I have previously written a couple of times about these 28 car models that graced the book cases in my work office for many, many years. First, I wrote about my desire to find a home for them (Miniature Garage) once I retired, an idea handily squashed by my wife. Second, I wrote about the actual Model Moving Day which was a sad day indeed. At the end of this last post, I sadly revealed that their home had become just a large box in our play room closet. And that has been where they have resided for over the last three years, at least until now.
I never really thought my wife would warm to the idea of me building a 1/18 scale garage in our backyard to house this miniature car collection. It was only wishful thinking. But I did hope that I would eventually find a way to display them in our home.
Admittedly, I already had a number of model cars of varying scale displayed throughout the house—ones that are always items of great interest whenever some of our five grandchildren come over. But these from my office were a bit more special, not the least of which was the fact that I saw them every day, throughout the day in my work office. After so many years for us to be together, it just seemed these deserved a special home.
Then Ikea came to our town.
On one of my first visits there, I admired a glass enclosed metal case that seemed just the right piece of furniture in which to display them. Every time we would adventure through Ikea for some item, I would also lovingly glance at the display case and think that it was the right choice. So, this year when my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I naturally said one of these.
It just so happened that I was going to be out of town on my actual birthday and my wife was out of town the weekend before my birthday, so I took it upon myself to go to Ikea and purchase it. Only they no longer carried the rust colored unit that I had admired so often. However, they did replace that color with a nice dark gray that after some mental deliberation, I decided would be just as good.
As with most Ikea furniture, it comes in flat boxes. After purchasing it and rolling the two boxes out to my car, I found they would not fit in my trunk. It seems I never learn this lesson since this was the second time, I had made a large box purchase while my wife was out of town with her much more versatile Subaru Outback. I slid the boxes in as far as they would go and carefully tied the trunk lid down. Then I drove home ever so gingerly, thankfully without incident.
The day before my birthday, the day I was flying off to Washington, DC to give a talk, I decided to assemble my new display case.
It was with excited child-like delight that I removed the pieces from the box and began the assembly process.
In no time, thanks to very clear instructions, I had most of the case assembled.
And then just a short time later, the finished cabinet was complete.
I had previously talked to my wife about the best place to locate this cabinet and given how heavy the cabinet was (obviously the reason it came in two separate boxes), I decided to assemble it where it would be placed.
The next step was to decide which cars to display.
While I had 28 cars on display in my office, I knew I would never find that much space at home to display all the cars. With three shelves, I quickly realized that nine cars, three on each shelf, would be the right number to allow some space between each without them seeming like they were jammed in like a used car lot.
My first car selected for display—a Ferrari 360 Modena—was the one exotic car I have always wanted to own even though realistically I could not afford, much less justify considering it cost more than the price of my first two homes combined.
Next up was my favorite sports car that I have been able to afford, a second-generation Mazda Miata.
Two more cars that got the nod were also cars I had previously owned and loved but had parted with for a number of reasons.
Also making the cut was a model reminiscent of the first convertible that I ever drove.
The remaining four cars were all ones that I would have also loved to own.
As I stood back, I was most pleased. Now I finally had an appropriate display case for these cars that meant so much to me. An added bonus of the cabinet was a locking door that will prevent small hands from admiring these models to vigorously. While I know this may be somewhat sad for them, they will still be able to feast their eager eyes on them for as long as they want.
As for the other 19 cars in my collection, I realized as I locked the cabinet door that I could choose each year to display different cars rotating them out for ones currently on display, much as museums curate different artifacts in and out from their storage areas. So eventually, all could be displayed and avoid the darkness of a big box, reliving the time when they were all on full display in my office.
Finally, a proper miniature model home!