A scale of 1:32 means that the copy is 1/32nd the size of the real thing. In the 1:32 scale, for example, a 24-foot-long object would be modelled with a 9-inch-long copy.
A scale is the ratio of how small a copy of an object is to how big it really is. There are three kinds of scales on maps: verbal, bar, and representative fraction, which is also called natural scale. A good example of a representative fraction is the 1:32, or 1/32, scale.
When making models of cars or toys, the 1:32 scale is used. People like 1:32 scale die-cast toys better than 1:16 scale ones because they cost less. Aside from the 1:32 scale, there are also 1:12, 1:18, 1:24, and 1:64 scales for die-cast cars.