by Arian Smits
As a car crazy child, born in the mid seventies I had a lot of Matchbox, Siku and Majorette toy cars. At around the age of ten, homework, sports and music are getting your attention and the toy cars are moving to the attic. But in the last few years of playing with your toys, you are losing your respect for the cars with a lot of mileage. They got mangled in the bench vice, smashed with a hammer or made huge jumps like the Dukes of Hazard boys did.
Who can swear with his hand on his heart he has never been cruel to his small four wheeled friends at the age of ten?
I have a very clear memory of the burning of two toy cars. It was a sunny summer's day in the early eighties when I stuffed Majorette's Citroën DS ambulance and the blue Siku Volkswagen T2 van with match heads and parked them side by side in our backyard.
They had done a lot of miles and I even wrote the Dutch word Politie (Police) on the Citroën. The fuse was made by a match that stuck out a bit. I lit it and they both went up in flames. I can still feel the heat of the short and intense fire. The burnt-out carcasses were towed away as they really look like burnt cars. They were just that. The Citroën's interior and windows all burned away and even the upper half of the wheels melted. The bay window van looked the same.
The first picture is like how they stood waiting for the inferno to take place. The VW van is not the same as the burned one was a normal blue version and not the ambulance. The Citroën is just like the one that caught fire twenty years ago.
The VW T2 got lost in time whereas the Citroën remained in my toy box and survived several moves. The Citroën gives me a good memory of my childhood misbehavior and received the company of a mint-in-box example to make up for the cruelties. I am deep ashamed for being that mean to these now valued collectables. But isn't that a part of life and a part of them being so valuable today?
Do you have special memories of childhood and toy cars?
Have you been hunting for a model as a child or an adult? Perhaps you found your own toys back in your nephew's toy box? If there are any readers who have stories like the one above, don't hesitate to send them in and give TofTC an extra personal touch.