Interest in miniatures fuelled by love of cars

Interest in miniatures fuelled by love of cars

The Beantown Model Collectors Club meets every Sunday to discuss cars, new launches and more.

(From left) Members of the Beantown MCC -- Navin B, Ajay P, Ganesh P, Aditya M, Rohit S, Ashutosh, Sumit G, Mukul and Navin R.

Cars may be loved for their size and power but the miniature versions of the automobiles are a big draw too.  

A group in Bengaluru is passionate about miniature cars and everything to do with them. The Beantown Model Collectors Club has members from various walks of life who take time off their regular jobs to collect scale models of cars, trucks, aircraft, locomotives, military vehicles. 

What triggered this hobby? Ashutosh Autade, one of the founding members of the group, says, “We started this group to catch up on cars and discuss new launches, models and discover
good sites to shop. We then extended this group to share photos of our machines and car gossips. Soon, we graduated to the next level when our Sunday breakfast meetings started.” 

The members comprise Ajay Padmanabh, Aditya Menon, Ganesh Pai, Navin R, Navin Anjaneya,  Mukul G, Rohit Shastri, Vignesh Shivakumar, Charith C and Sumit G among others.

The group also has Jagdeesh Baktha and  Ashwin Shetty based in Dubai and Varun Nayyar in Singapore. “They meet us annually,” adds Ashutosh.

Metrolife interacted with a few members and found that they each have a different story of how they began their hobby.

Some members of the club say that procuring miniature cars and maintaining them is tougher than handling
a real car. Most of them developed this interest in their childhood, when they received toy cars as gifts.

Ashutosh got his first model ‘Trans-Am-Pontiac Firebird’ when he was a teenager. He says, “It was gifted to me by my father’s friend who bought it from the US. Thus, began my journey to understand, distinguish, collect and stock some of the world’s finest mini models.”

Ashutosh has about 500 Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Ferrari, Lamborghinis and Corvettes in his stable. 

Procuring these miniatures and maintaining them is tougher than handling the real stuff, members say. But Ashutosh says that nothing is hard when you enjoy what you are doing.

“It’s fun to collect models and paint and maintain them. Some models are so intriguing that you wonder at the effort required to design and build them. It is more difficult because these are scale models,” he adds. 

He says that he would like to set up a museum for model cars, bikes and trucks, specialising in racing cars in India – like the ones on display in Indianapolis in the USA.  

Aditya Menon, another collector, says that as a child, he recieved cars as gifts but his fascination for the machines peaked when he turned 12.

“I remember collecting and reading about cars from the age of 12. It was during this new phase that I lost most of my die-cast collection. It was either disposed of or given away to some of the younger boys in the family. It was around in 2011-12 that my interest in collecting these scale models was rekindled,” he says. 

He says that he likes to collect cars that were mostly manufactured before 2000.

“I like to collect miniature models of cars that I drooled over while growing up, those that I read about in magazines and those cars that I grew fond of after watching them in popular movies,” he adds.

Ashwin Shetty has been collecting cars since 1998. Like any other boy, he too began with ‘Hot Wheels’.

“As I grew older, my budget grew too and soon I graduated from Hot Wheels to Bburago and Maisto with the 1:32 scale cars that they had just introduced into India. My first ones among these were a green 1995 BMW 535i, a green 1993 BMW M3 DTM and a white 1993 BMW M3 DTM,” he recalls with pride. 

Ganesh Pai says that he started making paper and cardboard models of cars and bikes when he was a child. Today he owns about 1,200 models of cars, bikes, planes, trucks — basically anything with wheels.  

“I started to collect and hoard various models. Initially, present day cars constituted most of my collection, but I slowly drifted towards classic cars for their shapes and immaculate design details,” says Ganesh. 

He has in his collection Ferrari 250 GTO, RR, Mercs, Austin Healey 3000, Standard Herald and Morris Oxford.

“I hope to build a collection of these beauties to make a historic connection between the past, the present and the future,” he shares.

The families of these collectors are just as enthusiastic and participate in enhancing the collection with equal interest and fervour. Their children have picked up the hobby and have now become co-collectors.

The group can be contacted on 9739961169.

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