Friday, October 10, 2014

Little Joys of Car Life

 photo DSC01766.jpg Ah diecast, the little 'joys' for car enthusiast the World over. I say 'joys' because even though most of us really love these little models and have probably one time or another bought one or two (or ten), this little hobby of building our little dream mini garages can go from harmless little fun to a full blown and very expensive hobby! Made much worse if you have a case if the OCDs.

I should know, i started young, receiving 1/24 Bburagos as presents and eventually graduating to buying my own 1/18 Maistos as a student. When i started working a few years later, i discovered the World of UT Models, Autoarts, Kyoshos, Minichamps and eventually, Exotos and CMCs amongst many other brands.  photo louis-cars.jpg I even started my very first blog writing about diecast, it's gone now but thanks to sites like Wayback Machine, it's been nicely archived on the interwebs. (Click to view it here) Maybe, that was kind of the precursor to Garage36. ;)

This also means that with limited space, my collection of miniatures progressed from this nicely curated fleet:  photo DSC01184.jpg To something like this (x4 corners of the room):  photo DSC00910.jpg Of course this took a big toll on my wallet but i guess i was lucky as i started collecting back when the 3 big brands in 1/18s, Autoart, Kyosho and Minichamps, were still relatively affordable. Standard Autoarts could be hard for SGD$80-120 and the higher end Millennium cars were going for about SGD$130-$150, Kyoshos came in somewhere in between with Minichamps sliding just under the Kyoshos. I guess one could say that was the golden age for us diecasters.

My diecast collecting story eventually paused when i sold almost every car off (keeping only 7) to fund the down-payment of a real car. Not a bad trade i think.

So years have passed and i have watched as prices of 1/18s soared and i instead got my mini car fix from some much more wallet friendly Hotwheels. Once in a while i do get tempted (Rubystone 964 RS, i'm looking at you), but so far, i've not strayed back into the addictive World of 1/18s. That is, until i found myself in a little shop tucked away in a little corner of this little city, Motorsports.  photo P1180228_500.jpg It all began a few weeks earlier where i was innocently browsing through diecast on ebay (don't we all), looking through an inventory of models from a relatively new (at least to me) company, OTTO. I've been slowly following the cars they release and boy do they have good taste in their subject matter. Their previously release E36 M3 Coupes have been sold out for months and though i see some pop out online once in a while, i just couldn't bring myself to pay the inflated prices being asked. Interestingly, OTTO have made the decision to re-release another batch of E36 M3 Coupes, but this time in LTW form. Not wanting to miss out this time, i scanned through the ads and found that one of them was located in Singapore and it was a shop! Calls made, messages sent, car reserved, it was time to head over and collect.  photo P1180209_500.jpg To be honest, i have visited Motorsports years back when i was still in diecast collecting mode, back then they were hidden inside the shopping recesses of a 5-star hotel and if my memory serves me correct, featured mostly F1 and motorsport-related cars, hence the name i guess.

This time though, oh my, the shop might not be the biggest out there but what a selection of cars they have.  photo P1180211_500.jpg Quality not quantity is key here. I spotted so many desirable cars, reminds me of those smaller stores in Japan full of interesting little cars.  photo P1180214_500.jpg Though prices of most 1/43s are not exactly what you'll call "cheap", they seem to be a much more viable alternative to 1/18s. Looking at this F40, I'm sure modelling techniques and construction methods have also improved alot over the years.  photo P1180217_500.jpg  photo P1180218_500.jpg That G-nose. Need one badly in my life (in 1/1 scale of course :P ).  photo P1180221_500.jpg Perhaps also, since living spaces have shrunk, many have started turning to 1/43s.  photo P1180219_500.jpg Can't blame them as you just can't beat the sheer variety of cars in 1/43 form.  photo P1180224_500.jpg If you're on a slightly tighter budget, how about these Hotwheels? Sure don't look like the ones i see in the department stores.  photo P1180226_500.jpg So much want, so little money. It's really awesome that a local store is bringing in all these "non-mainstream" brands. They hands-down win it on subject matter alone.  photo P1180208_500.jpg I came, i collected, i went home happy. So next time you are in the area, do drop by Jacky's little automotive treasure trove and tell them this little blog sent you there. Just try to keep calm and remember you need some money for food and daily necessities too! Motorsports can be found in the basement of The Adelphi, 1 Coleman Street, Singapore 179803 (closed on Sundays). Have fun!


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