Mini adventures with toy cars

Phil Coomes
Picture editor

image copyright Kim Leuenberger

Kim Leuenberger is covering the Goodwood Revival, which starts on Friday, where she will be photographing some of the most expensive cars ever produced, as well as capturing the nostalgia of motoring. Yet she is more used to shooting far smaller models - toy cars set in the landscape.

The series, called Travelling Cars, began more than four years ago when, having received a camera for her birthday, Leuenberger took some pictures of toys, including the blue van as seen above, for a project to raise awareness about autism that was running on image-sharing platform Instagram.

"When I posted on Instagram the feedback was so positive that I continued taking that blue van everywhere I travelled. Then with time, I bought more cars," says Leuenberger .

While travelling she soon added a red Vespa in Tuscany and a yellow beetle in Catalunya, which was when she hit upon the title for the project - Travelling Cars' Adventures.

image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionRed Vespa in Solothurn, Switzerland

"Since then, my parents and I have been buying more cars to add to my collection wherever we travel," she says. "I think I own more than 50 models now, and they've been in more than 15 different countries and countless different regions.

image copyrightKim Leuenberger
image captionWhite Police Mini Cooper in Albufeira, Portugal

"I do it for the fun, mostly, because I love travelling, plunging into another world and playing creatively with my camera. I think the style of the cars I choose reminds us of a beautiful past and have a positive nostalgic feel to them.

"I'm not trying to make believe these cars are real, I'm just trying to make people smile, enjoy another type of voyage and open their mind to adventure."

image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionA yellow VW Beetle in Malahide, Ireland

"I have a huge penchant to take pictures of the cars with water and one day, a wave took my car away and I've never found it again."

image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionVW camper van on the Isle of Skye

Leuenberger's work has been picked up by a number of companies, having travelled to Scotland with a team of Instagram users for Olympus, covering Goodwood Revival for Leica as well as other work for tourism boards.

She has just returned from Emilia Romagna in northern Italy where she has been taking pictures of miniature cars of the region. "It's been so funny how people always look at me as if I was crazy," she says.

You can keep up with the mini cars and their journey on Kim Leuenberger's Instagram feed page or see her work on her website

Here is a small selection of images from the project.

image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionLavender delivery in Hitchin
image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionMini in Switzerland
image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionTalisker Beach, Isle of Skye
image copyright Kim Leuenberger
image captionFiat 500 in London
image copyright Kim Leuenberger