Vast model train collection turned into auction bonanza

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 13th September, 2018

Not many schoolboys would forego their lunch money to start collecting model trains, cars and vintage toys.

More likely, they would buy lunch and then pester their parents for more funds to indulge their childhood passion.

But not Melbourne man Martin Bodinar. As a young boy, he haunted local garage sales, swap meets and markets to discover a new treasure – having often gone hungry to ensure he had enough money to bring the new item home.

As a result, he has amassed one of the largest and most diverse collections ever seen in Australia.

In later life, the all-consuming hobby he turned into a business and during the 1980s took over the organisation of the Box Hill Swapmeet (which is now located in nearby Forest Hill).

Martin’s knowledge and passion set him apart from other collectors and his expertise was renowned.

His collection specialised in all makes and gauges, both new and second hand.

Now he has decided to part with his treasures and, accordingly, has asked Leonard Joel to auction his collection (numbering 300 lots) from 5pm Wednesday September 19 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.

The collection comprises both contemporary and historical pieces by makers including Bing, Hornby, Markin, Tri-ang, Ferris, Bassett-Lowke and Robilt.

Of particular note is lot 145, a pre-war O gauge Bassett-Lowke ‘Royal Scot’ locomotive and tender, and lot 9, a Bing c1908 live steam compound locomotive and tender.

Others include lot 34, a pre-war 1925 Hornby Metropolitan Railway Company locomotive – the first electric locomotive to be produced by the toymaker.

An early vertical steam engine (lot 10) should be of interest to collectors along with a vintage Japanese clockwork ocean liner ‘King George V’ (lot 6).

A Jep O gauge Bo-Bo overhead electric locomotive (lot 52) is another drawcard, while engineered designed and hand built steam traction engine (lot 181) and locomotive model of the 1838 0-6-2 LMR 57 ‘Lion’ (lot 182) are further attractions.

Two Mamod stationary steam engines and tractor also should warrant plenty of attention.

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