THE ADULT MODEL
© 2001 Greg
I'm still very
much interested in model cars, even at fifty-four years old. Though
my particular interest now is NASCAR, that wasn't always the case.
There were no NASCAR models in the early days so I was limited to
assembling the more common models of the era--the 50's and 60's
cars. These models were almost entirely white. With the exception
of the windows, tires and bumpers, all other parts were white--even
As a child it
excited me to go shopping for a new kit. Studying the available
kits, I ruled out cars I already had and ones that appeared too
complicated until I found just the right one. Then I would see
it--up there--on the top shelf, a 1955 Nash Metropolitan. Anxious
to begin, I purchased the model and glue and headed for
After long hours
of painstaking work, I finished. Peering through the models
windows, I admired my work studying the white seats, dash, and
floor of the interior. Then, lifting the white hood, I admired the
Later, as my
proficiency increased, I began customizing the cars and displaying
them like a car show in my room. I used small pieces of aluminum
for mirrors; little plastic stands to hold the white cord used for
ropes to keep the plastic people away from the plastic cars.
People say you
have to grow up sometime and while my body grew, my heart never
outgrew the love of modeling. As an adult, I would wander around
toy departments but was a little embarrassed unless I took the
neighbors kid as a decoy. Then one day, as I was buying three
models, the darling child asked,
"Are you gonna
put those with all your other models?"
As the blood
rushed to my face and the cashier smirked, I waited for the
expected announcement over the P.A. system,
"There is a grown
up at register three buying models for himself."
Thank goodness it
Because of that
embarrassment, I let many great NASCAR models get by. About 1988,
when the NASCAR model craze was gaining momentum, I told my wife
that I was going to start collecting NASCAR models.
"I thought you
outgrew that." She said.
Biting my tongue,
I headed for the store.
The first kit I
bought was a 2-car set. It had the #3 Goodwrench car and the #30
regained my lost childhood as I began painting the detail and
carefully gluing the pieces in their proper places--the wheel bone
connected to the axle bone. I was in modeler's heaven.
When it was done,
I held the model up and scrutinized the detail. All the decals were
in the correct place, the color was right, and all the wheels
turned. I still had the knack.
I jumped up and
ran into the living room with my model and shouted to my
what I did!"
"Yes Dear. Mommy's
so proud of you." She said as she rolled her eyes.
I believe I could
still enjoy the hobby of modeling, but age has unsteadied my hands
and blurred my site that I must now collect the pre-assembled die
cast cars. But that's fine with me because now I can go to any toy
department or hobby store and buy without embarrassment. Now folks
think I'm buying for my grandson.