With a craze for cars

With a craze for cars

His fleet of cars could be one of the most varied in the City — but rather than flaunting them in his garage, he does so in his drawing room. For techie Ashutosh Autade prefers to have the cars in the form of miniature models.

Employed by a software firm, Ashutosh now has a 250-strong fleet of miniature car models.

Ashutosh got his first model of a ‘Trans-Am-Pontiac Firebird’ when he was a teenager. It was gifted to him by his father’s friend, who bought it from overseas. This triggered an interest and sowed the seed for something bigger in little Ashutosh. Thus began his journey to understand, distinguish, collect and stock some of the world’s finest mini-model cars.

Today, Ashutosh has a well-polished, sparkling collection of Mercedes Benz, Mustangs, Corvettes, Chryslers, Nissans, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, GM cars that include Impala, SS, SS Nova and Hummers (both civilian and military) — just to name a few.

Ashutosh’s father was in the army, so as a young boy he has travelled across the country and that’s where he picked up a liking for military vehicles. He has an enviable collection of those as well. “The army trucks and vehicles would move around where we stayed, so I spent a better part of my time observing these huge trucks,” Ashutosh tells Metrolife.

 The latest addition to his fleet is a ‘Mercedes 1966 Pullman series’. Ask him which his favourite is and Ashutosh says, “The Mercedes Benz G4 and Mercedes 770K (mid ‘30s). I have been collecting these models for the last 25 years and like to collect models of the mid-1930’s through to 1970 cars. Typically, I like the classic cars and the muscle cars.”

Ashutosh further explains that all the models are scale to size and weight. Ashutosh’s eight-year-old son, Arash, has his own collection of cars, bikes and trucks. “My son and I make sure we keep the cars polished and dust-free. Every week, the cars are taken out of the shelf, wiped and then replaced,” he adds.

Some of the cars are bought in one piece and a few others are assembled. “I love cars and it’s a relaxing hobby. I have friends who collect only military vehicles. And when we get together we don’t talk about anything else but cars — even our spouses gift us cars. That’s how crazy we are about cars,” beams Ashutosh.

And Ashutosh not only collects these miniature models but also spends a better part
of his spare time reading and collecting information about the latest cars that hit the market and where the models are available. “More than me, my sister, wife and son support me in my venture.

They also keep a tab on what’s in and what’s out,” he observes. Does he own any one of these cars? “That will be a dream come true,” he says. Ashutosh has another dream. “I would like to set up a museum for scale cars, bikes and trucks, specialising in race cars — like the ones on display in Indianapolis, in the USA,” he signs off.

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