Lesney Matchbox MG 1100 Restoration

I love Lesney Matchbox cars. I love them a lot.

While Redline Hot Wheels cover the fastest and flashiest cars - the Camaros, Mustangs, and Corvettes of the world, Lesney brings us the joy of everyday pedestrian cars. This is an MG 1100, a common sight in suburban 1960’s Britain. This humble little car was immortalized as #64 of the Lesney Matchbox series.


I got this gem from a fellow LaLDer, 64wheels. Thank you very much! While it was dirty, the exposed metal was oxodized, and the paint had some scratches, overall it was in pretty great shape.

Lesney did a great job with this car. The construction is clever, detail is plentiful, and in every piece you can feel the build quality. After stripping the paint (which put up a heck of a fight), I sanded the body and cleaned up the window openings. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original bright green, so I went a shade darker with Tamiya’s TS-43 Racing Green. Then I painted in the rear license place and chromed the door and trunk handles. I painted the rear lights first with chrome and then transparent red and orange Tamiya acrylic paint. This gives the lights a more realistic lens-like depth, in my opinion at least. The base needed some work, starting with a healthy dollop of steel wool. I painted in the front indicators and front license plate and then used a chrome pen to get the headlights to pop a little more. About halfway through taking photos I went back and sanded the paint off the numbers of the license plate. Before final assembly, I painted in the emblems and used Tamiya Panel Line Accent on the grille.


All in all it was a really fun project and I look forward to doing more of these.


PS - I’m always looking to buy or trade for early Lensey Matchbox cars!

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