hobbies in terms of building collections and passing them down through the generations, is the assembling of vast collections of small cars. Model cars collectors will bear testament to the fact that although, as with most hobbies, it can become competitive. Most simply enjoy the simple pleasures of assembling and maintaining a noteworthy collection of these small versions of the automobiles which have been revolutionizing the travel industry since Henry Ford's innovation in 1908.

Although many may be unaware of the fact, this hobby has its beginnings in the early 1990s with German manufacturers creating tin car kits and later in the 1940s when wooden car kits began to make their appearance. The first plastic model car kit to be introduced to the market was none other than the 1932 Ford Roadster.

Later, promotional kits became available and salesmen were able to present these to the children of the car buyers, as an added bonus to their usual sales pitch. The invention of video games greatly reduced interest in this hobby but after the innovations of two leading mass production companies, who began to manufacture tiny replicas of NASCAR racing automobiles, the hobby once again began to grow in popularity.

The hobby itself flourished during the 1950s and 1960s, where it seemed that a greater interest was beginning to develop amongst older men. Many of the models created during this era, are now valuable collector's items which are sought-after all over the world, such as a golden mini version of the Dodge Monaco.

The process of die-casting, which requires the pressurization of molten metal and the forcing of that metal into a mold cavity, became the most common method of manufacture, and since then, is still the predominant method. The miniatures are built to a 1/43 scale, therefore differentiating them from toys due to their accurate scaling and intricate detailing.

The hobby does not only include the conventional type of automobile, but has also extended to include steam engines and locomotives, farming trucks, fire engines and single and double-decker buses. Their availability and popularity tends to vary according to the country concerned. In Europe, where buses form an important part of public transport, these models are more popular than in American countries.

Gradually, the focus seems to have shifted from the assembling of kits, to the actual gathering of vast and varied collections. Some collectors focus on cars which are dated to specific eras such as the vintage and antique era of the post World War Two world. Collectors of rare editions will often pay almost anything for a rare edition, showing much dedication and pride regarding the exclusivity of their collection displays.

As it were, the advances in technology have not deterred the growth of these faithful hobby communities, which are known to accommodate shows and special exhibitions of their sought-after collections. In fact, the internet has globalized the hobby, and avid model cars collectors can now find the rarest editions or trade and exchange them across borders. For many, one cannot put a price on the simple pleasures that come with this keen hobby.

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