Now that Antiques Road Show is shown on BBC around the world, most of us dream of the day when we find something in our family attic or basement that turns out to be worth loads of money. What antique dealers and collectors will tell you is that sometimes you completely overlook the most valuable thing you own because they are things you’ve just forgotten about. Some things just sit in the dust and grow in value, and hopefully before it gets sold at a garage sale for a song, you’ve done a little homework and don’t let it go so cheaply.
One of the upswings in buying is toy cars, and the best kind you can find in your attic is called a Corgi car. Corgi is a British brand name, but they also manufactured American models so it isn’t all that unlikely to find one in the U.S. Corgi cars were first made in the 1950s in Wales as a spin-off from a die cast toy manufacturer. Since it was Wales, they decided theWelsh Corgi dog had always been popular and especially to the Royal Family so it was a clever marketing strategy. It was catchy then and it’s still working now. Corgi toys always attempted to stay ahead of other die cast toy companies and were known to be very innovative with their designs. The windows were actually glass, they had spring suspensions, and doors opened as well as the trunks and the hoods. If your father or brother was into cars, it’s a cinch he probably had one or more.
Of course, if you find a very early Corgi it will be worth a lot, but the ones that are overlooked are the ones from the late 1960s and 1970s, and they are rapidly rising in value as very sought after collector items. The 1965 James Bond Astin Martin is a real find with its working ejector seat. But the all time most popular was their 1968 Batmobile of which there were 5 million manufactured. A few of those should be floating around in attics!
If you get super lucky digging through the spider webs, you might come up with some top money makers. There was a Man From U.N.C.L.E. Oldsmobile model called the ‘Thrushbuster’. It would likely bring in around $550-600 today. A Ford Thunderbird can command as much as $400 if it’s the hardtop in pale green. Even you only find a lowly Chevrolet Belair or a Ford van, you’ve just made yourself $35-50. Keep an eye out for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars along with London double decker buses, the Beatles yellow submarine, and the Saints Volvo.
The market is just beginning it’s upturn on these cars so find them, clean them up and watch how the auctions will treat your models. There just may be some money in boxes in the attic!