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The Simon Hope Collection. Part One.

I was born in 1951 - a great time for car design especially in the UK and the US.

Some of the greatest models of all time came out in the period I was growing up and I was hooked. They have been a huge part of my life ever since, given me huge amounts of enjoyment and taken me around the world to meet some fascinating people.

We had ordinary family saloons like the Hillman Minx and the Sunbeam Talbot 90 (quite racy for us) so I looked out of the windows and dreamed. We lived in a semi-detached south of Warrington in Cheshire (not far from where I live now) which was a growing post-war industrial town with wire works, tanneries and many other industries. However, we saw precious few ‘great cars’ until we travelled. We     went to London regularly and played golf and other sports all over the country. Everywhere I went the trick was to spot the best. We were about 10 miles from Oulton Park race circuit so even though sport featured a lot in my life we found time to go to watch the racing   too.

A life of unfulfilled dreams and large wish lists – well, it would have been if it wasn’t for Matchbox!!

My love of cars was obvious from the off so my parents started by buying me the little car in the box from 2 years old. However, I simply opened the box took the model out, looked it all over, ran it a couple of times along the table or floor and promptly put it back in the box. It didn’t help when Gran simply refused to let me play with them at all when we went to see her. It then got put on a shelf in my bedroom and waited until the next birthday etc for another friend to join it on the shelf. This continued until I started to earn pocket money or ‘paper round’ money and it all went on models (well maybe the odd sweet) and most of those models are included in this sale.

I branched out into Dinky, Rio and Brumm during my teenage years but from the end of schooldays I more or less forgot all about them as I was working and anyway, I was playing with the real thing - I was collecting different things. Fifteen years or so later I got them out and started to buy some more models and I dealt with a few dealers all of whom at one stage or another didn’t live up to their hype and decided to only buy from auction.

I was not though still really collecting. I had not joined a club, I did not have a price guide or a list of rare models or anything - I just bought what I liked but I was buying lots, and luckily, I met Julian Royse from Vectis early on and he helped point me in the right direction. We have built this collection together and I would place his knowledge and trustworthiness amongst the best in the model collecting world and not just matchbox. He has rated all of these models.

Why are they for sale?

No room left so I am just keeping a selected 1500 or so but I will still be at the sales for the odd one I am missing.

My world is auctions. Real full-size Collector Cars, Motorcycles and Automobilia at H&H Classics.

So I bid you the best of luck.