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About Grand Prix Models

Whether its models, accessories, books or motor racing DVDs that you are looking for, Grand Prix Models is the only place to shop!  Grand Prix Models is one of the world's best-known model car specialists and has been at the forefront of the business for over 40 years, but few realise that we were one of the industry's pioneers.  

“I think we were the first specialist model racing car shop in Europe,” says co-founder Brian Harvey. With his wife Rachael, they first opened the doors of what was then a shop, in Hertfordshire's pretty Radlett village in 1972.  

“It all started when I took a year off from motoring journalism,” said Brian, who had been Managing Editor of Cars and Car Conversions magazine. “I'd been building plastic kits for review and came to the conclusion that no-one was offering selected high quality scale models of great cars direct to motoring enthusiasts. Rachael and I were both racing - Lotus Cortina, Unipower GT, Ginetta G12 Lotus, Allard Ford, works Hillman Imp etc- and we found that among fellow race drivers there was a lack of knowledge of good scale models. To cut a long story very short, we opened Radlett as a dual-purpose business; the intention was to start a motoring magazine from the rear and sell model cars from the front. From day one we were inundated with enthusiasts looking for just the kind of models we'd located. From there on it was self-generating but driven by our own enthusiasm to scour the world and find the best new models. At first we had to deal in ready-made die-cast models - there was little else. Then the first specialist metal kits came along and we began to be able to offer things like Jaguar Cs and Ds but still no-one would make many of the models we felt needed to be made.”

From that conclusion it was only a short step for GPM - as it became known - to start making its own models. Within a few years GPM had four ranges of models and over 200 kits available.  

“It was a means to an end,” says Brian, “we wanted to encourage others to make obscure subjects like the J2 Allard Cadillac Le Mans, famous rally cars like those of Roger Clark, the Brooklands Chitty Bang Bang and the first Corvette - but at first they were reluctant. Soon however, many others followed our lead and from those small beginnings emerged the industry we know today. As worthwhile new model makers arrived we gave up kit making to concentrate on what we thought we were best at: discovering and supplying enthusiasts with the best exact scale high detail model cars from every source we could locate.”  

After 20 years in Radlett, GPM moved the short distance to St Albans, where the same service to customers all over the world continued. Although no longer manufacturing, GPM was able to use its significant influence to ensure that models that needed to be made were. Brian and Rachael took well-earned retirement but the business remained in the family with daughter Justina and son-in-law André taking the driving seat. 

As 2007 began, so did another chapter in the GPM story as the doors opened on our new home in the North Oxfordshire town of Banbury, the Gateway to the Cotswolds. Today GPM goes from strength to strength. The same basic principles drive the services we provide: a desire to provide enthusiasts with the very best in accurate scale modelling and to spread the word that good models are being made. The market has changed over the years and in many ways things have gone full circle as more and more of the new models produced are ready-made die-cast and ‘resincast’ production. Kits and hand built models are still hugely important to us though and alongside the well-known brands we have available to us a most comprehensive range of rare (often unique) artisan model cars from around the world.

Unlike many stores, we don’t just sell what we have on the shelf, we will also offer a back-order service on out of stock items and take pre-orders for those that are to come. In fact, with many model manufacturers being ever more precise in their production numbers, pre-ordering is actively encouraged so that you don’t miss out and we offer a discount on all pre-orders placed through our website.    

To keep track of all of the new releases, GPM produces a magazine, Four Small Wheels (FSW), which operates as a rolling catalogue and contains reviews of as many of the latest releases as we can fit in each issue. In addition to the traditional print version of FSW, we also offer FSW Weekly a PDF format review highlighting all of the very latest arrivals and reviews of as many as we’ve managed to get through in the previous 7 days! Therefore, this website and the magazine are all you need to keep up to date with all the recent developments and releases within the industry. That means, no false modesty, that we are unique and that the thousands who deal with us are the best-informed collectors with some of the best quality collections in the world.  

Our friendly and knowledgeable team (left to right Jason, Mark & André) have over 50 years of model car business behind us (and many more besides as petrolheads!) and are on hand Monday-Friday to answer your queries by phone or email.

Showroom

Although GPM is predominantly a mail-order company, we open our showroom once a month on a Saturday from 12 noon – 5pm. Weekday visits can also be arranged by prior appointment. We are right in the heart of the motor sport industry with Prodrive, Haas F1 and Arden Motorsport within walking distance and several other F1 teams, the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon and Silverstone Circuit all within a 20-mile radius. We are easily accessible by road from the M40 (J11) and also by rail from London or Birmingham.

   For showroom opening times and how to find us please click here.

A dedicated team, a shop you can visit - we provide the personal touch!
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