Tell us what this hobby means to you? 14 questions answered by you, Steve (Stangfreak) Mason from Columbus, Ohio, United States.
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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?
Back around 1959 or 1960, my grandma bought and gave me a gray wheeled Lesney~Matchbox VW Beetle. I fell head over heels in love with that little car and been collecting diecast cars and trucks ever since. I was maybe close to 5 years old at the time. I still have every original Matchbox piece that I collected throughout the 60s including all accessories that went with them. I call it my “Ultimate Collection” and keep it separate from my newer collection pieces, that now consists of 12,000 to 13,000 cars, trucks, and boats of mostly 1:64th scale. I do collect 1:24th and 18th scales also.
2) What was your first diecast or memory?
My first 1:64th diecast car was a Lesney/Matchbox VW Beetle. (Still in my collection).
3) What is your favourite scale, and why?
I think I would say my favourite scale is the 1:64th. Maybe because you can display more per square foot. I like building the garage dioramas for these little cars as it is a challenge to see how small you can make detailed items.
4) What are some of your favourite models to date? Did you share any photos with us?
Johnny Lightning Mustangs and Dodge cars, like the Darts and Challengers. Yes, many, many pics have been shared.
5) Is there a model that has eluded you, a holy grail of sorts?
The model that has eluded me for almost 40 years is the Matchbox Superfast Pontiac. I will add it to my collection someday when the price is right.
6) What is your favourite brand/manufacturer, and why?
Although there are a few more detailed companies, I would have to say Johnny Lightning is still my fav. Johnny was what kept me into collecting during the 80s and 90s when Hot Wheels and Matchbox were really getting goofy with their castings. More toyish than realistic. Johnny Lightning cars were easy to restore and customize and kept me going through a 12 year battle with cancer.
7) Describe your current theme and what your overall goal is?
I guess my theme would be Muscle Cars and Street Rods USA. As far as a goal, really don’t have one at this time, except to enjoy my little cars as long as possible
8) Do you display your collection? If yes, how?
Yes, I do display the vast majority of my collection with custom built shelves and shadowbox wall shelves. I have ordered about 10,000 little clear PVC plastic boxes from AMAC Plastics over the years to display my loose cars.
9) Do you have any other hobbies, passions or addictions?
Other hobbies, passions or addictions are, collecting guitars, amps, playing music (guitar), bicycle building and riding, building and racing 1:1 Mustangs, and just enjoying life.
10) What do you think about the diecast hobby as it stands today?
I have seen many changes in the diecast world over the years and wish the prices would stop climbing. I can’t say much good about the scalpers who find and buy up the good stuff and slap it on eBay for 3 times the retail cost. I have watched this hobby grow and grow and feel I am one of the original collectors to date. LOVE this hobby!!!
11) If you could change one thing about the diecast hobby what would that be?
Figure a way to stop the greed and scalping. Give everyone a fair chance to score their holy grails. Keep the prices down. I have seen many of my ideas be put into production from pics I have posted on many sites. I was building garage and gas station buildings back in the early 90s before they hit the shelves. Building car trailers for over 25 years now. Building custom gassers long before the famous 55 Chevy gasser hit the pegs. I used to have my own Diecast site called Diecast Fun. I had over 5 million visitors and posted more than 7,500 pics on there.
12) Do you modify cars? If yes, what are some examples?
Love customizing these cars. I have carved, moulded and cast many racing pieces to do customs with. Let’s see who comes out with custom kits in the future…
13) What does your spouse, partner or significant other think of your hobby and your collection?
Well, since I am on wife #3, I thank the good Lord she approves…
14) What is your daily driver?
Daily driver is a 1999 Ford Explorer. One fine vehicle that has lasted me over 18 years with little cost…