Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van

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

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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van

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:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van

The front and rear have similar consistent qualities:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van

The base is quite basic, as was the style of the time - the casting number is under the roof of the cab:

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There’s a little more identifying detail inside the van box section:

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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:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van
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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:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Bedford Removals Van

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