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Culture

on June 17th, 2017

If you ever visit the Musée Automobile De La Sarthe at the Le Mans circuit in France, you would get a perspective of how vast and vibrant France’s legendary endurance race is. Held annually since 1923, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a gruelling test of endurance for men and their machines pitted against others in a battle that rages on for 24 hours through the dark of night and into the following day. 24 Hours of Le Mans is intense and extensive racing at its best. Over the years since the first 24-hour endurance race was held in 1923, 84 winning cars have emerged. And while the rules of endurance racing have constantly evolved from racing cars that can be sold to customers for road use to purebred prototype machines that are made specifically for endurance racing, the magnitude of excitement and anticipation from an event that is one of the three pillars of the Triple Crown of Motorsport has remained un-altered.

To savour the extensive legacy of such a grand motorsport event, you can imagine that a very special and substantial effort is needed. It is something that cannot be done in a month or two, certainly not overnight even if you have all the oil money in the world. If you are a diecast car collector, like Adil Jal Darukhanawala, then you’d know best that collecting Le Mans memorabilia is not something that could be done even the timespan of an year. Adil has been collecting diecast model cars for years now, 20 plus to be a bit more accurate. Over these years, he has amassed an incredible collection of more than 10,000 cars. But it isn’t the numbers or the sheer size of his collection that makes it so unique. Instead, it is the way Adil’s diecast cars have been hand-picked and specifically curated into a series. Today, Adil’s diecast model collection has everything from a fine selection of Formula One’s greatest hits to the machines Ferrari ever made for racing, on to all the MotoGP winning motorcycles, and so on. Also a part of his series-collections is this complete lineup of 24 Hours of Le Mans winning cars.

Looking and going through Adil’s enormous collection of Le Mans cars diecast collection – winning cars, it is no surprise that it has taken him years to get them all together. Most of the diecast model cars in this Le Mans collection are rare models that were produced in very small numbers. Some of the model cars were made only to be sold during the 24-hour race as a memorabilia for those who attended. Over the years that Adil has gone to witness racing first hand at Le Mans, and while travelling the world as an editor of several prestigious motoring publications in India, he has piece-by-piece completed the collection one diecast car at a time. His collection to the date of our shoot had every Le Mans-winning car there has been till 2016. The Le Mans cars diecast collection resides in a specially-made enclosure on the wall Adil’s living room, alongside his other proudly curated series-collections.

If you like Adil’s Le Mans collection, then be sure to let him know on Twitter and maybe we could get a chance to document his other diecast model collections here on ColumnM. As for this collection, I thank Adil for letting us get up close and personal with his incredible collection.

Feature image by Ishaan Bhataiya
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