Scalextric Collection Auction

. November 24, 2008

The sale, at Nantwich, Cheshire, fine art auctioneers Peter Wilson on Saturday December 6, is expected to raise around £50,000. One car – the Bugatti Type 59, the pinnacle of any Scalextric collection – will draw enthusiast bidders to the sale from around the world. Of the 40-50 original examples made, probably less than a dozen are known to have survived. There are two in the sale, each estimated at £2,000-3,000.

The list of rarities is enormous. The collection includes a number of highly sought after Auto Unions, many with colour and race-tuned engine variations (each estimated at £100-200); Alfa Romeos and Spanish Banco Occidental racing cars together with others made for test purposes; some for company presentation; as employee rewards and others that were simply one-offs. Most of the cars are in mint condition, still in their original boxes. Around 80 boxed sets range from Set 1 to modern day Spiderman, Turtles, Night Rider, Ascot and other outlandish cars. Every imaginable marque of car and motorcycle is represented in the sale and there are even four horse racing models (estimate £40-60). A prototype Batmobile, which is one of only three known in green, is estimated at £200-400.

Scalextric, a British company, celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The owner of the collection, who asked to remain anonymous, said he purchased the first set of cars made by the company when tinplate rather than plastic was used for the bodies. “I still have one of the two cars, a blue Ferrari, with steering gimbal which incorporated the electrical contacts necessary for driving the vehicle,” he said. (It is estimated at £50-100).

It was during the mid to late ’80s that the collection took off. He said: “I was fortunate in acquiring a huge collection from a specialist dealer in Surrey, which included many unusual and rare items from the Roger Gillham stable. This formed the bulk of my collection at that time. Roger Gillham was the undisputed King of Scalextric and had published a book titled ‘Scalextric’. Illustrated in this book was his famous Bugatti Type 59, the No 11 car, which was the showpiece of the newly acquired consignment. Further editions have been produced including the ‘blue’ book, which I have one mint copy and one working copy. Within this working copy, there are some photocopy documents identifying rarities and scarcities. My own collection includes many of these items.”

A further, smaller, collection became available in 1988 and this, too, was acquired. It contained many rare and interesting pieces which complemented the earlier pieces and took the collection to near the 1,000 mark.

Further purchases took place over the next few years, including a small collection of saloon cars with many spare parts. Visits to swapmeets, specialist sales and dealers across the country resulted in the collection growing considerably. This included trips to France to obtain rare French factory produced items in Calais, and a valuable trip to Spain, which saw acquisition of extremely rare Spanish items, namely Fiat 500 varieties and a huge amount of Spanish spare parts. These European visits included Germany, Holland and Switzerland, all of which produced valuable items. In the mid ’90s, Internet access meant that items became available through online auctions.

The owner added: “I believe this personal collection, a hobby which has given me an immense amount of pleasure, will be a vital part of the Scalextric history I hope the cars are enjoyed by many enthusiasts and collectors in the future.”

The sale will be on view on Thursday and Friday December 3-4 from 9am to 5pm and on the morning of the and sale from 9-11am. The fully illustrated catalogue can be seen and downloaded from www.peterwilson.co.uk.

Live bidding via the Internet will also be available for the sale, via www.the-saleroom.com/PeterWilson, allowing collectors to participate in the sale as it happens, wherever they are in the world.

For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 01270 623878 or visit www.peterwilson.co.uk

Category: Auction News

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