Car week is finally here. Today is also a Lesney Matchbox day in my review rotation, so I made this work with a red vehicle. Today we examine a popular early casting that is also somewhat special. My red entry for Car Week is Lesney Matchbox 32a, the Jaguar XK140 (FHC). This casting entered the range in 1957, remaining until 1962. As one can see, it exudes all of the mellow charm had by late 50s era Lesney Matchbox products:

This casting was and is quite popular - enthusiasts here may be familiar with it, but in an off white/cream color. However, the final run of these cars was recolored red, and this is one of those late examples. My anecdotal observations make me think less than 1:100 of 32a are red, so this is something of a rarity. It is just like an earlier 32a in all respects - it is the same casting, with the plastic wheels that came around sometime in 1958. It predates interiors and glazing, but has ample fine line casting detail, especially for something of its original age and price point. I’ll call scale around 1:64, just for classification. From all angles, it is just a pretty little model:

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Front and rear have similar detail. This model has mask-painted silver trim at front and rear, which is the style that replaced handpainted trim:

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The basic has identifying data but no technical detailing, as was the style of the time. This model also has what some call a “mother’s mark” - an initial or paint color applied to the base, to denote ownership so the model would not be confused with one owned by a sibling or friend. No doubt this was applied when new, and it tells a story:

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I am definitely pleased to have this in my collection. This was part of the estate sale collection I bought earlier this year. This is not a mint boxed model - one can see just a little playwear or storage wear. This, along with the mark on the base, makes me think it was a cherished toy. The rare color variant makes it all the more appealing - although not exactly reverse wrecker rare, this is not one in every collection. This was made during a golden time for the early Matchbox line - probably rolling off the line in 1961 or early 1962. The era from 1959-63 or so saw many rare varieties. These old Jags are beautifully styled cars, and this small scale representation is a little gem itself:

Some 1:1s from classic-trader.com - the XK140 was an uprated replacement for the famous XK120 (remember the Top Gear episode where James May drove one from London to Edinburgh), these were affordable supercars in their day, with performance far above the standard family car:

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