- Title: Lebanese car collector breaks own world record
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF KARAM RECEIVING THE CERTIFICATES FROM GUINNESS REPRESENTATIVE OMAR KARAM'S FRIENDS HOLDING HIM UP ON THEIR SHOULDERS
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 15:21
- Keywords: Guinness Record cars miniature cars diorama
- Location: ZOUK MOSBEH, LEBANON
- City: ZOUK MOSBEH, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00458U32AD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Sixty-year old Lebanese racing champion Nabil Karam, also known as Billy Karam, has spent decades collecting cars, in a variety of sizes.
The former rally driver turned model car collector owns 37,777 toy cars granting him a place in the record books -- and breaking his own world record.
He describes his passion as a 'hobby' that has expanded over the years.
"I have loved cars since I was a child, I took part in race competitions and everything. I used to make models and dioramas and collect cars and with time I progressed and developed allot. And when I won the Lebanese rally championship, I started collecting more cars. The car that I drove and then the car that won the championship and then the cars that I liked but I couldn't buy and with time my passion became a hobby. I have a lot of work, this is only a hobby,'' he said.
Karam, who showcases his vast collection at a museum north of Beirut, is also well-known in Lebanon for winning the Rallies and Hill Climbs championship nine times since 1986.
He says he's uncertain about how much he has spent amassing his vast collection, but that he has been collecting cars since winning his first racing title 30 years ago.
The 60-year old collector says the most expensive item in his collection is a Ferrari, measuring around one metre in length, with an estimated value of 15,000 USD.
Karam said he bought the model around 20 years ago for 700 USD.
As well as miniature cars he also collects dioramas depicting world events including the Lebanese civil war.
"I do dioramas of military and war, this has affected our lives greatly. It is a kind of mirror for everything that Lebanon has been through, bad situations and wars. I tried to build a mirror of everything that has affected my life, several wars, every phase Lebanon went through, the good and the bad in order to save it as a good memory for people to see and for people to see a kind of culture and more is coming,'' he added.
During an event on Wednesday (November 16) which also coincided with the eve of Guinness World Records Day, Karam was awarded not one but two world records.
"The record for the biggest car collections goes back to 1990 in the UAE, it was 1,500 car collection. The record was broken several times since in the U.S. It reached about 8,000 in the U.S. in 2008 and then it was broken in Argentine by a collection of 12,000 and then in 2011 Mr. Nabil Karam was able to break the record with his collection of 27,777 cars and give years later, he broke his own record with a new record by adding 10,000 more pieces to his collection. And the record today is 37,777,'' explained Guinness representative, Talal Omar.
"The second record we are seeing today being recorded in Guinness will be for the biggest collection of dioramas, which is an art work that represents a certain era or event. The previous record was 333 and today the record is 577 and credited to Mr. Nabil Karam," Omar added.
Thursday 17 November marks Guinness World Records Day with hundreds of thousands of people around the world hoping to secure a spot in the record books.
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