Official Archive Posts

Sergio Goldvarg, Collector and Manufacturer, Hosts Archive at hobbyDB

goldvarg collection

The Goldvarg Collection of model cars is the latest addition to the official archives at hobbyDB. If that name sounds familiar, maybe it’s because you know Sergio Goldvarg as the world record holder for the biggest collection of large scale model cars. Or that he has a collection of George Barris TV Batmobiles in every scale (including a real, drivable one). Or that he is a member of the hobbyDB Advisory Board.

sergio goldvarg collection

Besides all that, however, he was the founder of a company best known for producing models of American cars from the 1940s and 50s, The Goldvarg Collection.

goldvarg collection kaiser henry j

Sergio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and fell in love with Matchbox cars at an early age. His very first one was the Matchbox Merryweather Marquis Fire Engine, which he still owns today with its original box, and in perfect shape. But when he was six years old, he received a 1/43 scale Solido Jaguar D-Type, and his fever for collecting took off. While he is best known for his large scale collection, he has countless 1/43 scale cars, and his own products favored that scale as well. By the age of ten, he was buying damaged, even nearly destroyed model cars and restoring them. “I came up with an interesting idea,” he said. “I began placing ads in the local newspapers offering to buy used miniature collections. I would restore each of the models and offer them to the shops in my neighborhood. Soon I had enough money to buy my own toys and collectibles.”

sergio goldvarg collection

Sergio with just a tiny fraction of his large scale diecast collection.

His next jobs, as an auto racing journalist (he would also later be involved in the organization of the Argentine Grand Prix), and an architect, related to his passion for cars and design as well. “I was the first journalist in South America to write weekly about diecast cars,” he said. His model car column ran in Corsa and Parabrisas, (two well-known South American motor racing magazines) and later Classic Wheels magazine. He still writes today.

goldvarg collection factory

Goldvarg Collection models required quite a bit of hand assembly.

As his collection grew, he also served as an Advisor for Buby, an Argentine diecast manufacturer.

So all that passion and experience eventually led him to start his own model manufacturing company, Miniturbo, in the 1980s and it featured all sorts of vehicles, trucks, vans, pick-ups and buses, which he designed himself.  These were created primarily as toys for younger kids, but he decided to try his hand at something geared more for collectors.

goldvarg collection 1957 oldsmobile

Thus was born the Goldvarg Collection, the first 1/43 diecast cars produced in South America. “Back in those days I was blown away by the beauty and conceptual design of 1950s -’60s American cars,” he said. “To me the British white metal models were the best, but their line lacked some of the items I treasured the most, such as the 1957 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe. I loved its sexy lines. So the time had come to create my own scale line of models. That Starfire was the basis the first offering in his new line, one year after he set out to start the company.

goldvarg collection packard wagon

His mission was to produce models of cars that he loved, but that had never been manufactured in any scale. In fact, the slogan for his company became, ”From a Collector, to the Collectors.” Some of his models, such as the Kaiser Henry J, and the Packard Woodie Station Wagon 1948 (with real mahogany wood in the sides!), were best sellers when compared with other well-established brands, so his hunch was correct.

He took that first model to Autofanatics, a store in Sherman Oaks, California.  The owner immediately ordered 100 units, and collectors that were in the store at that moment wanted to buy it regardless of price.

In the early 2000s, he moved to the U.S., where among his other tasks, he opened the first “scale model cars related restaurant.” Waffleworks, in Hollywood, Florida, has a permanent exhibit of nearly 900 of his model cars. His idea was to share part of his diecast collection in a place with a unique atmosphere. And serve great breakfast all day!

sergio goldvarg collection

Since 2004, Sergio Goldvarg has been the New Product Development Advisor for Sun Star, working mostly in 1/18 scale. He has helped develop such models as the 1952 Nash Ambassador, 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, 1960 Plymouth Fury, 1956 Mercury Montclair, 1955 Pontiac Star Chief, 1959 Pontiac Bonneville, 1951 Kaiser Henry J, 1959 Mercury Park Lane and 1959 Oldsmobile. Over the last decade or so, Sergio has worked with several model car companies such Sunstar.  In 2011, he wrote a history of Carlos Pairetti, a famous Argentine motor racing driver.

With all that on his plate, we’re glad and very fortunate that Sergio has the time to be on our Advisory Board as well.  While he was never able to put a complete archive of Miniturbo vehicles online before some of them were lost to history, he jumped at the opportunity to document the Goldvarg Collection. You can see the complete archive here.

Replicarz Adds Their Growing Archive to hobbyDB

replicarz marmon wasp

The ranks of diecast companies hosting their archives at hobbyDB keeps growing with the addition of Replicarz to the fold.

Replicarz should be a familiar name to diecast collectors, as they have been one of the premier online retailers for model vehicles for over 20 years. Over the last couple of years, however, they have jumped into producing their own exclusive models as well.

replicarz johnny lightning special

Their offerings span a wide range of famous race cars from Indy to Can Am to land speed record cars, produced in 1:43 and 1:18 scales. Bodies are cast in either resin or diecast metal depending on model, with hundreds of delicate detail parts.

replicarz march sullivan

From Indy, you might recognize Al Unser’s Indy 500 winning 1971 PJ Colt, better known as the Johnny Lightning Special. Or maybe Danny Sullivan’s 1985 March Miller car better known as the “Spin & Win,” since he did an unintentional, complete 360 degree donut during the race and still drove to victory. And then there’s the Smokey Yunick Offset Roadster, truly one of the most bizarre designs to ever compete on any track ever. Just look at that thing! Each model is limited to 333 pieces in 1/43 scale, so they are almost as rare as the real cars.

replicarz yunick

replicarz challenger 1

The land speed cars include Mickey Thompson’s 1959 Challenger 1 with detailed interior visible through those tiny windows. The Can Am series honors the short-lived but amazing series with cars such as the 1974 Shadow DN4, one of the most iconic liveries in racing.

replicarz shadow can am

replicarz stp

Replicarz also offers some diorama accessories such as the “Mr. STP” figure in his red blazer, extra wheel and tire sets with very specific applications, and a 1/18 display case with brick pavement for that extra touch of Indy.

Many of the designs are listed as “future releases,” so not only is our list complete, but it even predicts the future. One of the advantages of following Replicarz on hobbyDB is that you can add these cars to your Wishlist, and when they become available, you’ll be first to know.

Scale18 Plus hobbyDB Equals Thousands of 1/18 Models

Scale18 hobbyDB kevin pickell

A huge database of large diecast is now available at hobbyDB. Scale18.com, a longtime forum for listing and discussing 1/18 scale models, is partnering with hobbyDB. How large? Over 26,000 1/18 scale models! As a result, we now have the by far most comprehensive database of large diecast vehicles you will ever see, and Scale18 has better organized, more easily searchable data.

“Since 1997 I’ve been building the Huge List as the ultimate collectors’ reference to 1/18th Scale diecast,” said Kevin Pickell, the site’s founder. “As the years flew by and I got out of collecting, I knew that I didn’t have the time to keep the database up to date.” At that point, Kevin considered shutting the site down. Luckily, not too much time passed before hobbyDB stepped in to work with Kevin to save the project.

“By combining their archive with our database, we not only added thousands of models we didn’t have listed, but also automatically cross referenced them with other topics such as real cars, other scale models, and related collectibles,” said Christian, one of the hobbyDB admins. “We also made it even easier to search for models and manage your own collection.”

Scale18 hobbyDB display

Scale18’s smaller search images (left) are replaced by the bigger, clearer images on hobbyDB (right).

So now when you log into Scale18 and search for something, you’ll be redirected the updated database at hobbyDB, as seen above. You can see that the photos are bigger on hobbyDB than they were on the original listing. For many models, there will be more detailed information as well as new links about the real car, when available.

hobbyDB also offers the ability to keep a checklist of your own collection as well as a wish list of what you’re looking for. The best part about the wish list is that you’ll receive an email as soon as your desired item is listed for sale.

The other most important feature of Scale18 has been the Message Board, where collectors can log in to discuss new offerings, industry rumors, and debate the merits of specific models. Members will be thrilled to know that part of the site will remain active as well. “Your account will remain exactly the same,” said Kevin. “Every part of the site not connected to the database will remain as it is.”

Scale18 hobbyDB

“I’m pretty excited about all the awesome things that hobbyDB has been doing,” said Kevin. “I’m proud to partner with them to give you a new and improved experience. I also want to thank the entire Scale18 community for all of your support over the last 19 years; I couldn’t have done it without you!”

Here’s how you can find your favorite 1/18 scale models at hobbyDB –

Search

If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, you can go ahead and enter your term into the hobbyDB search box. The search box will be your most powerful tool.

Browse

You can also browse the database and use search filters to help narrow down your search to exactly what you are looking for. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a 1/18 Scale Bburago racing car that raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans –

First, search for your particular manufacturer either from the search box above, or the hobbyDB homepage.

Once the search results load, select the type of item that you are looking for. In this case, it’s Model Racing Cars.

hobbydb search tips

You’ll then be redirected to a page where you can now filter your results –

First enter the scale that you would like – in this case, 1/18 scale.

hobbydb search tips

And then any other details that will help you narrow your results, such as race car driver, or race series.

hobbydb search tips

hobbydb search tips

Once you’ve added all of your desired filters, click “Go” and you’ll be redirected to your final search results like so –

hobbydb search tips

Once you find what you’re looking for, you can select “+ Wish List” to add the item to your wish list. Or “+Collection” so you can add the item into your collection.

hobbydb search tips

And that’s it! Please always feel free to let the hobbyDB team know if you have any questions.

Every Minichamps Ever – All in One Place!

minichamps-scales

We’re excited to announce that top diecast makers Minichamps have partnered with us to build a one-of-a-kind archive of every model they’ve ever made!

Now only on hobbyDB you’ll find detailed information on thousands of their cars dating back to the company’s origins in the early 1990s. Originally know as Paul’s Model Art after Paul Lang, the founder of the company, Minichamps has pioneered producing high quality models in several scales. The first Paul’s Model Art diecast car by Minichamps was made in 1990, and by 1995 Minichamps was manufacturing more than 100 different castings with hundreds of racing liveries. Details like badges in the center of steering wheels and hubcaps, and separately molded parts for windshield visors, door handles, air vents, headlight lamp lenses and more help set their models apart. Their most popular sizes are 1/43 and 1/18. In fact, they often produce the same car in both scales, which is a popular trend for collectors.

Porsche 904 GTS - Boehringer/Wuetherich - Class Winner Rally Monte-Carlo 1965

Porsche 904 GTS – Boehringer/Wuetherich – Class Winner Rally Monte-Carlo 1965

Minichamps’ Paul Lang stated that he is “excited that with hobbyDB’s help, diecast fans from all around the world will now have an interrelated archive of everything Minichamps, a resource that we’ve never been able to provide until now.”

One of their best-known specialties is Formula 1 cars, particularly those from recent years. The attention to detail on these F1 cars is amazing considering a model might only represent an exact iteration of a car that ran in a single race. That means changing wings (front and rear), livery, even sponsor decals and tire types if necessary. For further attention to detail, many of their F1 cars include a driver figure with accurately detailed helmets.

Mercedes-Benz MGP W06 Hybrid - Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas - Winner USA Grand Prix 2015

Mercedes-Benz MGP W06 Hybrid – Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes AMG Petronas – Winner USA Grand Prix 2015

Taking things to another level, some models even feature the drivers striking iconic celebration poses (like Lewis Hamilton on the nose of his Mercedes) or caught in the action of driving. There are also several dioramas showing pit stops with the entire crew in action.

Many other racing types, such as endurance, rally, and touring cars, mostly European marques, are represented as well with the same eye for detail. In many cases, these are the only scale models ever made of these cars.

BMW Z4 GT3 - Stuck/Sandritter/Bruck/Rostek - BMW Team Walkenhorst - 24 Hours of Nurburgring 2014

BMW Z4 GT3 – Stuck/Sandritter/Bruck/Rostek – BMW Team Walkenhorst – 24 Hours of Nurburgring 2014

Minichamps also offers an extensive line of concept cars including several American models from the 1950s. If you want a model of the Chrysler Norseman or the 1956 Buick Centurion, these are about the only one’s you’ll find. The real concepts seldom shared parts with other cars, so the models have to commit to the same standards. Considering that these cars were usually only painted one color scheme in their lives, there can only be so many variants to produce in miniature. Minichamps is committed to making that happen anyway.

1965 Mercedes-Benz O302

1965 Mercedes-Benz O302

Since Minichamps cars produced in relatively small quantities, discontinued models can be hard to find. If you don’t see one for sale on hobbyDB, you can create a Wish List of the ones you’re looking for which will alert sellers that you are in the market for that model. With the data coming directly from Minichamps, everyone will be able to know exactly which version of a model you want and you’ll get an email as soon as your desired model goes up for sale.

1956 Buick Centurion Concept

1956 Buick Centurion Concept

A look through their archives will show a mind-boggling array of other types of models as well… drivers’ helmets, crew figures, buses, tractors… There is a rich world of miniature vehicles and accessories to explore in the Minichamps archive.

Arai Helmet S. Vettel Suzuka 2010

Arai Helmet S. Vettel Suzuka 2010

 

 

Collect A Nice Tax-Deduction By Donating To Auto-Archives

auto archives library

As the end of the year rolls around, you might be looking for some last minute tax deductions. At the same time, you might be looking to thin out some of your automobila literature collection. If so, think about donating to Auto-Archives, in Denver, Colorado.

auto archives library“Our mission of is to preserve and document the rich history of the automobile, and provide both a physical and virtual resource for the study of the past, present, and future of the automobile, in all its forms,” said William Taylor, President of Auto-Archives. “We hope to inspire, enable and support the advancement of automotive studies for people interested in an industry that has, in the past one hundred years, changed the habits of modern society.”

Like many traditional libraries, Auto-Archives is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which means if you donate an item to them, you can declare it as a tax write-off in the US. Ron Ruelle, Social Media Guy at hobbyDB, recently donated a large collection of magazines to the archives. He gave them copies of all 102 issues of “Chevelle World” magazine, a publication he worked for from 1995 to 2012. “When I was Art Director of Chevelle World, I needed to keep a complete archive of back issues handy for reference,” said Ron. “It was a great magazine, but I thought, ‘hey, they can put these to even better use.’”

chevelle world magazine

The physical archive of all their literature will reside at their library location, while a digital database will be hosted at hobbyDB. Eventually, this partnership will mean the addition of millions of entries to the database. Combining the actual collection and the digital reference will result in any automobile enthusiast’s dream.

Besides books about anything auto-related, they’re also looking for factory brochures, manuals, event programs, and back issues of car magazines. “Ideally we want to have at least two copies of everything,” said William. “One in very nice condition for preservation, and one for visitors to browse.” Eventually, everything in the library will also be digitized for anyone to browse or read on hobbyDB.

auto archives library

 

Items in the Auto-Archives collection are either owned by Auto-Archives or on permanent loan. All photographic images in the archive are held under license with full copyright agreement from the copyright holder.

Auto-Archives has limited funds available to purchase collections for the archive, so they depend on donations from automobile collectors and enthusiasts throughout the world to grow the Archive. If you have any automotive related materials, or know of any individuals or companies that may have items that they would like to donate, please contact them. If you know of any collections or photographic archives that may be available for purchase. Period photographs are the most accurate record of vintage automobile and racing history, and, if properly archived, provide the most valuable part of any library. You can help preserve this area of automotive history that is all too often lost forever. And visit the wish list to see some specific items they’re looking for.

All donations of either automotive related items, or cash, are of course tax deductible with the US IRS. To learn how you can donate your automotive literature to Auto-Archives, you can visit their website. You’ll find lists of what they currently own, specific items they are looking for, and more.