More than a hobby


A hobbyist’s 14-year ardour challenge offers him the sense of achievement all of us search to search out

Fifty-eight-year-old hobbyist and collector Mohammad Ruslan Hussein @ Ruslan Tagan finds achievement in his assortment. From his diecast automotive fashions, restored automotive, motion figures and denim items, the retiree’s face shines with delight each time he will get the prospect to talk about his finds.

A seven-year journey

The proud proprietor of a fully-restored Toyota Celica TA27, 1973, Ruslan shares that the complete course of took him seven years. He first noticed the Celica when he was in secondary faculty, and set his sights on proudly owning it. “It’s very very difficult to get. In 2007, a friend said he saw a Celica in an old furniture factory in Puchong. So I went to take a look. At that time, it was covered in thick dust. I approached the owner and asked him if he would sell it.” The unique proprietor initially deliberate to refurbish it for himself however on the time, he additionally wanted the cash to get married. Thus, Ruslan acquired fortunate and shortly bought the automotive. That similar yr, he started wanting into the restoration course of. “I sent the car to the restoration centre and it was quite hard to get the parts, but I managed to get them all. I sourced for parts from Japan, for collectors who sold them to me, and looked for some parts locally.”

Describing the process, Ruslan defined that they scraped the paint off the automotive till the metallic was uncovered, sandblasted it, eliminated all components and wiring right down to the shell earlier than shifting on to the bodywork. The restorers then started the painstaking strategy of placing the whole lot again collectively piece by piece. After seven lengthy years, the challenge was accomplished.

“I feel like it is akin to the struggle of climbing a hill – it’s difficult, but when you get up there, the view is fantastic,” he stated of the restoration course of.

“Now, I use this car as my breakfast car. Every morning, I drive it out. I do not drive it like a regular car because I’m worried people might steal the trimmings – it’s very precious to me.”

Every time he drives the automotive out, there are individuals who present his automotive some type of admiration, be it by taking photographs or by exhibiting him a thumbs up. “I am really proud of it. I am really happy,” he reiterates.

However, it was not simply a shopper’s impulse that drove Ruslan to buy the automotive. “When I bought it, I had it in mind that if I bought a new car, the value would depreciate. On the other hand, the value of this restored car would increase. Also, not many own this car. When I’m on the road, I’m probably the only one driving it. I want to have what not many can have,” he chuckled.

He can be within the midst of restoring a 1964 Mercedes Batman 220S. “That will take quite some time to complete,” he shared.

While others put money into property or shares, Ruslan says he would moderately put money into traditional automobiles.

Not simply toys

Moving on to his assortment of diecast automobiles, the devoted collector shared that he nonetheless holds a little extra than 10 items belonging to his father. “The tyres have melted off so I’m in the midst of looking for the parts now. I already got them resprayed,” he stated with a slight trace of remorse, including that he ought to have left the colors as they had been to showcase the patina of the fashions.

“When I was small, I saw my dad owning Dinky’s diecast car models, which were made in England. I liked playing with those cars. When I grew older, I played with Matchbox cars (now Hot Wheels) and I began my own collection”.

When requested how he decides which automobiles to gather, Ruslan stated he appears for iconic items from chosen automotive makers in nations famend within the automotive business when he travels. Illustrating his level, he defined that he collected Ferrari fashions from Italy, Mercedes fashions from Germany, and Jaguar fashions from England. There are a number of different fashions from Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, to call a few. Some items couldn’t be discovered regionally, and he fondly recollects visiting bodily shops in numerous nations and carrying these valuable fashions residence in his hand baggage as a result of he was afraid of any injury which may happen in any other case.

“It’s different now – people can order these things online,” he shared. “With my action figures and diecast car collection, my house feels like a toy store sometimes,” he laughed, estimating he now owns over 100 models. “The first 1:18 scale model that I got was a Ferrari. I bought it for RM60 in 1993. Now, some of my pieces are worth more than RM1,000. Now, I can sell off my Mercedes collection for RM 50,000. But if I were to sell it off and get that money, what are the odds that I can ever own these items again?” the devoted collector stated, drawing his pleasure from understanding that he’s the proprietor of a restricted merchandise that’s distinctive to him solely.

“The most interesting model to collect is the Mercedes line, because of the interesting design, look and feel. Each model is quite distinctive as well, unlike the Ferrari ones, which look similar.” The Mercedes Batman diecast automotive is his favorite, as it’s the precise mannequin of the automotive that he’s at present restoring. “To me, cars, especially like Mercedes, are a statement,” he says. “It does not necessarily have to be brand new or expensive. It is an icon”. When it involves maintenance and upkeep, Ruslan says he cleans his assortment with make-up brushes. As for storage, the diecast fashions should be refrained from direct daylight and can’t be saved stagnant so he takes the automobiles out and strikes them round every so often.

An escape

His love for his assortment of treasures clearly shine by means of when requested how necessary this ardour challenge is to him. “In life, especially during the working years, you go to the office day in and day out so you need something to take your mind away from work. That is why you need a hobby. This is my escape and it has grown into an investment”.

Being a homely particular person, Ruslan finds contentment from being surrounded by the assortment of fashions he has at residence. “I think I would be empty without this,” he muses. “Every night before I sleep, I look at my collection and can fall soundly asleep.”

“These are memories to me, and the items will last forever. I really hope that whatever I have in my collection will be appreciated by my children,” the daddy of two concludes. Taking a remaining have a look at the rigorously curated assortment, it isn’t obscure why this stuff are so valuable – the fashions maintain irreplaceable reminiscences of experiences for this passionate hobbyist.

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