Lesney Matchbox time is here again, this installment concluding the current batch of unboxed Matchbox. Today we examine Matchbox 35a, the ERF Marshall Horsebox. This casting entered the range in 1957, remaining until 1964, and is something of a bookend to the 35a reviewed in the past:

I reviewed a 35a at the beginning of 2018, and as one can see, this one is different:

35a is a fine casting, in the range for a long period, likely a popular item. This could be because it has a moving part, one of the first Lesney products with such a luxury. This model entered production at a time when Matchbox models were charming mellow castings in gentle colors, and remained until the dawn of the high detail area, when glazing, suspensions, interiors, moving parts, and metallic paints were not just in production, but expected. This model is one of only a couple to wear every major wheel type during its production run - grey metal, grey plastic, silver plastic, and black plastic. The basic casting remained the same throughout the production run, with the small (maybe ~1:75 or so) cab and wood box body having ample fine line detail for something of its era. From all angles, it has charm:

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Front and rear have similar detail. This has mask painted silver detailing, in contrast to the handpainted silver detail of the 35a reviewed earlier:

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The base has basic identifying data, as was the style of the time. With black wheels, this is from the end of the production run, likely made in 1963-64:

Now for the fun bit, the opening door. This was an advanced feature in 1957, and no doubt helped the model remain current into the 60s by adding immense play value:

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This loose model is one I am pleased to have in my collection. The black wheel variant is fairly scarce, and this example is nice enough to warrant finding a nice empty type D box to house it (easier said than done). I found this along with several other uncommon or rare models at an estate sale earlier this year. This is another representative of a model made in the early 60s in a scarce variation, which there were several during this era:

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1:1 images of a similar cab from pinterest, and a similar body from simoncars.co.uk - I couldn’t find a similar ERF horsebox, as most of these wood bodied vehicles were likely deteriorated and were used up and thrown away 50 years ago: