By Aamir Ashfaq
What makes my passion unique is that I am not a ten-year-old who is engaged with a passion for four-wheeled playthings. I am an unassuming, functional, employed 40-year-old. Collecting model cars is my passion since my childhood. I love every single part about these street machines. I loved the sound, speed and especially the looks of these rolling masterpieces. Inspiration for cars will never escape from my mind.
My passion begins right from childhood as kids get toy cars. As they get older, some of these passionate individuals manage to have quite a collection of real cars. However, there are those who do not get enough resources to accomplish this, and instead they just increase their collection of toy cars. I am one of them!
Based in Lahore the historical city of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I have managed to collect nearly 5000 model cars over the course of 32 years. I started collecting cars when I was only eight years old. It was quite difficult to collect a large number of die-cast cars in Pakistan because of their non-availability. I claim that my collection is the largest collection of model cars in Pakistan.
I don’t know why, but I’m really attracted to cars and I feel extremely happy when I’m in my toy-car showroom. It may be childish, but I never feel odd living with my cars. When I was young, toys always had a special place in my heart, and I really liked trains and airplanes too. My parents tried to get me more interested in trains and airplanes but, I always came back to my first passion “Cars”.
My pursuit may not have gone far enough to earn a World Record, but no doubt such a collection is still unique in Pakistan. Over the years, I have managed to collect model cars linked to famous personalities — I have cars modeled after the wheels that James Bond, Mr. Bean, Michael Knight and Batman would choose to drive. I also have models of luxury cars, antique cars, classic cars, vintage cars, sports cars, muscle cars, formula 1 cars, NASCAR and movie cars like Knight Rider, Back to the Future, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Italian Job, Fast & Furious Series etc.
Whenever I look back to the days of my childhood, I remember that I played with my toy cars as “car racing”, “car jumping”, “accidents”, “rush driving of fire brigades and ambulances”, “army mission”, “cops and robbers chase”, “copy the car scenes of Hollywood’s movies and TV series like Knight Rider and Chips”.
Each of my cars has a history, Memories may fade with time but these cars take me back to moments in the past. When I hold a car in the palm of my hand, I remember things I had forgotten about the past, and this gives me immense joy. In fact, I can’t explain it in words.
I possesses cars of numerous brands, including Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Majorette, Corgi, Johnny Lightening, Burago, Tomica, Jada Toys, Real Toy, Norev, Maisto, Welly, Siku, Kinsmart etc. which are Made in USA, England, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, Taiwan and Macao.
American vehicles have always tempted me, so model cars of famous brands like Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Jeep feature very prominently in my display. Furthermore, British, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Swedish, Australian automobile models are also the part of my extensive collection. Every toy car is equally important for me.
I was challenged by “Asian Image” an England based Asian community magazine to find some British favourites in my collection. They wanted to know if I had an old Ford Cortina, a Ford Capri and a Datsun in my collection. I am pleased that my answer was ‘Yes’.
One of my favorite cars is 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, which appeared in the Hollywood TV Series “Knight Rider”. This car used as K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in the Series.
I have three lovely daughters (Iman, Rimsha and Asma) who help me managing my passion. I am a simple man with simple pleasures. I have no big dreams. My love for cars never bothered my family because I know how to balance my time between both.
I have never faced any resistance from my parents regarding my passion since my childhood. I really thank my parents for their efforts for polishing my passion. They never refused whenever I asked for a toy car. I remembered my childhood days. Whenever I went to a mart, first of all I would pick up a toy car and look towards my parents who never disappointed me. I would like to say here that I miss very much my lovely (late) Mother. May her soul rest in Peace!
Above all, I have models of Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, Bugatti, MG, Austin Martin, Land Rover, Range Rover, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Morgan, Jaguar, Mini Cooper, Morris, Ford, Datsun, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Isuzu, Mazda, Toyota, Lexus, Subaru, Hyundai, Holden, Hummer, Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Jeep, Opel, Vauxhall and many more.
To find out more about my collection of toy cars, visit my website:http://www.mytoycars.weebly.