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Rare model cars:
Between collector's passion and tradition

The history of model cars dates back to the end of the 19th century, when Carl Benz presented the newly invented motor car to the astonished world population. In the wake of this, the first model cars were developed and manufactured only a short time later. Initially intended as a "showcase" to convince potential customers to buy a "real" car, they very quickly developed into popular toys at the beginning of the 20th century and since then it has been impossible to imagine our society without them.

While in the beginning rare model cars were sold by some car manufacturers themselves (e.g. Citroën), the 1930s saw the arrival of numerous external companies specializing in the production of true-to-the-original model cars. These included, for example, the companies Märklin from Germany (which today mainly produces model trains) and Mercury from Italy.

Since then, a real passion for collecting has developed around the fascination of "model cars", which fascinates young and old alike. Especially rare and historical models, which are still in good condition today, can cost or bring in quite considerable sums. Moreover, it is a very special privilege to be able to call a traditional classic car in miniature form one's own - or is it?

Definition of a model car

Many people who have not studied the subject of model cars in depth often equate it with the classic definition of a toy car. However, this assumption is wrong or only half correct.

While a normal toy car can be a fictional invention, rare model cars are always optical replicas of an original automobile that was sold or is still sold for driving. Just in a much smaller scale. However, the individual scales differ greatly and are partly dependent on country, decade and manufacturer. While in Germany mainly the scales 1:87, 1:43 and 1:18 are used, in America the scale 1:24 is considered the standard for collectibles.

All this does not mean, of course, that you can't play with a model car. Quite the contrary. Often, you can even enjoy it longer than a classic toy car, because model cars are produced in higher quality and are therefore usually a bit more expensive.

Materials used & tuning of model cars

The materials used for each model car depend on the scale chosen. Since 1:87 scale cars are very small, they are usually made of plastic, while larger model cars often use a combination of metal and plastic parts. Some special models are even produced entirely from metal.

Also exciting: over the course of the recent past, a passion for tuning has developed not only for real cars, but also for rare model cars. This fascinating development can largely be attributed to the extremely popular film series "The Fast and the Furious", which started in 2001. For tuning, mostly 1:18 scale model cars are used, as they allow a little more room to maneuver and thus have a sufficient size to "screw" on them.

Manufacturers of rare model cars

In the introduction of this text we have already discussed a few traditional manufacturers of rare model cars. Another company we would like to mention at this point is Wiking. It has been on the market since 1936 and still enjoys great popularity. It is not for nothing that you can find a lot of model cars of this company at different collector prices in our Eppli online store. Many of them are several decades old and absolutely rarities of the model industry.