Lesney Matchbox time is here again. I notice a lot of love out there for car transporters, which makes this a good time to look at an early model. This is Lesney Matchbox A2a, the Accessory Pack (Bedford S-Type) car transporter. This casting entered the range in 1957, and remained until late 1962 or early 1963. It is exactly what one would expect from an earlier model in the Matchbox line:

This is a very blue model, and is a somewhat large piece compared to a normal car casting. Scale is hard to estimate, as early Matchbox models vary. The Nick Jones MBX site thinks this is slightly larger than many castings. As this is from 1957, there’s no glazing or interior or opening parts, but these are not needed - a car transporter in and of itself has endless play value. There are a few variants of this model via wheel type and color differences. The red/grey later run variant is fairly scarce. From all angles, it is a charming period piece:

Front and rear have similar detail - as typical for many castings of this era, the silver paint has aged very well. The tracks and wheel stops for cars on the hauler part are a nice detail. The lack of a ramp amuses me, but one must recall the age and original price point of this model:

The cab is detachable, in case one wants to just play with the tractor unit, or use the hauler trailer for something else:

The base is basic, with ample identifying detail. Notice the axles are a little rusty - typical for an unboxed model that hasn’t lived a life stored away in a little box. More on that shortly:

This is a charming casting, one I am happy to have in my hoard. This example, with metal wheels and stamped “Matchbox” Car Transporter (non-ironic quotation marks amuse me) sign on the trailer, is an early run piece from 1957-58. This is an unboxed survivor. It is summer, a good time to show some models that live free in the open air. My next several Tomica and Matchbox reviews will be unboxed models:

The transporter doing what was intended, hauling some cars:

A couple of 1:1 Bedford S-Type trucks from flickr and simoncars.co.uk - I couldn’t find a modern pic of a car transporter, this was the type of vehicle that was used up and thrown away back in the day, vintage 1:1 car transporters are extremely rare today: