Briton sells Matchbox toy car collection for a staggering £300,000
Matchbox madness: Simon Hope, 68, from Warrington in Cheshire, sold his collection of almost 3,000 Matchbox toy cars at auction for a fee in excess of GBP300,000
Can you remember playing with Matchbox toy cars when you were a child?
You might have stopped more of them years ago, but one man who has been adding to his collection of models over 60 years has decided to part with his haul – and pocketed more than GBP300,000 after offering them at auction.
Simon Hope, 68, from Warrington in Cheshire – who is also chairman and founder of H&H Classics vehicle auctions – sold off his massive collection, with individual examples of the 1:75-scale vehicles being bought for up to GBP7,000 each.
Mr Hope is one of Britain’s best-known and most respected classic car auctioneers, but also knows a thing or two about scaled-down models of machines he’s cast the hammer over.
Collecting the Matchbox models from a young boy, he amassed almost 3,000 cars and trucks – all of which remained in ‘pristine’ condition in their original packaging.
The mint-condition toys were said to be one of the best collections of the popular Matchbox products from all over the world – which Simon admitted made it ‘something of a wrench’ to part with, even for at a premium inclusive total in excess of GBP300,000.
He admitted that one of the reason why even the oldest in his collection were almost untouched was because his grandma would not let him run them across her mahogany dining table.
Instead, he simply played with them by taking them out of the box and then putting them back – practically untouched.
The collection was so big it had to be spread out over three different sales with specialist toy auctioneers Vectis, of Thornaby, North Yorkshire.
Simon says that his hobby began as a young child when his parents and grandparents started to buy him bought him a Matchbox model car for birthdays and Christmases.
The collection, including this Superfast 71a Ford Heavy Wreck Truck was so big it had to be spread out over three different sales with specialist toy auctioneers Vectis of Thornaby
The collection also included this BMW 30 CSL.
All models in the collection retained their original packaging
His passion for Matchbox models continued into adulthood and as he got older, he continued to buy more and more models.
‘It was only I got older that I realised there was actually a collecting scene out there and information on rarer versions and colours,’ he explained.
‘I never took part in that scene preferring to simply track down the ones I wanted in perfect (or as near as possible) condition.
It just grew and generally they were bought with amounts of money not missed at the time.’
The collection comprised some extremely rare examples, attracted bidders from all over the world.
The most expensive model was a lime green ERF Dropside lorry that sold for over GBP7,000 alone.
A green Ford Kennel Truck fetched GBP3,200 and a white Ford Mustang GBP2,100.
Julian Royse, of Vectis, said Mr Hopes’ collection was ‘astounding’ and had the biggest range of any he’d seen.
The collection comprised some extremely rare examples, including this Superfast 8d Rover 3500 Police Car, attracted bidders from all over the world
Julian Royse from Vectis said there is currently a big market for collections of Corgi and Matchbox toy cars
He added there’s currently a ‘big market’ for toy cars from makers such as Matchbox, Corgi and early Hot Wheels, ‘particularly the models from the 1970s as these things do tend to be generational’.
‘Models from the 1950s which have previously been very valuable are now less so and later examples are extremely desirable,’ he went on to explain.
‘We find the demand far outstrips the supply and as such people will be very keen to get their hands on pieces which may not come up again in their lifetimes.
‘These toys used to be exported to eastern Europe and there is surprisingly now a really big market in the Czech Republic.’
The most expensive Matchbox model is said to be a 1967 brown no.30 crane, which is worth around GBP11,000.
The priciest model car in the world is a 1:18-scale Lamborghini Aventador Gold edition. It’s claimed value is £7.5 million.
This 1:8 scale replica of the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, cast from a block of solid gold, is said to be valued at £7.5m
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