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Here’s Why I Own Over 14,000 Toy Cars

Here’s something you may not have known about me. Unless you’re CarMax, or maybe General Motors, I own more cars than you. And, yes, that includes you, Tyler Hoover. For starters, there’s my 2016 Mazda3 and the 1999 Porsche 911 that you’ve read about a few times, as well as my wife’s 2016 Mazda CX-5 . And then there are 14,392 others.

Thankfully, only three of them have loans on them, and my insurance is pretty reasonable. Amazingly, they even all fit in my garage. However, my garage is not the parking structure at LaGuardia — so this is only possible because all but those first three cars listed are slightly smaller than full scale. In fact, 14,392 of them are around 1:64 scale. So now I’m guessing you might be wondering how a collection of more than 14,000 cars comes together? Well, I’ll tell you.

It started more than 30 years ago, with one of my closest friends. We met in first grade and became friends instantly because of a mutual appreciation of all things automotive. While I spent most of my time out in the garage with my father working on cars with him, he didn’t have that opportunity. So, he learned about them instead through subscriptions to every one of the popular publications of the time. He also had an affinity for toys. Because of this, there was always a push to have the latest and greatest. When we were children, he would always be on the hunt for new models.

After we started to get older, the collection didn’t stop growing, and there was still a constant hunt for old and rare models. Much of his time at local car shows was spent in the markets, hunting for bargains and cars he didn’t have. He and his mother were also avid garage sale goers — and I know that on more than several occasions, he would find a box full of cars listed at $0.25 per car, and just offer $5 for the box and hope for the best!

A few years ago, he began a battle against cancer that he ultimately lost at the age of 34. During this time, we talked for a while about what would happen to this collection. His hope was that he would find someone to take over the collection before he passed. He wanted to find someone who could appreciate the time and effort that went into its creation, but also someone that would get some enjoyment from it. Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to see that through, so the task has fallen on me.

Before I found a new home for it, I wanted to see just what was there. In doing so, I thought it would be a good idea to take some pictures and document the collection. So, I have spent the last year opening up each tote or box of cars to photograph them, count them and pick out some of my favorites to keep for friends and family. The photos from each box were shared on a Kinja sub-sub blog known as Live and Let Diecast.

If anyone wants to go down a severely deep rabbit hole of miniature cars, here’s where you can check it out. The page that opens is the last of my posts about this collection and the final box that I opened. At the bottom of the post are links to each of the other boxes and totes that I posted about.

The collection spans several generations of cars, from the 1950s all the way through to 2016. Conditions vary from still new and in the package to very, very well loved — and there are even a couple boxes of broken ones. There are a great number of duplicates, though I was never sure if that was by design or not, as his desire to have the biggest collection was about the same as his desire to have a unique collection.

Choosing a favorite is pretty much impossible, but here are some of the ones that stand out for me. Partially because they’re really cool, and partially because they bring back some great childhood memories.

If your curiosity is piqued, don’t forget to go back up to the link I provided, and be prepared to stay there awhile …

Thank you for reading and browsing. And let me know if you or anyone you know is interested in having more diecast cars than a Walmart distribution center! Find a car for sale

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  1. Matchbox fan here. I still have all of my cars, waiting for a son/grandson that never happened (I got girls…)

    I’ve also posted my collection on Live and Let Diecast :+)
  2. I too shared an love toy cars.  Mine were all Hotwheels, and if your friend was anything like me the duplicates may have been on purpose.  I always wanted to have all of the different paint schemes of popular Hotwheels models.

    • Yeah, I know that many of them were on purpose – whether it was different color schemes or not, he would sometimes get two to have one in the original packaging and one not….or they just came into his possession because he bought a batch and they were hiding in it.

  3. Bill, sorry to hear about your friend.  Kudos to you for taking on such a monumental task.  You surely are honoring him by finding a new home for his collection!

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