Sergio Goldvarg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and, since then, he instantly was in love with toy cars, enjoying his “Matchbox” diecasts.
His very first toy car was the Matchbox #9 Merryweather Marquis Fire Engine with ladder on top, a toy that he still keeps today with its original box, and in perfect shape.
But his true scale model car collection passion started when, at his 6th year old birthday and with already three hundred “Matchbox” models, his parents gave him a 1/43 scale Jaguar “D” Type made by the French brand Solido. Since then, this scale model car-collecting hobby took him by storm and he still collects now.
When he was ten years old, he started to buy nearly destroyed toy cars, restore and sell them close to brand new conditions, and this became his very first job.
It was a very good way to finance and growth his scale model car collection, indeed:
” I was only 10 when I first began with this particular and meticulous way of studding and enjoying die casts. By then, I came up with an interesting idea; I began placing ads in the local newspapers offering to buy used miniature collections. I would restore each of the models and offer them to the shops in my neighborhood... This was my strategy; soon I had enough money to buy my own toys and collectibles.”
Sergio Goldvarg became an Architect in 1981 and the previous year, in 1980, he also started to work as a journalist in motor racing, his passion.
He was the very first journalist in South America to write weekly about diecast cars, in his column related to Scale model Car Collecting, in two well known South American motor racing magazines, Corsa and Parabrisas, and later Classic Wheels magazine, and he still writes today.
He wanted to spread his hobby of miniature car collecting among the readers of these prestigious motorcar magazines, and little by little, the diecast collecting became popular in Argentina, a country with a tremendous history in motor racing.
During the mid-eighties, Sergio Goldvarg was Advisor for Buby, an argentine diecast manufacturer, as he was involved in the design of decorations for their “Mini-Buby” models (the Renault 12 , Renault 18, Chevy trucks, among others).
His scale model car collection is worldwide recognized, and he is one of the few people in the world that was twice awarded as a GUINNES WORLD OF RECORDS holder, for the first time in 2005 and then, in 2009, with a collection of more than 12,000 model cars.
His collection is built with two different scales: 1/43 and 1/18 and are related, mostly, to Formula One, Sport Prototypes, Rally Cars, Historical cars, Fire Engines, Buses from all over the world, the evolution of the car since it’s very beginning up to nowadays, police cars, etc. Many of Sergio Goldvarg private model car collection are unique pieces worldwide.
He keeps every single model car since he started to collect in 1962, and what’s most; also he keeps all of them with their original boxes.
Far from the early traces of his collector passion is the beginning of the experience within the plastic toy industry. His first line was named "Minitubo".
He launched it during the 80s, and it featured all sorts of vehicles, trucks, vans, pick-ups and buses, which he used to designed himself.
Sergio Goldvarg has another achievement in his life as a car passionate, as he was the creator, founder and manufacturer of the very first factory of white metal scale model cars in 1/43 in all South America: “The Goldvarg Collection”.
As a collector, he was always searching for cars that he loved, but that were never manufactured in scale, so he decided to start his own model car industry and create the models that nobody did to add to his own collection, and to other fellow collectors. That’s why, in the Goldvarg models is written: ”From a collector, to the collectors”.
He was proud to see that certain models from his own range, as the Henry J Kaiser and the Packard Woodie station Wagon 1948 with real mahogany wood in the sides, were best sellers when compared with other well-established brands.
It was a very hard task to start the first white metal cars factory in South America, as there was no background of that kind of industry, so he had to create also the machinery needed to the manufacturing process, as no expertise was available.
“All in all, the idea of producing 1:43 scale diecasts, the same kind that I collected myself was a constant thought in my head. Back in those days I was blown away by the beauty and conceptual design of 1950s -1060s American cars. To me british white metal models were the best, but their line lacked some of the items I treasured the most such as the 1957 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe, I loved its sexy lines...Then I thought the time had come to create my own scale line: "Goldvarg Collection".
This wasn't a simple task, for there were no former companies in Argentina producing white metal 1:43 cars... he had to do everything from scratch; even to develop the machinery required to produce these kinds of toys, because the shipping costs for American or Canadian machines was way out of anyone's budget.
Sergio began adapting an old ship chimney as an iron muffle that had a large enough diameter to include a large number of cars in the same centrifugation process.
It was a test and error pathway for him as he designed everything from the muffle, to the centrifugation machine, to the one that melted metal; also he had to work out which were the adequate proportions for white metal, which should the centrifugation speed be, temperature, casings, etc.
Detailing and finishing paint or chroming was another chapter in his research to success... Step by step, with tons of sacrifice and the unquestionable support of his loving wife Mariana, after nearly 365 days of hard work he produced my first car: Oldsmobile Starfire 1957.
Marked 001, this first model was made from scratch by his own hands, and is the most precious item in his private collection for what it means, as well as what it stands for.
For the interior his first choice was red flock, but then the memory of the Tomica Dandy Rolls Royce interior came to his mind... There was no way to keep it perfect, because it caught all the dust in the air and it was impossible to clean, so he finally decided to use satin red paint.”
When his #001 Goldvarg Collection model, the Oldsmobile Starfire 1957 was ready, he traveled with his Wife to the USA, and pay a visit in the very first place to Autofanatics Store in Sherman Oaks, California.
When the owner saw the model, he immediately ordered 100 units, and the collectors that were present at that moment in the store wanted to buy his 1957 Oldsmobile, doesn’t matter how much they would ask to be paid for. The Goldvarg Collection range was an instant success and soon orders from around the globe started to came to his office in Buenos Aires.
His next challenge was to work to the high standards he had set for his products , so he began another task: gathering together a suitable group of qualified workers. This was a hard issue for the local working force wasn't prepared in that sense; no-one was making high-quality toys... so he came up with the idea of creating an advanced course for them to be up-to-date with the latest inputs in the scale model car industry world.
Soon, the "Goldvargs" were sold to the US, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Immediately after the Olds production he began to manufacture two new and wonderful models: Chrysler Imperial 1951 and Chevrolet 1946.
A turning point in his production was my Kaiser Henry J. The demand was just overwhelming, the public went crazy, and they loved it. And since the public launching coincided with the birth of his first son Kevin, he decided to dedicate it to him with an engraving on the chassis:” To our Son Kevin”.
Soon the Packard Woodie Station Wagon 1950, model would hit the market. Again, he worked in the details to provide the highest most possible quality. It was specially thought for the collector who wants more, featuring authentic mahogany wood.
At that very moment, a British white metal manufacturer has decided to manufacture that very same model, confronting Goldvarg for the first time in terms of market competition. The only exclusive line importer for the US market was also the man for the british brand in the States. According to his numbers, Goldvargs outsold Brooklin for the same model. He was in heaven, filled with pride and satisfaction.
The Goldvarg Collection next model was the first convertible in the range: The Pontiac Star Chief 1955 was a worldwide hit. An interesting finishing detail was incorporated to this model were inner chromed handles for the doors, and had already set the tone with outside door handles separately from the chassis -as the emblems and windshield wiper, which were crafted aside, and then assembled. This crafting detail was only incorporated by the British manufacturer four years after Goldvarg Collection did.
For Sergio’s next model: Mercury Montclair 1956 it was decided to go a step further in terms of details and innovations, as we began to create two color vehicles. The masking was hand made, one by one to assure the best quality and detailing.
At that point in The Goldvarg Collection history, this had become a known and worldly appreciated brand for white metal auto-models.
In the meantime Goldvarg had already developed three other prototypes: Nash 4 door 1952, Plymouth Fury 1960 and Pontiac Bonneville 1959. But rules had changed in the Argentine economy, and exporting high quality products was turning impossible.
So, he decided to relocate production to the United Kingdom:” We had our first Goldvarg "Made in England". The lacking of the inscription Argentine Industry made me sad, but as in show business, the show must go on, and it did. Our Oldsmobile 1958 with Continental Kit is the miniature for sale at the moment...but cost were high.
Few brands around the globe have achieved such prestige and trademark name in such a brief existence as Goldvarg did. Having produced only 14 model-types throughout then years of existence, Goldvarg rapidly became an icon of scale model cars worldwide. Goldvarg white metal models stand above the standard model car thanks to their unique finish and detailing.
As a passionate in Formula One racing, in 1997, 98 and 99 he was involved in the organization of the Argentine Formula One Grand Prix, as General Secretary of the race.
Sergio Goldvarg’s diecast collection was on tour many times in South America, with successful exhibits in places such the Renault Museum, the Argentine Automobile Club and the Industrial and Agricultural show at Buenos Aires.
In 2001 Argentina started with political, economical and safety issues, which made Sergio and his wife to take the decision of moving to the United States.
Once established in South Florida, in 2002 he opened the first scale model cars related restaurant in the USA, called “Waffleworks” and located in 3265 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Florida,. His restaurant has a permanent exhibit of nearly 900 model cars. His idea was to share part of his diecast collection in a place with a unique atmosphere.
Since 2004, Sergio Goldvarg is New Product Development Advisor for Sunstar, a scale model car manufacturer, mostly in 1/18 scale. Many new models from this manufacturer are Sergio’s projects, as the 1952 Nash Ambassador, 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, 1960 Plymouth Fury, 1956 Mercury Montclair, 1955 Pontiac Star Chief, 1959 Pontiac Bonneville, 1951 Kaiser Henry J, 1959 Mercury Park Lane, 1959 Oldsmobile, etc.
He was also an Advisor for Lucky Toys, in which the new Toyota FJ 40 in 1/24 scale is his project.
In 2011, he wrote a book about the history of a famous argentine motor racing driver, who was Champion in 1968, Carlos Pairetti. His book was launched in the National Book Fair in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it was an instant success.
He still collects scale model cars with the same passion as when he started, more than fifty years ago, and he hopes he will be collecting from years to come.
In February 2014, in a ceremony in Las Vegas, Sergio Goldvarg was inducted to the DIECAST HALL OF FAME, for preserving the legacy, honoring the dedication and rewarding the achievement in the scale model car industry.
SERGIO GOLDVARG FACTS.
1. He is one of the very few people worldwide to be featured twice in the GUINNESS WORLD OF RECORDS for his collection of scale model cars. He was featured for the first time in 2005, when his collection had 7,000 cars, and for the second time in 2009, when his collection was grown to 12,000 models.
2. He was inducted to the DIECAST HALL OF FAME in February 2014 for his contribution to the hobby of collecting cars, preserving legacies, honoring his dedication and rewarding his achievements.
2. He was the very first journalist in all South America to write about scale model cars in magazines (he started in 1980) and he still does today.
3. He was the vey first white metal model car manufacturer in all South America. He created and developed himself “The Goldvarg Collection”, his own range of white metal American cars of the fifties in 1/43 scale.
4. He is permanent Advisor for New Projects Development for Sunstar, a scale model car manufacturer, and he was Advisor for Buby and Collector’s Classics model car ranges.
5. He has created the very first restaurant related to scale model cars, “Waffleworks”, located at 3265 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Florida. He has there a permanent exhibit of nearly 900 scale model cars every day.
6. Sergio Goldvarg has been nominated for the 2018 Modelcar Hall of Fame as the "2018 Model Car Entrepreneur" Award.
7. GOLDVARG COLLECTION has been inducted to the Model Car Hall of Fame as the "2018 New Model Car Brand of the Year" Award.