The passion of cars for every auto enthusiasts begins with the die-cast toy cars. As the time progresses, this passion converts into buying real cars. Some gets one of few, while some lucky passionate ones manage to get a collection of real cars including classics & exotics.
However, there are those who do not get enough resources to accomplish this, and instead they just increase their collection of toy cars. Mr Aamir Ashfaq from Lahore is indeed one of them. He has the largest collection of die-cast toy cars in Pakistan which exceeds 5,000 in numbers.
Aamir recalls that he started collecting these cars since he was 8 years old, while it took nearly 37 years for him to collect almost 5,000 die-cast car models with almost every make & class you can think of. This includes the cars linked to famous personalities, cars modeled after the wheels that James Bond, Mr. Bean, Michael Knight and Batman would choose to drive. As well as luxury cars, antique cars, classic cars, vintage cars, sports cars, muscle cars, Formula 1 cars, NASCAR and movie cars such as Knight Rider, Back to the Future, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Italian Job, Fast & Furious Series etc.
Aamir explains it was quite difficult to collect a large number of die-cast cars in Pakistan because of their non-availability. But passion knows no boundaries. Cars he have include 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, Volvo, Saab, 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.
Scaled models are manufactured in a range of scales such as 1:12 1:18 1:24 1:32 1:43 1:64 and others. Cars that are especially attractive are those with a real eye to detail. Doors, hoods, trunks and fuel caps that open, ashtrays that slide out and glove compartments that work are some of the realized features. Some models of cars even have hanging ignition keys and removable hood pins to open the hood. Most have working car steering and suspension with real materials used in the interiors.
His collection consist of popular die-cast brands such as Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Majorette, Corgi, Johnny Lightening, Burago, Tomica, Jada Toys, Real Toy, Norev, Maisto, Welly, Siku and Kinsmart etc. Aamir’s pursuit may not have gone far enough to earn a world record, but such a collection is still unique in Pakistan. He says:
“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 don’t know why, but I’m really attracted to cars and I feel extremely happy when I’m in my toy-car showroom where these rolling masterpieces are “orderly parked”. It may be childish, but I never feel odd living with my cars.”
Aamir remains thankful to his family for complete support in fulfilling his passion.
“I have three lovely daughters 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.”
This kind of valuable collection takes decades to build, and hours & hours of care but if you have the passion then all that hard-work brings pleasure and always brings a smile of satisfaction on your face. To know more about Aamir’s huge toy car collection, visit his site at: mytoycars.weebly.com