Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge

Lesney Matchbox time is here again. Today we examine an attractive casting that showcases modern British cars of the era. This is Matchbox 29b, the Austin A55 Cambridge. This casting entered the range in 1961, remaining until 1966. This is a photogenic little model:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge

This model entered production the same year as the real world A55 ceased production - but the full sized car was replaced by a very similar looking A60, so the Matchbox version remained relevant. These were popular cars, the Farina design making it kind of a British fintail - although not close to being as technologically advanced, it has the squared off finned styling that was en vogue in Europe at the end of the 50s. The paint scheme of the model lends it a charming look, and there are plenty of fine casting lines, the grille area is especially well done. Virtually all of these are a similar pale green over metallic green paint scheme, and can be found with many varieties of grey, silver, and black plastic wheels. No interior, but metallic paint and glazing were state of the art in 1961. This point in time was a golden age for the Matchbox line, with numerous attractive castings, color combinations, wheel types, and rare varities. I estimate scale to be maybe just under 1:60. From all angles, it is a pretty casting:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge

Front and rear show their quality detail too, with the tow hook adding play value:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge

The basis is basic as usual for the point in time, with ample identifying data:

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This one is lucky enough to live in an original type D box. With this box and the silver wheels, I estimate it was made in 1962-64:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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I am definitely happy to have this casting in my collection. I like the style of the real car, and the model is very attractive, and not terribly rare. I have a couple of these - the grey wheeled variant has continued to elude me, or my willingness to pay for it, but one day I think one will come my way:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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A few images of 1:1s with similar two tone paint from simoncars.co.uk, auta5p.eu, and flickr:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Austin A55 Cambridge

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