Toy story

December 17, 2014

Choosing a Christmas present for Adelbert Engler is easy.

He’d like a model car please.

Make that a Mustang model car.

Ideally a Matchbox No. 8 Mustang Fastback in red with white interior.

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Since first falling in love with the American muscle car as an eight-year-old boy, Engler, now 51, has collected more than 5,500 model cars – all Mustangs – and the No.8 is the car he most wants to add to that collection.

It is a collection that has taken over the house and garage that is also home to his business – The Mustang Garage. The collection is so big it sits on more than 230 metres of shelving inside specially made, pressurised, 2.30 metre-tall glass cabinets.

“When you come into my garage, you come into my dream, come into my life. It’s like Santa Claus is coming every week,” Engler says, who even has a Christmas tree decorated with – you guessed it, festive model Mustangs.

And not for Engler the more lucrative option of keeping each model neatly packed away in its box.

He claims his is the world’s largest “exposed” display of model Mustangs, and says that one day he plans to donate the collection to a museum, rather than ever see it broken up.

“It was always my plan, not to collect each Mustang to keep it in the box. I want to expose it, I want to see it, I want to touch it. “

Engler also uses the collection to help customers decide on a new look for an older (full-sized) model. There’s almost always a miniature version of what they are thinking of, on hand that he can show them.

Among the highlights are:

  • A whiskey bottle in the shape of a Mustang
  • Engler’s first model – a bronze colour 1968 Fastback, bought for just 50 cents
  • A pair of Mustang I Shelby GT350s with Edelbrock engine detailing that took eight years to track down
  • A limited edition Mustang II Cobra model specially created for Engler, emblazoned with The Mustang Garage

“I think my friends and my family find me a nut – but a nice nut,” admits Engler.

And the one that got away – the No. 8 Mustang Fastback in red with white interior?

If you see one, just let him know. Or better still, drop a line to Santa.