City Dinky car fan’s collection nets a major fortune at the auction

The Octopus Flat Truck Picture: Piers Motley auctions
The Octopus Flat Truck Picture: Piers Motley auctions

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A late Portsmouth resident’s vast collection of 2,000 Dinky toys has fetched £150,000 at auction.

John Kinchen had been collecting the miniature vehicles for decades before he died last year, in his 70s.

A Dinky sports car box set Picture: Piers Motley auctions

A Dinky sports car box set Picture: Piers Motley auctions

Containing models dating from 1937 to the early 1970s, the assortment of toys was sold in Exmouth after being inherited by Devon-based family members upon John’s death.

One vehicle, an extremely rare 935 Leyland Octopus Flat Truck brought in £2,300 at auction.

Several others sold for in excess of £1,000, including a 408 Big Bedford Lorry, which went for £1,800.

Auctioneer Piers Motley called the lifetime collection ‘the biggest sale of its kind in the West Country.’

‘When I first saw it I knew instantly that this was an important collection which would draw interest from around the world,’ he said.

‘We listed some 2,000 vehicles running from £10 each up to estimates of £5,000.

‘Most of the collection he bought as they came out, but later in life he spent a lot of money on his hobby.’

The auctioneer said Mr Kinchen began collecting as a young boy, when he was given a selection of post-war toys after missing a children’s party organised by his father’s government workplace.

From this moment, he became absorbed by his hobby and went on to promote collecting on radio and 
TV, even appearing on Blue Peter.

Mr Kinchen’s collection included items gifted to him by renowned 1960s singer, Yana, whom he first met at a Bob Monkhouse show at South Parade Pier, Southsea when he was 13.

Describing the nature of modern collection, Mr Motley said: ‘Dinky Toys are standing the test of time, although I cannot see the next generation wanting to collect them like John did.

‘He clearly enjoyed his collection.

‘At the end there was him and his cars, and his thoughts of Yana – whose photograph was always kept on his sitting room wall.’

Mr Kinchen’s most active collecting days were those of his childhood, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Despite building an enormous catalogue of items, it was not financial value that motivated John.

‘John was a totally dedicated Dinky man and it was his passion for 60 years,’ said Mr Motley.

‘To him the value did not mean that much – he sometimes enhanced his models by putting number plates on them which decreased the value.’