Sandy Copeman is the master craftsman who together with a team of other craftsmen, build cars that enthusiasts would love to have like the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Mille Miglia, 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1-3.8 Coupé, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO 3589GT, and 1957 Porsche 356A among others. Each of these cars is painstakingly detailed. They also sell for a fraction of the real thing.
Before you freak out, they are about 1/8th the size of the originals because they are models. He says that his goal is to build masterpieces that are indistinguishable from the real thing and he has done that. If you take a hi-res photo of one of these models, there is no way to tell if it is a model.
The company’s name is Amalgam and some of the models perform like their ‘real’ counterparts. Using remote controlling, these cars can activate headlights, hazards, taillights and even open the doors. Copeman started building things when he was a teen.
His first projects included stripping mopeds down and making them into leaner and meaner machines for racing.
And now, anything that they make over at Amalgam Collections is so detailed that even the biggest and most revered experts scrutinize them and do not find anything that might stand out as a flaw in the design or detailing. Copeman travelled throughout Europe and North Africa learning crafts in the way and started by creating scaled buildings for an architectural firm.
He moved back to Bristol in the late 70s and with three colleagues, they formed Amalgam Modelmakers. They designed for architectures before they moved on to designing cars for Formula 1 racing teams in ‘95. They would go on to get a deal with Williams Formula 1 in ‘96 and then Ferrari in ‘98
In 2004, the company split into two’ Amalgam Modelmakers and Amalgam Fine Model cars. The teams has different ambitions with some wanting one-off architectural models and the other miniature cars in large numbers. Copeman’s ambition as to make the best model cars in the world and it was not a dream shared by his partners. They split up but it was amiable and they even worked out of the same shop for years and are still friends to date.
Between 2007-2006, Ferrari commissioned the making of current and classic Ferraris. After that, Lamborghini and McLaren among other companies, wanted models of their cars made too. The business took off.
The company is now called Amalgam Collections and has revenues in excess of $10 million a year. They make about 500 models a month and the price ranges anywhere between $685 and north of $150,000. It all depends on size and details. They employ more than 200 people with facilities in China, Pecs in Hungary and Bristol.
To achieve the level of details that they want, they use original CAD drawings obtained from the companies that make these cars and that is how they get them to look so authentic. With models made from these original drawings, everything fits in together.