Lesney Matchbox time again, today we examine a casting which might be the most popular and sought-after 1-75 series model of the era. This is Matchbox 22b, the 1958 Vauxhall Cresta. Many consider this casting to be the pinnacle of what I call “golden age” 1958-64 or so material:

This casting entered the range in 1958, and was not replaced until 1965. This model spanned the entire evolution of 1-75 vehicles during these years - starting out with no windows and sitting on metal wheels, then having grey or silver plastic wheels, gaining windows and two tone paint, and finally finishing the production run with black wheels. Despite the long run, it is among the most desired 1-75s of the era, and all varieties command good money. There are at least two dozen varieties of this casting. The high quality detail combined with the flashiness of the real car made this a hit from the start. This casting is probably around 1:64 scale. The tow hook adds play value. From all angles, detail is much more than ample:

Advertisement

Front and rear have similarly good detail:

Advertisement

The base is typical for the era. This is one of the very few 1-75 vehicles marked with the date of the 1:1 vehicle:

Advertisement

This example, in grey over lilac and grey plastic wheels, I think was made around 1961 or so. This one lacks a box (I am doing a series of 8 unboxed Lesney Matchbox for the next 8 reviews of this type, gotta give the unboxed cars some love too), but I am definitely glad to have it, and I have 3 others I think, of different varieties. It’s such a cool and high quality casting, I would want it even if it wasn’t so desirable:

A cool 1:1 Vauxhall PA Cresta, from simoncars.co.uk - you can bask in the cool British interpretation of late 50s American styling:

Advertisement