“You’re gonna like it,” he told me, eliminating the “secret” element. I pulled the wrapping away from the present and revealed a red plastic garage with two toy cars inside. This was surely not a Thundercat, He-man nor Transformer. “Pretty cool,” he told me. I felt like crying.Model cars first appeared in the early 1900s as plaster or iron toys. They were designed for children and had no moving parts. In the ‘30s, popularity with the cars was at a fever pitch with military vehicle replicas. Then car companies started to build scale models that showcased their new product lines. In the 40s, banks started to give away model cars when somebody opened a new account. On the bottom, many read: “To help save for a rainy day, or to buy a new Chevrolet.”
mechanical skills has been well chronicled on this blog, and this was one of my first memories of disinterest in manly things. I didn’t care for cars unless they turned into robots. At the time, I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. I was more interested in memorizing the size and era that a dinosaur had come from than driving a palm-sized car around miniature landscapes or flying through the air. I do remember that my neighbor, Bill had a fairly large collection of model cars and trains lining the walls in his attic. I thought that these were interesting, not as toys, but as a miniature vehicle that he had built.
When Leigha came home, I showed her what I had built. She wasn’t impressed. At all. Then, to my own surprise, I started to defend the car.
“It was a lot harder than it looks. There are a lot of little pieces that you can’t even tell are pieces that I glued together,” I told her.
“How much did it cost?” she asked.
“Was it fun?” That was when I knew that I wasn’t going to put any more money into the project to paint the car. I can truly see why people would have fun building a model car. I think that the fact that I am not a fan of cars, I couldn’t really appreciate the final product. I don’t regret doing this project; I just think that the cost of doing it outweighed the fun. Who knows, maybe I will still pick one up if I see it at a garage sale for a few dollars, mindlessly thinking that it would be a good project for the kids. Have you ever built a model car? Did you enjoy it? Have you ever tried to do a project that you really WANTED to like, but you didn't?