Who makes the world’s most expensive scale models? Well, any professional scale model collector’s guess would be a product from one of the following brands - Amalgam, CMC, Diamond or Bauer (a typical 1:8 or a 1:12 model from them costs between Rs. 1-2 lakh). Now, are you sure? If you still think your answer is yes, well you are sadly mistaken. There is another brand that takes this coveted position. Brand RGE.
Robert Gülpen Engineering (RGE), Germany makes the world’s most expensive scale models and they have been doing so since 1990. His team of 10 engineers churns out models of Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Morgan & Rolls-Royce year after year for select clientèle.
A mechanical engineer who worked with the Research & Development (R&D) section of Mercedes-Benz for several years, Robert Gülpen ventured to make car models developing an entirely different casting process, so much so that he built a special machine to produce highly detailed scale models. His special casting machine cost him nearly Rs. 3.5 crore. Some of his 1:8 scale models need 4 months to make.
He also produces 1:18 and 1:24 diecast models but they are limited to only 70 pieces and each is authenticated by him through a certificate. They are the cheapest products from his factory and each cost over Rs. 1 lakh.
Some of his creations have few world records including,
- The most expensive car in the world – Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Gold Edition
- The most expensive logo in the world – Lamborghini logo made in gold, platinum and gem stones
- The safest showcase in the world – a bullet proof display case for one of his products
His buyers include rich business magnates and royalty. Almost quarter of his produce is sold in the Middle East where he participates in exhibitions for the rich and famous.
Take a glance at some his creations,
- Bugatti Veyron: His 1:18 creation for a Liverpool (UK) style house STUART HUGHES has 24 carat solid gold & platinum with opening boot/hood and movable steering. The 3 pieces he created have interiors that are set in diamonds and cost Rs. 19.5 crore each.
- Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Carbon Fibre Edition: This 1:8 scale model was created in carbon fibre. The car had its interiors lined in platinum, gold and diamonds. It sold for a staggering Rs. 32 crore.
- Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Gold Edition: His latest creation also in 1:8 scale is now the world’s most expensive scale model.
Here’s what went into its making – the base was made out of carbon fibre at high pressure and then this was wrapped in a 0.001 mm fine gold sheet giving it a dual gold-carbon effect. The interiors were made in diamonds, gemstones, etc. while its wheels are made out of solid gold and platinum. The doors and the hoods open and have a movable steering. Its weight – 25 kg.
This scale model’s base price in 2013 was Rs. 50 crore, though it is yet unknown if he found a buyer. Now, imagine this - one can purchase 11 real Lamborghini Aventador's (the LP 700-4 on-road price is nearly Rs. 4.5 crore) for the price of one scale model.
So, now you know who makes the world's most expensive scale models.