How long have cars been on our streets, well, 1985 seems to be about the year which represented the centenary of the car as we know it?
From that time, in the 1880's when cars were trundled behind a man carrying a red flag, to warn other (mostly horse-drawn) traffic of the face of the future! Is the combustion engine now on it's way out? It seems likely.
If it is, how much more precious are the old (and current) toys, scale models and images of these fantastic and original inventions and creations. By the early 1900's wooden and metal toys were appearing in various sizes, ranging from those capable of carrying young pedal-powered passengers, down to the aptly named tinplate "penny toys".
Bing and Carette of Germany made significant numbers of tin-plate toy cars as early as 1904-05, though these were not cheap to buy and of course owing to their rarity would be a lot more expensive today (considerably out of the reach of the average car collector) along with models by the like of Guntermann and Marklin.
The bulk of model car collectors therefore, are looking at the diecast model market rather than the early tin-plate models. In this category, Dinky and Lesney (Matchbox) are still popular choices but also Tri-ang (Spot-on), Solido, Norev, Mercury, Politoys (Polistil), Tekno, Mattel and others.