FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — For more than four decades, a local group has been coming together to share their love for constructing and collecting model cars. 

“It’s all of us together doing something we really enjoy doing,” says Barry Payne, president of C.A.R.B.S. (Collective And Replica Builder Society).

“We can dream of what we wish we had. We’re basically MD’s…Miniature Dreamers,” states Vern Heizer, one of the club’s members.

Building models and competing in contests, Barry helped form the club in 1980. 

“We started in memory of my best friend, Jerry Kathe. And Jerry and I were model builders together for close to 30 years,” describes Barry.

Building cars, the two built a winning reputation.

“We’d walk into contests and people would look at us like ‘oh those two guys are here’,” says Barry. “We were always winning.”

When Jerry died, Barry built the club in his memory. 

“I think he’d be very proud,” says Barry.

Over the years, they’ve gained more members.

“I was at the first meeting and been to every other one ever since,” says Steve Bowser, who first saw an ad for the club and got involved.

“It’s fun. I just like putting stuff together. Takes me forever. I’m not the fastest builder, but I just enjoy doing it,” says Steve.

Members come together once a month to show off their creations.

“Since I got into this club, I pretty much nailed into taking pictures,” says Wayne Montgomery, who is the photographer for the club, taking pictures of the models members create.

“I always get as many pictures as I can,” says Wayne.

With a lot of creativity and even more talent, the dedication is in the details.

 “I detail sometimes beyond what it should be,” says Vern. “You have to do research. All of mine– if you look at the plug wires, they’re correct. Fuel lines are correct. Everything on it is correct like a real car. I do all of my research, painting. I’m pretty good at painting.”

Starting from pieces and parts, it all comes together.

“This group is tremendously talented, and they’ve got some vivid imaginations. And I enjoy looking at whatever they’ve done,” says club member Bob Fairman. “I just enjoy building. I have a background in racing.”

The club dates back 43 years, but for many, their history of building cars goes back even longer.

“Been building models since I was eight,” says Wayne.

“I started when I was very young. Probably about nine, and I did it probably until I was old enough to drive a real car,” says club member Chris Cordonnier.

“The model stuff has been going on since I was probably 13, 14 years old, maybe. I got cars in my cupboard that’s got a 98 cent sticker on the end of the box,” says club member Tom Dill. “I built race cars mainly for a lot of years.”

They all have their own talents and visions for their models.

“I like the old street rods, pickup trucks,” says Chris. “I’ve never owned a car like this, but I’ve always liked them.”

While everyone brings something different to the table, it’s their love for the hobby that drives them.

“We all like to make something special. You’ll see a lot of creativity on the table. You’ll also see models that depict a time or place and so there’s an emotional connection with what we do,” says club member Randy Wakefield.

“I love doing it. I’m not a contest builder. I just do it because I love it,” admits Randy.

“It’s addicting! That’s about all I can say!” smiles Barry.

There will be a special event Saturday, August 12 at the Nationbal Museum of the U.S. Air Force where the club will have their models on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The club meets every second Tuesday of the month at the Abiding Christ Lutheran Church on East Dayton Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn. Click here for more information.