Lesney Matchbox time is here again, today we examine a model that perfectly represents its era. This is Lesney Matchbox 40a, the Bedford 7 Ton tipper. This casting entered the range in 1957, remaining until early 1962. It exudes the quality and charm of a late 50s era Lesney product:

This model is based on a Bedford S-type, a truck used as the basis for a few other Lesney Matchbox products. This casting is quite detailed, yet has the pleasant mellow appearance that probably helped in making these appeal to kids. Scale is hard to estimate, the real world vehicle is not small - I would guess around 1:70. From all angles, it is apparent how these models became popular:

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Front and rear have similar quality. This is from the era where silver detailing was hand-applied, and the silver on this example appears virtually as-new:

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The base is basic, typical for the era, with identifying data on the base of he bed. The dually wheels are a nice touch, and the red supports for the bed add detail and realism:

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One may know or notice this casting has a feature which adds greatly to the realism, and no doubt added tremendous play value - the dump bed is articulated, and the tailgate is hinged. For a model of this size and original price point, this is fine work indeed:

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This casting is lucky enough to live in its immaculate original type B box, where it has slumbered for most of its life. Based on the box and metal wheels, this was produced in 1957 or early 1958:

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I am definitely glad to have this in my collection. The casting itself is a charmer, and the time-warp condition (from a small hoard I bought several years ago) puts it over the top:

A few 1:1s from flickr and trucknetuk.com, the latter period photo showing the size of the truck:

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