Is this one of the largest Slot Car Collections in the UK?
Colin Hughes doesn’t think of himself as a mere slot car collector. “I’m just Slot Colin,” he casually confesses.
Hughes, 43, works in IT and is the image of a suburban husband and dad. He also happens to own over 1,200 slot cars. “I collect everything from classic rally to modern GT, LeMans, prototypes… anything that’s got four wheels that looks good.”
We met up to talk about his unique collection, and to photograph some of his prized possessions for our ‘stuff is great’ campaign.
So how did this all begin?
Colin: I’m a petrol head. I started collecting cars about 6 months after getting into racing. The cars were being damaged and I liked them when they were pristine so I started buying one to race and one to go on the shelf.
The first car I bought was a Scalextric limited edition Corvette L88. I slowly started collecting more of the Corvettes. And then I started collecting Dodge Vipers. And the collection sort of snowballed from there.
Do you ever think your collection is getting out of hand?
Colin: I guess people look at me at work and see the cars turning up and they’re like, “Crikey Colin, more cars?” I sort of jokingly justify it saying, “Oh when I pop me clogs the children have got a great inheritance; it’ll be worth a fortune by then!” But a lot of my friends are slot car people, so they admire the collection as opposed to thinking it’s a bit obscene or over the top.
Tell us about a few of your favourites.
Colin: My favourite car out of my whole collection has to be my sterling silver Dodge Viper. They only made 300 and it is made out of handcrafted sterling silver. My wife bought me this one for our wedding present when we got married. So it holds a special place in my heart.
Another car that means a lot to me for a completely different reason is the Scalextric Ford Mustang in the Brut 33 livery. For some reason it takes me back to when I was just starting to shave with my dad. He was an Old Spice guy, so I became the Brut guy in the family. Every time I see the car it reminds me of my dad. If he was around he’d love my collection and to race with me.
So does collecting run in the family?
I know my two children will love to come play with daddy’s cars. In fact they’ve already got their own cars, they were signed up as Scalectric club members the day they were born! My eldest thinks it’s really great to race a car with daddy. Daddy has to lose, but yeah it’s great. I can only hope as they get older that they share my passion.
How do you feel about having your collection photographed?
I’ve never seen them all out of the box in one go. It’s great for the slot community. People think of slot cars as old news, and computer games are the new thing. But I think a lot of people get pleasure from a tactile real thing rather than something on a screen. So I’m really looking forward to taking the whole collection out and talking about it.
Do you have any other interesting collections?
I’ve got a collectaholic side of me. Slightly obsessive. I collect what they call the Toys to Life – Skylanders and Disney Infinity type things. I have
to have them all; I can’t just have enough to get through the game. If there’s a special edition to come out I have to have that.
I also collect Star Trek things, models and comics. Lego is a huge obsession; I’ve got over 100 sets. Again that’s something I share with my son. I sit down and play Lego with him, he has his and he helps me build mine.
My wife says she’s got three children and I’m quite happy with that!
Colin Hughes is a living, breathing, racing embodiment of our ‘stuff is great’ philosophy. It’s impossible to not be infected by slot car fever when around him. Which is not a surprise really. Slot cars are great.
To see more of Colin's Collection and our other featured collectors pop over to 'Stuff is Great'