Inside the Collection

Scale model cars

Model Bugatti Car
Collection: Powerhouse Museum. Gift of Michael & Jan Whiffen, 2010.

Ever dreamed of owning a Bugatti, perhaps one like this 1930 Royale Coupe Napoleon? Or a Roller, Porsche or Corvette? The Powerhouse recently acquired a collection of nicely detailed 1:24 scale model cars that includes examples of all these makes. Sixteen of these models can be seen in the ‘new acquisitions showcase’ in the museum’s foyer, where they will be on view until our revitalisation project begins in earnest next year.

Corvette model car
Collection: Powerhouse Museum. Gift of Michael & Jan Whiffen, 2010.

The collection has a particular strength in Corvettes, which account for 22 of the 41 models. The Corvettes represent cars that came on the market between 1953 and 1998. This smart 1959 model convertible has two-tone paint in ‘roman red’ and ‘snowcrest white’, and its doors, boot (trunk) and bonnet (hood) can all be opened.

The models were designed by the Franklin Mint in the USA and made in China. They were collected by Queensland couple Michael and Jan Whiffen between 1983 and 1998, and they recently donated them to the Powerhouse for others to enjoy.

If you like old cars and haven’t seen Michael Paul Smith’s great photos of his models looking very realistic in scaled streetscapes, go to his Flickr page and immerse yourself in the slide show.

And if you’re interested in Bugatti cars, check out our full-size one, which is on display in our Transport gallery.

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