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The World’s Largest Dinky Toys Collection Is About to Sell at Auction for Huge Bucks

There’s model-car collecting, and then there’s people like Ron van der Hoort. Over the span of 35 years, give or take a few months, he put together what is believed to be one of the largest Dinky Toys collections in the world – and it’s about to cross the auction block soon.
The Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the world 8 photos
The Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the worldThe Rob van der Hoort collection is believed to be the biggest Dinky Toys collection in the world
Dinky Toys is the brand name of the diecast scale models produced by Meccano Ltd. in England between 1934 and 1979, currently owned by Mattel. The toys were widely popular and very diverse in terms of the models offered, from sets that included railway cars and workers, to rare automobiles. Ron van der Hoort’s collection includes all of that, and then some.

Ron van der Hoort lives in the Netherlands but loves everything about England, including its famous car models. He started collecting diecast models in 1986 and, after Matchbox and Tekno, he became fixated with Dinky Toys. Over the next 35+ years, he would search the internet and travel the world in his desire to get his hands on some of the rarest and most unique car models – and money was hardly ever an issue, even though his wife would beg to differ.

The entire collection, which comprises over 1,600 lots, is about to go on sale with Vectis Auctions, which describes itself as a leading specialist toy auctioneer, starting September 20. The auction will last three days and, at the end of it, should all items find new homes, van der Hoort will be an estimated $285,000 richer. The highest-valued item on the list is a Dinky Pre-War 28g (Type 2) “Bentalls” Delivery Van, a promotional issue with hand-painted finish and lettering, which could change hands for as much as $3,425.

The collection includes items dating from 1933 to the early 1970s, ranging from pre-war locomotives and tractors, to road and racing cars, buses, coaches, motorcycles, and military vehicles, but also gift packs and accessories, and “rare wheel and color variations,” as per the auction house. 

With such an impressive description and given the kind of dedication (and money) that went into gathering these pieces, one has to wonder why van der Hoort is selling the collection. The answer is simple: 35 years is a long time. Know when to quit, and all that.

“After more than 35 years of collecting, it is now time to let it go,” he says. “At Vectis Auctions, during the viewing days, it will be the first time for me to see my entire collection. It was simply too large for me to be able to display it all. […] I sincerely hope that all buyers enjoy and cherish my models as much as I have done.”

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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