Exclusive access from $6.55/month

My autographed WRC model car collection

It all started when I went to a friend’s house in early 2002. He had a Colin McRae Rally game on his computer and we played for hours, mainly because the game kept freezing(!), but we still loved every minute of it.

The next day I went to Harvey Norman and bought a new PC, the Logitech steering wheel, pedals and my own copy of the Colin McRae 2 computer game. I spent many hours practising and became pretty good at running off the road and crashing.

Rally Sweden was my favourite rally, and I loved sliding in the snow from the overhead shot of the car.

Going through the menu in the game, I discovered, to my surprise, that there was a round of the WRC championship in Australia. I never knew that, because I had never had a big interest in rallying before. Formula 1 was my thing.

On the buses

I started buying RallySport Magazine (then, Australian Rallysport News) and if I remember correctly, saw an advert in the magazine for a rally tour. You were picked up in a bus from the centre of Perth and then driven to the special stages to watch the rally action.

At the end of the day you were dropped off at the super special at Gloucester Park. That’ll do me, I thought, and I sent off my cheque, and a few months later I visited my first rally. That was November 2002.

What struck me most was how close you could get to the action on the stages, and most of all, how close you could get to the drivers, co-drivers and their awesome rally cars in the service park. I was blown away.

Let the collecting begin

Formula 1 was my thing, and I’d been following it since 1976, the year Lauda had his accident, and Hunt won the Championship.

I visited about 10 Grands Prix in Europe in the late 70s and early 80s, went to Brands Hatch, Zolder, Dyon, Silverstone, Zandvoort, and Hockenheim, but the closest I ever got to a driver was when Jody Scheckter nearly ran me over on a Honda Monkey Bike going into the Zandvoort Circuit. Even back then, you couldn’t get close to the cars or drivers.

Going to the rally in Perth in 2002 was an eye opener for me, and getting close to those guys was completely new to me.

I managed to get a few autographs that year and a new hobby was born that turned into a bit of an obsession…

I bought a Scalextric set for my kids, and started visiting hobby shops to get more cars, and started buying multiple sets of WRC cars – one for the track and one for my collection.

Then eBay came along and I started collecting from all over the world.

In the years that followed I went on many RallySport Magazine bus trips to Rally Australia and, of course, Rally New Zealand. They were fantastic trips, extremely well organised and I made many lifelong friends.

Going to the WRC rallies I would take many models in their boxes with me to try and get signed. I prefer the signature on the front of the box. 

After a few years somebody asked me why I never asked the co-driver for his signature. I had no answer. Maybe it was because in those days the co-drivers’ name never appeared on the car. 

But from that moment on I would also try to get both signatures. Later on, I would also try and get team bosses to sign. 

In the last 20 years I have been to every WRC event in Australia and New Zealand, and was lucky enough to spectate at Rally Germany a few years back. It was always with the aim to add a few autographs to my collection

So, 20 years later, I have amassed a huge collection of about 400 WRC model cars, caps, posters, driver cards, programs, tickets and entry passes. 

Nearly all are signed by legends of the sport, from Colin McRae to Harri Rovanpera to Richard Burns to Peter Solberg’s wife, Pernilla, who came on the RallySport Magazine tour bus with Oliver one year in New Zealand.

There’s also Valentino Rossi (New Zealand 2006), Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, Kalle Rovanpera (2017 Rally Australia) and everyone in between.

Realisation soon set in that 1:18th scale models take up way too much space, hence there are only about 50 in my collection. I also stopped buying 1:43 model cars a few years ago, simply because I ran out of room to display them.

With my business restructuring and moving to smaller premises, the time has come to part with some of my collection.

Not happy Jan!

I love my toy cars, I’m surrounded by them in my office at work and have a couple of hundred taking up a whole wall in the entry foyer of our business premises.

They put a smile on my face every time I walk in, and are a great conversation topic with clients and customers. It’s going to hurt to part with them. But if they go to a good home, I’ll hopefully find solace in that.

So, if you are looking for a particular driver or a particular model car with an original signature on it, check out the range HERE.

Or, shoot me an email to: [email protected]

See a list of what models are for sale HERE.

Buy new rally models from RallySport Magazine

Show Your Support

Author

RallySport Magazine