Hoard of cars has become a 'monster'

A shed houses Allen Mill's collection of 6500 Matchbox cars. Photo by Samantha McPherson
A shed houses Allen Mill's collection of 6500 Matchbox cars. Photo by Samantha McPherson

Allen Mill knows the make and model of each of his 6500 Matchbox cars and the year they were released.

And the collector knows where each car is placed in custom-built cabinets in his shed.

''It's an obsession that's a bit over the top. I have run out room. There are about 400 new ones I can't fit in here,'' he said.

''I think I have just about got every single series Matchbox has ever brought out. All the series are grouped together,'' he said.

Mr Mill's extensive collection, which started with 100 Matchbox cars, has slowly built up over 40 years.

''That was when it started. I bought a collection of 100 Matchbox cars off a guy in the '70s. I just started buying the cars online. I had 300 Matchbox cars and thought if I tried to collect any other brands I would need a town hall to put them in,'' he said.

Mr Mill said the shed was built eight years ago.

''There were no shelves or cabinets, just carpet. It was used as storage space for a year and a-half. I continued to pick up bits and pieces, cabinets and wood. When the time came, I was all ready to go. I'd hate to think how much time I have spent in here,'' he said.

As well as buying collectables online, Mr Mill checked out the local flea markets.

''I used to enjoy going to the flea markets to see if there was anything there I could pick up. Occasionally I would find something. Over the past 10 years Mr Mill has been buying ''all the new stuff''.

''Generally people say `wow'. But you get the odd person that will say `why would you do it'. `Why not', is always my answer. I've created a monster,'' he said.

Mr Mill said as long as Matchbox continued to bring out series, he would keep adding to his collection.

If you have an interesting vehicle or bloke's shed, contact reporter Samantha McPherson on 479-3505 extn 8306 or email samantha.mcpherson@thestar.co.nz.

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