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Diecast Cars: How They Became a Fuel of Passion For a Young Engineer

Dive into the world of diecast cars with Johann D'costa, a passionate young engineer whose love for miniature replicas has evolved into a captivating
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Diecast Cars Johann D'costa
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Although most of us have not only seen but also played with them as children, the die-cast model cars now have the attention of many more enthusiasts. One of them is Colva-based Johann D’costa, who collects, cares for, and stores these tiny versions just like someone will display an actual car. From finding them at local shops to making sure he’ll always attend every special event related to die-cast cars, Johann is highly devoted to his passion.

“When I was a kid, I used to find cars like Mercedes and BMW’s fascinating”, says Johann who then started collecting Hot-Wheelz and other similar diecast car models as a child. Fascinated by real cars he started going out to local toy shops to buy miniature versions of them. “I used to go to the market to buy these model diecast cars and seeing my liking for them even my relatives used to give them as a gift to me”, he told about how it all started. To date, he has more than 500 diecast models, ranging from cars, trucks, and construction vehicles to even a few aircraft.

Although Johann collects all types of cars, from vintage cars of the 80s and 90s to licensed models of Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Fords, etc., it is the special editions of these cars that he likes collecting the most. “Models which were featured in movies or famous TV and cartoon shows like The Fast and The Furious franchise, Scooby-Doo, Ghost Busters, The Flintstones, etc. is what I love the most”, says Johann, who keeps these special edition cars carefully in a showcase for display at his home. 

He’s even gone to extreme lengths to acquire some of these tiny replicas. “I had to import them from countries like the US and Hong Kong and had to pay ten times more, as they were made in limited quantity or weren’t made anymore”, tells Johann while talking of his rare Blue motorhome and Koenigsegg Agera RS, the latter being his most favourite one in his entire big collection. Although he’s got many expensive cars in his collection, some that cost more than 2000 rupees, like the rare caveman car from the famous cartoon show The Flintstones, it’s the Koenigsegg Agera RS that is his favourite one of all.

Johann even participated in the so-called ‘Treasure Hunt’ events. “Some of the makers of these cars release their premium edition, expensive cars, the ones made to look exactly like the real ones, with rubber and glass body along with the normal cars made with metal and for the same price as the latter ones. But you’ve to hunt them at various places, as they’re packed in sets with normal cars and are made available a few times a year”, he says as he’s got a few of these premium cars by participating in the ‘Treasure Hunt’ events.

“There are big groups of diecast cars collecting enthusiasts on social media all over India,” he says when asked how he finds such rare cars and keeps himself updated about events like ‘Treasure Hunt’. He is part of a Goa-based diecast car collecting group, that has hundreds of members who not only keep themselves updated about these cars and events related to it but also share pictures of their new cars and trade them with each other. These groups, he says, are bigger with thousands of members in big cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, with members ranging from teenagers in high school to guys in their late forties. Johann feels proud to be one of them and he’s been invited by people from various places to be a part of their groups.

Johann also has the freedom to pursue his passion. “My family is happy about it and my cousins often indulge me with diecast car model gifts”, he says when asked about his family’s reaction to him spending a lot of money on these tiny cars. Apart from that he has started his career in marine engineering, which he says will help him fund his ever-growing diecast car collecting hobby that he also loves to share with others on social media, to share his contagious passion and inspire others.

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