Lesney Matchbox time is here again. Today we examine a vehicle type I think I’ve never reviewed before - a taxi. This is Lesney Matchbox 17c, the Austin Metropolitan taxi. This casting entered the range in 1960, and had a relatively short run, remaining until 1963. This is a good example of the state of Lesney Matchbox products at that time:

This is from a time when the Matchbox line was in evolution, going from the charming mellow castings of the 1950s to the more detailed precise castings of the 1960s. Glazing was a new thing for 1960, and this casting lacks it and never had it. However, it has an ample amount of fine casting line detail, something associated with 1960s Lesney Matchbox products. I estimate scale to be ~ 1:60 - it is a little chunky as the real life car is somewhat tall, but it is not a massive piece. The realistically scaled driver is a nice touch, along with the fare meter on the B-pillar. This model exists with both grey and silver wheels, and was only offered in dark red. From all angles, one can see this is a quality model:

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The front and rear have similarly nice detail:

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The base has ample identification detail, as was typical of this time:

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This model is lucky enough to live in its original Type D box. This is not a common box type for this casting. With this box, it was probably made within a roughly 1 year window in 1962-63:

This box has an added historical footnote, an original price tag:

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I am definitely glad to have this model in my collection. I have other varieties of the casting, but this is my only example in a D box. The silver wheels are also a plus. I want to say this one came from a model railroader - hence the light wear to high surfaces, and I found it for a reasonable price:

Some 1:1 from topclassiccarsforsale.com, classiccarsmark.com and usedfromusa.co. In the first pic, one can see why there is no passenger door, it was for luggage space. As one expects, the real life versions of this were always black. I am not sure why Lesney made it in dark red, but there were no black Regular Wheels models during the life of the product line. I like the way this casting looks, it has a prewar appearance, as no doubt the basis for the car is prewar, and prewar style designs with exposed fenders remained in production in Britain into the late 50s:

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