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Spurning train sets, Scalextric, soldiers and almost everything else, he wanted cars - with Dinky and Corgi models his favourites, although his earliest toy memory is of the Euclid Dumper truck. Primrose yellow it was, says Phil.

Forty years after starting his Dinky collection, he retired from a career in financial services to buy and sell Dinky cars, set up his own website and stand at specialist fairs.

Phil is one of the 300 dealers at Barry Potter's flagship Toy, Train and Model Collectors' Fair at Sandown Park Racecourse at Esher in Surrey on Saturday, May 31.

Talking about his interest, Phil said: "I have a large personal collection, mainly Dinky toys, including pre-war to mid-late 1960s: the best movers for me have been the Guy advertising vans and racing cars."

Phil added that South African Dinky toys are very popular currently with a high demand "providing they are with the correct South African boxes, these will sell for £1000 to £2500 each depending on condition.

"I believe there was only one shipment of casts around 1961-62."

And Phil's favourite model? "This is the very rare 340 Dinky Land Rover in a promotional colour made for the reps of the Ministry of Agriculture between 1953-4. I would say this is now valued at £3000."