SCALEXTRIC SPECTACULAR! One man's lifetime collection of Scalextric slot racing cars is expected to sell for a total of £50,000 in an auction at Peter Wilson auctioneers in Nantwich, Cheshire, Engand, on December 6.
Sooner or later, every boy asks for a Scalextric racing car game and at this time of year, mums - and specially dads - usually relent.
F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton went on to race go-karts, but most boys grow out of the toys and they are consigned to the loft. Most end up as car boot sale bargains. But for some, the Scalextric bug bites deep.
One boy started collecting the toys from their inception in 1957 and now his remarkable collection of more than 1,000 cars - containing many exceptional rarities - is to be sold. It is believed to be the biggest single auction of Scalextric ever held. Car boot bargains they most definitely are not.
The sale, at Nantwich, Cheshire, fine art auctioneers Peter Wilson on Saturday December 6, is expected to raise around £50,000. One car - the Bugatti Type 59, the pinnacle of any Scalextric collection - will draw enthusiast bidders to the sale from around the world. Of the 40-50 original examples made, probably less than a dozen are known to have survived. There are two in the sale, each estimated at £2,000-3,000.
The list of rarities is enormous. The collection includes a number of highly sought after Auto Unions, many with colour and race-tuned engine variations (each estimated at £100-200); Alfa Romeos and Spanish Banco Occidental racing cars together with others made for test purposes; some for company presentation; as employee rewards and others that were simply one-offs. Most of the cars are in mint condition, still in their original boxes. Around 80 boxed sets range from Set 1 to modern day Spiderman, Turtles, Night Rider, Ascot and other outlandish cars. Every imaginable marque of car and motorcycle is represented in the sale and there are even four horse racing models (estimate £40-60). A prototype Batmobile, which is one of only three known in green, is estimated at £200-400.
Scalextric, a British company, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The owner of the collection, who asked to remain anonymous, said he purchased the first set of cars made by the company when tinplate rather than plastic was used for the bodies. "I still have one of the two cars, a blue Ferrari, with steering gimbal which incorporated the electrical contacts necessary for driving the vehicle," he said. (It is estimated at £50-100).
It was during the mid to late '80s that the collection took off. He said: "I was fortunate in acquiring a huge collection from a specialist dealer in Surrey, which included many unusual and rare items from the Roger Gillham stable. This formed the bulk of my collection at that time. Roger Gillham was the undisputed King of Scalextric and had published a book titled 'Scalextric'. Illustrated in this book was his famous Bugatti Type 59, the No 11 car, which was the showpiece of the newly acquired consignment. Further editions have been produced including the 'blue' book, which I have one mint copy and