Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1355, (3-9 August 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Valuable time

Car models are no longer toys and the work put into some of them makes them as valuable as an expensive timepiece, writes Mohamed Abdel-Razek

Amalgam 1:12 model

The taste of the aficionado is far from a practical and economical lifestyle. Mini-models are hobbies for the nobles, “toys for the big boys” as some might describe them. It starts by triggering your enthusiasm. What widens your eyes and catches your full attention once you get a closer look are the exclusive details put into the piece which may be an expensive watch or a model car. Both are collectables that share many features and characteristics.

Other than mainly being used to keep time, valuable watches are an essential sign of luxury, the same step-up that differentiates a toy car from a model car.

The material the watch is made of gives you a quick idea of its low value: stainless steel case, mineral crystal, artificial leather and cheap rubber. Such models are usually made in assembly lines using machines to mass produce them and gain more profit selling them with cheap price tags.

True to detail Ferrari 250 GTO 1:18 model by CMC

On the royal side of the penny, things are made a bit more delicately: the titanium case that won’t rust or corrode, covered with a sapphire crystal tough enough not to scratch, with a crocodile leather strap -- and that’s from the outside. With the price rising, you get a more detailed and entertaining dial to show off and please your eyes while smoking your cigar.  

A high-end model car is no different; you spot it from the first glance, with every detail looking exactly like the real car, but in scale. From the automotive grade body paint, to the small moveable windscreen wipers and their rubber blades, the moving radio antenna, and all the small opening bits as tiny as the fuel caps, to the doors and bonnet. Going for a higher end leaves you with a model with real leather straps on the bonnet that works, like the CMC Ferrari 250 GTO. It also has a true to detail mesh grill and wheels made with the same material on the real car, making it difficult to work with on such a small 1:18 scale.

Bentley engine bay by cmc

Amalgam, Bristol UK, a high end model maker company, says that some of their car models, reaching up to 3,000 pieces, take from 250 to 300 working hours to finish. That’s the same like an expensive hand built timepiece from Patek Philippe or Rolex with a complex automatic mechanism that requires up to a year to build using experts to do the job.

Going deeper in inspecting a high end car model never ends the thrill of seeing replica details that small. It leaves you wondering how it’s possible. Under the bonnet lies the engine with real metal tiny cylinder heads with all the wiring and decals. Underneath the car the details are there with all the working suspension and steering mechanism.

Ferrari 250 GTO by CMC

Stepping inside are real leather seats, real carpets, and true to detail gauges and dashboard. Even the replicas of the new models, forming, for example and according to Amalgam, the 1:12 model Ferrari engine covers out of real carbon fiber, are mind shattering when you think of it.

You simply get what you pay for in most high-end model cars which consume as much time and effort as high end watches, starting from the material they are made of until you reach the peak of exclusivity enough to satisfy your desire.

Valuable time

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