Rallying is a  passion for many people in Australia so it’s quite possible that a number of these enthusiasts share another rallying passion, the collecting and building of model rally cars. Melbourne model builder, Rob Cranston, is so keen on the pastime that he is proposing to start a model constructor’s club.

Model cars in many forms have been around since their 1 to 1 scale counterparts were first seen on the streets, and these days model car production and sales, using several materials, is a world wide booming industry.

Go into any hobby or toy shop and there are display cabinets of gleaming cars of all types, race, rally,  road and classic. The diecast model car revolution has hit in a big way over the last few years, but turn the clock back 30 years or so and talk of diecast was all about those famous brands - Matchbox, Dinky and Corgi, to mention a few. Prior to that the biggest component of motor modelling back then was plastic kits.

Companies such as Airfix, Revell, Monogram and AMT dominated the 60’s and 70’s, a time before computer games when kids would pester their parents into forking out  the few dollars needed to get the latest model release.

I guess I got started back in the early 60’s with a model kit of a big old Buick. I probably made it into a Drag car because that was what was happening around that time. A succession of Hot Rods and race cars of various types finally led me to building rally cars and my introduction to the Historic Rally Association determined that my future building and collecting would be classic rally cars.

I will admit that my production of late has been a little slow and with what I have to build, which I think is 13, compared to the rate of construction will keep me going till I am 120 years old!

I still have to build a Fiat 131 Rally, Mini Cooper S Rally, Lancia Stratos HF, Renault Alpine A110, and a VW.

My current build is an Escort RS Cosworth 4X4 by Tamiya, the “Bradi”- sponsored version crewed by Ari Vatanen and Fabrizia Pons in the 1996 Swedish Rally. I have added an engine to the kit as Mr Tamiya decided that kits did not need engines around the time of this models production. Shame, Mr Tamiya!

I know that there are at least three other model car builder/collectors in the Historic Rally Association and I have another friend who builds rally cars…are there any more out there who would be interested in meeting in Melbourne on a monthly or bi-monthly basis? There are a great number of excellent diecast rally models out there and this would be a group for both builders and collectors.

If so please contact me at www.classicstatue@bigpond.com.au

- Rob Cranston
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