Drivin’ L.A. with Andrew Chen: Car Love Comes in All Sizes

Before I could afford to buy real cars, I was satiating my need to be around fast automobiles by collecting scale models. Like most young boys, I started with 1:64 scale Hot Wheels die-cast cars. At 99 cents, it was easy to convince my parents to buy them for me, and as an adult, I still find myself cruising by the toy aisle to see if there are any interesting cars.

Through my automotive journalism adventures, I’ve made friends who are very passionate about collecting Hot Wheels, and are part of an organization called Hot Wheels Support Group. It’s a tongue-in-cheek name because from the outside, it might seem like these fanatics have an addiction problem, but honestly, I’ve never met a nicer, more helpful group of people in the collectibles/trading community. These passionate fans are all about growing the hobby and helping newcomers learn the ropes of hunting for rare cars.

I eventually wanted more detail in my models, and moved up to collecting 1:18 scale die-cast models from Hot Wheels and Maisto, but my world changed when I discovered AutoArt Models. These intricately-detailed cars are so well-made, and with the right lighting and background, could pass as a real car in photographs.

But this additional detail and articulation comes with a higher price tag, ranging from $120 to over $300 depending on the intricacy of the car.

If you thought this hobby didn’t get any better or more expensive, you’re wrong: enter Amalgam Collection with their quarter-scale replicas.

This Formula 1 Ferrari race car model costs $14,600 and is hand-crafted using the original CAD data supplied by the Ferrari race team.

Why would anyone buy a static model car for the same price as an actual used car? Because you can’t put a price on love.

Stay true to your passions, my friends!