Craig Pannell, avid collector of miniatures and other rare collectables, who recently walked off with first prize for his collection in Graaff-Reinet, will be one of the exhibitors at this year’s Motor Mech show taking place at Newton Technical High School in Port Elizabeth on 22 February 2020.
Pannell has been an avid collector for the past 27 years and his hobby has taken him exhibiting throughout South Africa and even Europe. He now has more than 30 000 items in his collection, many of which are extremely rare. According to Pannell it all began in 1992 when his mum was throwing out some of his old toys. “The obsession grabbed me then and has stayed ever since. I love to collect things and my collection is now big enough to fill a museum.”
Pannell hopes that visitors to Motor Mech, which is being hosted by the Motor Industry Workshop Association, a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), will be entertained by his collection, especially an impressive and very rare Meccano No 10 Outfit dating back to 1959. Many of the models of his model car collection will also be on display. He has 8000 – 9000 model cars at home and 6000 comics, in amongst the other collector items. “I even have a workable Meccano piston engine which I am hoping will attract some interest at the show,” says Pannell.
Pannell has participated in over 250 displays and events since 1993 and has built up what can only be described as a collection of international quality and quantity. “My collections are so popular because they bring back positive emotional childhood memories to people. Grandparents love them and can relate to them, and so too can parents and the young ones – there is something from their childhood for everyone. My dream one day is to move my whole collection into a new area where we can have an antique toy museum linked to a coffee shop where people can spend hours just pottering around.”
For those interested in attending Motor Mech 2020, gates open at 09:00 and close at 15:00. Entry is just R10 and all the proceeds from the event will go to the Newton Technical High School and will be put to good use developing much-needed skills in the automotive sector.
Apart from these great exhibits, during the day there will be various car and motorbike displays, kids’ activities, and food and drinks stalls. There will also be displays around the school including various MIWA workshops, spares shops, spares manufacturers, colleges, Moto Health and other motor-related industries.