Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Michaël Barthly from Frankfurt, Germany.
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1) What first got you collecting diecast? How long have you been collecting? What is your total model count as of today?
As long as I can remember, I was always collecting cars as my passion started when I was a small kid. At first, it was more toys that are now stored in huge boxes, but the proper collectibles model cars arrived quickly and became better and better with time… and money of course! So all together I’m collecting for a bit more than 25 years, for a total model count close to 300 cars, especially in 1:43. In order to keep myself reasonable, I focus my theme on concept cars and cars that, to me, marked car design history.
2) What was your first diecast or memory?
Not that it’s a car that I like but it was a BMW 325i E36 from the brand Gama in 1:43. I got it from one of my parent’s friend that is a big model cars addict as well… I can’t really say that it shared the virus with me as I think that it was clearly already in me!…
3) What is your favourite scale, and why?
Definitely 1:43. Probably first of all for the range of cars available regarding my collection theme, but let’s face it as well: it takes a lot less space than 1:18! But I must admit, some of my all-time favourites deserved the 1:18 scale to decorate my desk.
4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?
There are several models that I’m really happy to have, but make a selection would take me hours… I can still mention some personal unicorns like the 2010 Audi Quattro Concept from Looksmart, the Porsche Singer 911 from Make Up or the Mazda Furai from Spark. But I have some « special things » like a custom-made BMW i8 prototype, a Seat IBe from Looksmart numbered 01/25 or a Renault Vel Satis Concept from spark offered and signed by Patrick Le Quément who was the head of design at the time of this concept car. These cars are for sure on the pictures!
5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?
There will always be some, that’s for sure. The Alfa Carabo from Spark come to my mind, rare and each time very expensive when it pops out on eBay! But some of my biggest holy grail are some models that were produced for internal purposes only and never sold to the public. Some are Concept Cars or Design stuff which especially speaks to me.
6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?
Another one that is not easy… let’s say, Renault. It’s not really my favourite brand, but it’s the one that guides me in my early passion’s times with 90’s concept cars which were and are still to me masterpieces of creativity and style. Still today, I respect them a lot for the designs they create, especially with the concept cars.
7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?
As I said before, my collection is about concept cars and car design masterpieces. Of course, this is a very personal statement, but my passion for cars really comes from the design side. I really hope that one day I will be able to look at my collection (which hopefully will cover a complete wall somewhere at home…) and consider it as a small car design museum. Each and every model as a certain story that speaks to me and that I hope to share with the future generations of petrol heads…
8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?
Yes, as you can see in the pictures! I try to stay simple and clean in a way that the model cars stand out the most. I try to avoid overloading the shelves with goodies and stuff, but I create some « backgrounds » with Photoshop that I print at the size of the shelves in order to create sort of sub-themed areas. Alpine, Vision Gran Turismo of Renault Design Life Cycle are some examples on the pictures.
9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?
It’s always somehow linked to cars but I disconnect sometimes with music for example. But cars are never far away…
10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?
I have the impression that is getting better and better. A lot of brands reproducing a huge variety of vehicles, honestly whatever you like in cars you can collect it somehow. I’m really excited to see if the all model cars industry will now take the curve of advanced technology such as 3D printing to create even more stuff with a crazy level of quality. Why not one day be able to print whatever car you like at home?… Oh and please, try to make model cars become dustproof, this is really my nightmare!…
11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?
Nothing really, or maybe just simplify the access to certain brands which are not that easy to get in Europe. But I guess this is part of the game, right?
12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?
Not at all, I’m terrible at this exercise! But I really respect the talented people doing it, I really couldn’t…
13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?
She said by herself that it’s a 9/10! I have to admit that I’m really lucky that she supports me on this, and she even likes the way I display it at home. So, nothing to complain about!
14) What is your daily driver?
A company car at the moment, but I’m waiting for my Alpine A110 Pure to arrive somewhere from the beginning of 2020… can’t wait! :)