One of the challenges I will have once I retire is finding a new home for my office car collection. I cannot even recall how long I have had these 1/18-scale car models in my office at work. I know I have moved them at least once and maybe even twice from one office to another.
Over the years, I have had to put up with a number of jokes from my coworkers about how I must get them down and play with them during teleconferences. But whenever their kids or grandkids came by my office, the cars were always a huge hit as their small eyes filled with wonder at all the colorful little models.
So how did I end up with so many model cars in my office? And how did I pick which cars would be displayed? But an even more basic question might be how did I end up with a model car collection in my office in the first place? All good questions to be answered in due time.
Staring with the last question first, how did an adult, obviously a car lover who does not work in the automotive industry end up with a collection of model cars in his office? The answer to that question dates back over 20 years ago to when I realized as an adult that it was OK to have toys—not just the big adult toys we men acquire—but actual toys a child or adolescent might have. With that green light, I began to collect them.
I first started buying cars that I could only dream of owning—mostly exotics which the full-scale versions would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I figured this was the only way I was ever going to be able to afford these ultra expensive cars. Whenever I traveled, I sought out toy or hobby stores to find ones that I might not be able to find locally or online.
As my collection grew, it was obvious that I was not going to be able to display them all at home. Growing up, my mom had allowed me to clear a built-in bookcase in the hall to display all of the car models that I had built. Since I didn’t think my wife would be agreeable to that approach, I came upon the idea of taking them to work.
I figured since I spent so much time at work anyway, this would give me a chance to see them on a daily basis. I cannot recall how many cars I had when I first took them to my office but I know it was so many that I had to get a wheeled cart to transport them all from my car in the parking lot to my office.
Now that they were safely parked in my office, I had enough room to expand my miniature stable of cars.
And once I acquired two and then three real sports cars, I came upon the idea of getting models of those for special display on my desk.
Then the tops of my bookcases became the dream car collection, the ones I would never own and my desktop, the ones I actually owned. And over the years, my dream car collection continued to grow.
But in the last four years however, the collection has been fairly static having only added one new car in that time—the Fiat 500 on my desk—a sportier version of the real one sitting in my driveway. Maybe it was the anticipation of knowing I was going to have to haul all of these cars home one day that dampened my desire to add new ones. Or maybe now that I own several sport cars that are fun to drive, there are fewer cars that I would even dream of owning.
But there is one car however, that I still dream of owning, a Ferrari 360 Modeno (built from 1999 to 2005). One that I probably couldn’t even afford the gas-guzzler tax on.
Maybe not in yellow (red is actually my favorite sports car color), but having a large “picture-window” like dome over the high performance engine to me sets this particular model above so many others.
I’ve saved each box my models came in to have a protective manner to move them home one day and also I figured if they were ever going to be worth anything one day, that having the original box would make them even more valuable. I ran across these boxes on a recent excursion into the attic looking for a doll of my daughter’s. While understandably dusty, the boxes seemed to have weathered the temperature extremes in the attic fairly well. Hopefully just a little cleaning will return them to a like-new appearance.
But boxing them up and moving them home one day will only be the first step in relocating them from my office to their new home. I’ll have to find an appropriate place to display these years-old treasures. What if I built a 1/18-scale garage in my back yard?
I could get help from my oldest son, an architect, who has helped us design other features in our back yard. I know he could come up with a creative design for my cars. Would my wife go along with that idea—a small scale garage over in one corner of the yard? Well I can always dream.