The 'world's finest collection' of Matchbox toy cars is sold at auction for more than £300,000

A collection of classic Matchbox toys lovingly kept for more than 60 years has sold at auction for a staggering GBP300,000. Simon Hope’s hobby and fascination began as a young child. His parents and grandparents bought him die-cast models of the famous metal cars, trucks and emergency services vehicles at Christmases and for birthdays.

Simon said he recalled his grandmother refusing to let him play with them on her mahogany dining table, fearing they would damage the surface. Many were kept largely in their boxes as a result, with a young Simon careful not to damage any he did play with gently. The packaging and actual models were all said to be in a pristine condition, with experts hailing the collection as one of the finest in the world.

Simon Hope with the collection

Over the years the collection grew – with the haul sold at auction totalling almost 3,000 models.

There were so many they were offered over three separate sales run by specialist toy auctioneers Vectis, of Thornaby, North Yorkshire. All are from Matchbox’s ‘1-75’ miniature scale range, which date back to the 1950s. Father-of-two Simon, 68, from Warrington, has now revealed the collection went for a premium inclusive total in excess of GBP300,000.

He admitted however his pride and joy was a ‘wrench’ to sell.

The 'world's finest collection' of Matchbox toy cars is sold at auction for more than £300,000A superfast 45b BMW 3.0 CSL

“It was only when I got older that I realised there was actually a collecting scene out there and information on rarer versions and colours,” said Simon, who is the chairman and founder of classic car auction house H & H Classics, based in Cheshire. “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.”

Read more of today’s top stories here

“It was a collection put together with love and passion over some 60 years, starting when I was a young boy.”

The collection, which was kept by Simon in storage, comprised some rare examples from Matchbox’s ‘superfast’ series.

The 'world's finest collection' of Matchbox toy cars is sold at auction for more than £300,000Matchbox superfast 68a Porsche 910

The most expensive model to go under the auctioneer’s hammer was a lime green ERF Dropside lorry that sold for more than GBP7,000 alone. A green Ford Kennel Truck fetched GBP3,200 and a white Ford Mustang GBP2,100.

Read More
Related Articles
Read More
Related Articles

Julian Royse, a specialist at Vectis, said: “There is a big market out there for items like this, 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.

The 'world's finest collection' of Matchbox toy cars is sold at auction for more than £300,000Matchbox superfast 71a Ford Heavy Wreck Truck

“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.

Follow reporter Paul Britton on social media

To follow Paul on Twitter, click here. Or to like his Facebook page and keep up to date with the latest breaking news, click here. Here’s the link to the M.E.N’s main Facebook page where we share our latest stories.

“This collection was astounding and and probably had the biggest range of any I’ve seen.”

The Matchbox toy brand originated in 1953 at Lesney Products, reportedly because one of the founder’s children was told they couldn’t take any toy into school that wouldn’t fit inside a matchbox.

You may also like...