I don't like to see wrecked models go to waste and, as mentioned, in an earlier post, this Mini arrived in a sorry state with some other items I had bought.
I am not a professional restorer and do not claim to be particularly good at painting but I am delighted with how this #339 has turned out. Yes, it has the wrong number and there probably wasn't a white Morris Mini Cooper in the Rally that the transfers refer to but I think it looks great.
I left the base in its original red colour because I didn't want to remove the axles and suspension wires. It looks interesting like that.
The roof rack I had lying around. I had ordered this for an Austin Countryman but it didn't fit. It does fit this, however, perfectly. I just need a couple of small cast wheels and the stub axles or pins but for now the spare tyres look fine.
Another car rescued at virtually no cost!
While I was at it I completed the rebuild of that Ghia I had taken to bits and repaired the suspension on. It was also in a very sad state and, as I had always wondered what a silver one would look like, I decided to make one myself! This works really well. The interior might be better in red but this is a fine looking model in silver.
Another almost free rescue. I do not know what I'll do with these but they look good on the shelf for now.
It does occur to me, as I gaze at the crazy prices some Corgi models now go for, that a new collector could do very well by purchasing cheap examples in poor condition and making a collection of rescued cars and things. I am not a fan of 'restored' models but I do like ones that are slightly different. I cannot explain why. My original intention was, indeed, to do just that; restore models, but I soon changed my mind. I so much prefer to have a slightly played-with example to an immaculate restoration. But if someone has changed the colour or changed it slightly then that's all good. Odd. I don't pretend to know why I feel that way but there you go. The only exception I can think of is Mrs Peel's Lotus where I do make some white versions for the popular Gift Set 40. They do need to look right and I feel a chipped old model doesn't look right next to the usually pristine Bentley in a nice crisp box.
So, as I said, a new collector who isn't rolling in money could build a fascinating collection that way which would be challenging still, provide something to do (find spare parts, understand how to repair some bits and which ones to avoid!) and I am sure they would make an attractive display.
I spend very little on my rescued models. Some paint and occasionally a window unit. I have a stock of tyres, jewels and aerials which gets replenished from time to time. Those that need chrome elements like the Sting Ray or Mustang can be expensive but the others seldom cost more than £5 at the most. The cars themselves are usually pretty much free if they come with something you want or job lots can be brilliant value. Or just try bidding up to just a few pounds for something that looks a bit sad but is generally sound.
Your collection will, I think, prove a lot more interesting and desirable in future years than a bundle of cheap, recent productions. I am experiencing this myself at present with Vanguards. More about them next time.