A HUGE collection of toy cars is expected to sell for thousands of pounds at auction.

Stacey Auctioneers, in Rayleigh, is selling the collection of 12,000 Matchbox cars on Monday.

The seller is from Southend and decided to flog the collection of Matchbox cars made by former Rochford business Lesneys, after a lifetime of collecting

The auctioneers is holding viewings on Sunday and the sale is starting at 10am on Monday.

The vast collection includes model cars of well known car makes and brands including Rolls Royce.

Dave Johnson, 59, of Stacey’s Auctioneers said there is demand internationally for these items.

He said: “Some of the cars in the collection include Vauxhall Victor, Ford Mustangs and Austins.

“There are in fantastic condition and look as if they have just come from the factory.

“It is such an immense collection and we don’t see collections of this size often at all.

“This is exceptional because of the number of cars in the collection and also the condition of the cars.

“I think they are very popular in our area because they were made in Rochford.”

Mark Stacey, partner of the business, added: “The owner has been collecting for about 30 years or more.

“We have had interest from as far as Germany and Denmark and we expect plenty to sell overseas.

“We have divided the cars into about 600 lots for the sale. It is hard to say how the collection will sell as a whole.

“We expect each car to sell for about £200 or £300 and the whole collection could be sold for between £30,000 and £40,000 on the day.”

Documents from Rochford District Archive show Lesney Products was named after its two founders Leslie and Rodney Smith.

The company was started as an industrial die-casting company in 1947.

Until the early 80s Lesneys was one of the most important employers in the area.

It was later replaced by a housing estate after closing.