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True Love: Retired Man Holds Collection of 23,000 Matchbox Cars
Written by: Blake Z. Rong on February 14 2012 5:00 PM



In the interests of full disclosure, I—like virtually every car enthusiast growing up—had a pretty sizeable Matchbox and Hot Wheels collection as a child. (It’s important to make that distinction, by the way; Matchbox was always the practical European brand, with fire trucks and ambulances to fulfill your miniature cities, while Hot Wheels was all about jumping bright orange tracks in rat-shaped jalopies.) I still have my collection, in fact, and I still add to it today, even long after those around me had the good sense to, say, get jobs and spouses.
I don’t know what that says about 84-year old Joe DiNovo, then, who has the world’s largest Matchbox collection: 23,000 cars fill his basement, top to bottom, collected over the past 50 years. The retired mail carrier used to collect trains, but discovered the miniature four-wheeled world after he sold them alongside his trains at swap meets. He would keep the ones that didn’t sell, and keep buying cases: apparently DiNovo wasn’t a very good salesman, because the cars kept on piling up—and sooner than later, DiNovo had a collection cluttering up his basement.
“I have more in the garage that I can’t put in,” DiNovo said. “There’s no room for anything. I need a bigger house.”
As every man needs a supportive woman behind him, his wife calls the basement of their house “the dungeon,” as DiNovo is down there pretty often rearranging his collection. And he has some impressive cars: many of them are in original Matchbox cases, still in their packaging even 50 years later. One prize in his collection is a VW Microbus, custom-made by the Matchbox company and decked out in two things DiNovo holds dear to his heart: the 52nd anniversary of his marriage, and the Chicago Bears.
“I don’t drink, smoke or womanize, so that’s why I have all this stuff and I’m happy to have it,” said DiNovo. “I really, really enjoy the hobby. I think everybody should have a little hobby.” Some people collect watches, others ride motorcycles, and some crochet—but I’d be a little remiss if I didn’t say that want to grow up to be DiNovo. Now I just need a basement to start.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times



Read more: http://blogs.automotive.com/true-lo...-23000-matchbox-cars-79849.html#ixzz1w9XLpXfv





http://www.mycarforum.com/blog/myautoblog/1936/A-retiree%92s-collection-of-23000-Matchbox-cars/
 

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It's amazing that he's kept his collection so focused on one brand, and that he was originally a train collector who didn't start collecting MB until he saw them at swap meets.

His quote "I don't smoke, drink, or womanize, so that's why I have all this stuff." reminds me of a quote from Jay Leno, something like "Some men in L.A. have one car and a hundred women. I have one woman and a hundred cars." :p
 

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Might be a bit odd of me, but the first thing I thought was when he passes away, how many auctions are there going to be and what that will fetch. Most of the items probably not so much, others a fine premium like mint in box or mint on card regular wheels.
 

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Might be a bit odd of me, but the first thing I thought was when he passes away, how many auctions are there going to be and what that will fetch. Most of the items probably not so much, others a fine premium like mint in box or mint on card regular wheels.
If I had to bet I would say the collection will stay intact with either family or a fellow MB collector.
 

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If I had to bet I would say the collection will stay intact with either family or a fellow MB collector.
Yeah, if family had no interest in keeping the collection, depending how much energy they wanted to put into selling it, they might sell it off in chunks. Finding a single buyer for a 23,000 piece collection of pure Matchbox could be quite a task. Then again maybe not, all it takes is for the right person to hear about it. I would imagine the market value of the entire collection, piece by piece, is incredible.
 

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I knew a guy with a sizable MB collection. When he died his wife sold the collection to one of friends because she knew her husband would want it taken care of. Unless I happen to have a grand kid before I die it won't matter to me what happens to my collection
 

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That sure is one fine collection... I have close to 10,000 cars of many various brands and scales , most on display and being played with, but have about 4,000 packed in totes and in storage... you can only put about 125 1/64 loose cars wrapped in bubble wrap in a tote due to the weight... Totes are labeled and numbered... There is 6 rows stacked 7 high full of cars, some 1/24 scale and some 1/18 scale... All in all, about 4,000 cars in storage, about 1,000 displayed in my office and the rest in my toy room... My insurance agent insured them for 50 grand for a 16 dollar a month preimum added to my homeowners insurance about 4 years ago... I have been seriously collecting for over 50 years myself... Still have my original MB collection from 1960...
I know what a hassle it is keeping track of what ya have and where they are, so I bet this dude is more than twice as nuts as I am !!!
















 

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Without hobbies, human's would all turn insane in some way. Great collection, btw, stang. Almost a diecast museum.
 

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I know what a hassle it is keeping track of what ya have and where they are, so I bet this dude is more than twice as nuts as I am !!!
I think you sell yourself short. I bet that guy doesn't do the photography and customizing work you do. You are surely the one that is twice as crazy.
 

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I think you sell yourself short. I bet that guy doesn't do the photography and customizing work you do. You are surely the one that is twice as crazy.
Yeah, I must say I have to agree... I do put alot into this hobby... Time, and money, but I think I enjoy this more than any of the other stuff I do or have done... I still can't believe I have a storage locker that costs me 80 bucks a month to keep diecast in... I have some other stuff in there too, but over 3/4s of it is diecast in those storage totes !!!
I have other hobbies as well, but diecast I have stayed with continusly for about 52 years... I still have the first Matchbox car I was given in 1959 and that's the one that started it all... I took that car everywhere I went for a long, long time... I even slept with it under my pillow for a long time too... That is crazy... What can I say ??? LOL !!!
 

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Yeah, I must say I have to agree... I do put alot into this hobby... Time, and money, but I think I enjoy this more than any of the other stuff I do or have done... I still can't believe I have a storage locker that costs me 80 bucks a month to keep diecast in... I have some other stuff in there too, but over 3/4s of it is diecast in those storage totes !!!
I have other hobbies as well, but diecast I have stayed with continusly for about 52 years... I still have the first Matchbox car I was given in 1959 and that's the one that started it all... I took that car everywhere I went for a long, long time... I even slept with it under my pillow for a long time too... That is crazy... What can I say ??? LOL !!!
Funny you should say that. I have a habit of taking a car with me to work and it's a different one every time. I only started collecting seriously about a year ago but with around 500 in 1/64 you can still go a whole year without repeating your "pocket car" which I do though because I like some more than others. People at work have picked up on it, especially one cute waitress who comes to me every day saying "can I see your car?". :cool: this habit goes back to what you described, that is when I was about 9 and I owned one awesome Matchbox (I used to live in East Berlin then so they weren't very common). It was in my pocket everywhere I went too, up to the point where the windows went blind from the dust in my pocket creeping into the car and forming a cake from inside the car windows. Man...are we all nuts...
 

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lol... Count me nutz too. I have been known to bring a car with me to play with at the dinner table when going out to a restaurant. If we are in the middle of adult conversation, and I whip out a toy car, nobody who knows me is surprised. :lol: :p
 
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