If your idea of a hand-built model car is something made from ill-fitting pieces of plastic held together with an excessive amount of glue, you’ve probably never seen the remarkable creations of the Amalgam Collection.
The Bristol-based firm was founded in 1985 by four highly skilled architectural model makers whose rise to success began with a series of commissions from the world's Formula Oneracing teams to create meticulously finished, millimetre-perfect scale replicas of their Grand Prix cars.
Since then, Amalgam has come to be known as one of the world’s greatest exponents of the craft and now makes numerous road and racing car models ranging from 1:1 to 1:18 scale that sell for prices starting at £540 and rising to as much as £100,000 for bespoke commissions.
Models of contemporary cars are developed using original CAD data supplied by the manufacturers, with interior and exterior finishes being created with the help of the marques’ design teams. Models of classics, meanwhile, are created through a combination of laser scanning of the best and most original real cars and taking up to 800 still photographs of details to ensure the final model emerges as a perfect miniature.
One of the latest to be added to the “classic” line is this Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, which replicates, in 1:8 scale, a car originally owned by Victor, 3rd Baron Rothschild and reportedly sold in 2010 for more than $30m. It is one of the three surviving cars of the four built, the best-known of which is the multiple concours-winning example belonging to Ralph Lauren.
The remarkable detail of the 60cm/24in Amalgam model version of the Rothschild car extends to the wood-effect dashboard and steering wheel, Bakelite-style switches, a perfect miniaturisation of the sculptural, straight-eight Bugatti engine and the correct placement of every single rivet on the car’s distinctive “seamed” bodywork.
The first five models from a limited edition of 99 are expected to be delivered in mid-January.