Collectors Corner – James Follett

Comments (0) Interviews

Welcome to the first installment of our new editorial series, Collectors Corner, where each month we will profile a local person who collects something weird and/or wonderful. This month’s guest is James Follett, a motoring enthusiast with an impressive collection of model cars…

What do you collect?

I collect models of the Australian cars made by the big three American Manufacturers: General Motors (Holden), Ford and Chrysler.

How many pieces do you have in your collection?

I collect the 1:43 and 1:18 scale models, of which I have 109 models. I used to have hundreds when I was a child. I had over 500 matchbox cars and a lot of 1:18 scale European vehicles but the collection was getting out of control, so I simplified it to the genre I collect now.

Do you remember the first car that started your collection?

I got my first Matchbox car, a Ford F100 Ambulance, when I was three years old – so you could say that was the one started it all.

Why model cars?

I have been a car fanatic all my life; I do not remember not being one. It has also followed me to my working career. I started out working weekends at a driveway service station when I was fourteen, and now I own and run the independent used car dealership, Coffs Harbour Motorworld, and the repair shop, Isles Park Motorworx.

Are the model cars hard to source?

Well, that’s a tricky question. If you buy them when the three big model manufacturers make them, you’re OK, but they become hard to get after that. And there are a lot in that genre that they haven’t made yet, so eventually the collection will 3 or 4 more times bigger than what it is.

How do you store or display your collection?

A lot people say you should keep the boxes, as it makes them more valuable, but I like them on display. Also, the value is of no importance to me – I will never sell them. I’ll leave that job to my two daughters when I’m gone.

Do you have one favourite piece in your collection?

My favourite pieces are the 1:18 scale models for their attention to detail, and they really are small replicas of the original. They are quite expensive too, so I only purchase the models I have a real love affair with – which is mainly the seventies and eighties models.

What makes YOUR collection so unique?

I do have three real collectable cars: a Ford Fairmont V8, Holden WB Caprice and a Triumph 2500TC.

I also have a complete collection of Wheels Magazines from 1985 to date, which is an in depth history of the Australian motoring scene in itself.

Are you a member of any collectors and/or enthusiasts clubs?

I currently belong to the Saab Car Club of Australia, as I race a 1989 Saab 900 Turbo in hillclimb events around the area.

Thanks James.

Are you a collector?

We want to know about you! Let us know what you collect and you might just be our next Collectors Corner guest!

e. kim@focusmag.com.au

ph. (02) 6650 9343


This story was published in issue 20 of Coffs Coast Focus

Leave a Reply