Car week is coming to an end. My lineup started with a Lesney Matchbox model, and is finishing with one. This is wildcard day, and this casting is definitely something out of the ordinary. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 22b, the 1958 Vauxhall Cresta. This casting entered the range in 1958, and this variant is quite special:

I reviewed a 22b a couple years ago. This is a fantastic casting, arguably the most sought after Regular Wheels model (in terms of basic casting, not variations), and I have a few. Here is the prior review:

The prior review is also a desirable variety, but this one is on another level. Scale is around 1:64, for the sake of Car Week. One may notice this isn’t a mint model. It isn’t terribly worn - it looks better in person (fine close-ups always exaggerate paint chips), one can say it has a little patina. The color combo is definitely a wildcard, a kind of creamy pink over aquamarine/sea green, not something seen on many vehicles. That’s what makes it special. This model has few casting variations but a couple dozen wheel/glazing/paint variations, and from all angles appears as other Crestas, a lovely casting of an interesting car:

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Front and rear have excellent detail for a small scale casting from 60 years ago, the “Vauxhall” script being a nice touch, and the tow hitch adds play value. This variant, with glazing and two tone, was released in roughly 1960 - a golden age for Matchbox products when there were many technical advancements, and within a few years each way of this date, there were many uncommon variants of many castings:

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The base contains identifying information, as was the style of the time. The lack of wear on the wheels and axles tells this was a cherished toy rather than one that was abused, and much of the wear could be from improper storage rather than careless play:

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Now on to the story - this is definitely a model I am thrilled to have in my collection. I found this at an estate sale earlier this year. I saw the pile of Matchbox in the ad, and this stood out. Could it really be a pink over aqua Cresta, or is it just color distortion in the pic? I got to the sale early, was first to the toys, and got it, it was indeed what I thought:

The pink over aqua/sea green Cresta is a legitimate high rarity. Not just a scarce car, but a truly rare variant among all Lesney Matchbox, not to mention the rarest variant of 22b. From what I can tell, it might be on par with a red Victor or cream Cougar in terms of rarity. This isn’t something seen every day. The last mint in box example I can find at auction was at a Vectis sale in 2o14:

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This mint boxed example brought £2900. This was pre-Brexit when the GBP had more value, this would have been around $4700 USD at the time. Of course, my example is not quite mint in box, and worth a fraction of this - but I also didn’t pay much for it, so I am more than pleased. This is one of those crazy things I never imagined I would find at a sale, and proves there is still unusual material out there just waiting to come out of the woodwork.

And for the usual finale, a few 1:1s, from simoncars.co.uk and flickr. The PA Cresta is a very interesting design, the British interpretation of American styling themes. The full scale versions have a cult following just like the Lesney Matchbox miniatures:

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