Lesney Matchbox time is here again, today we examine a vehicle type I believe I have yet to feature here. This is Matchbox 17b, the Bedford Removals van. This casting entered the range in 1958, replacing a nearly identical 17a Bedford van, and remained until 1960. As one can see, it is a typical example of the charming mellow simple models that defined the early years of Lesney Matchbox products
As this is 1958 (and the casting basis is 1955), there is no glazing or interior, nor opening parts - those were for the future. It is a simple little moving van. It is somewhat chunky but dainty, I’d estimate scale to be maybe 1:75, possibly even a little smaller. Even though it is from a basic era, it has some fine casting line detail, and the hand-applied silver trim detail has held up almost perfectly. The decals are also fully intact. This is a hollow casting, and the van interior would offer some play value. From all angles, it shows the appeal that helped the brand get its start:
The front and rear have similar consistent qualities:
The base is quite basic, as was the style of the time - the casting number is under the roof of the cab:
There’s a little more identifying detail inside the van box section:
This example is lucky enough to live in its immaculate original Type B box. With this smaller box variety, and metal wheels, I am certain it was made in 1958:
Definitely a model I am glad to have in my collection. I think this came from an original owner grouping I was lucky enough to find several years ago. These Removals vans are a popular and well known style of early Lesney Matchbox models, one of the models that helps define the era for many.
A similar 1:1 truck from myntransportblog.com - this is another type of vehicle that would have been used up and discarded, finding an identical real world survivor might not be possible: