[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Ferrari F1 Racing Car

Lesney Matchbox time is upon us yet again. Today we examine Matchbox 73b, the Ferrari (156) F1 car. This casting entered the range in 1962, remaining until 1968, and is the classic open wheel racing car type that Matchbox modeled with skill:

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Lesney had a number of open wheel/open cockpit (with driver) racing cars during the Regular Wheel era, and people seem to love them, maybe as they represent a racing style long gone, and the driver adds something, too. This Ferrari is as good as any of them. This casting sits on the lovely spoked metal wheels used on a few other models. Fine line casting detail is plentiful, as the Matchbox line was entering the high detail era, and proportion appears accurate. The decals have weathered the past ~55 years in style, and one of them being slightly crooked adds a little charm. Scale is hard to estimate, maybe a little larger than 1:64 as this was made to fit in a box and the real world version isn’t huge, but the casting isn’t a giant either. From all angles, one can imagine it zooming around Monza during the Camelot era:

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Front and rear have similar accurate detail, the front view shows why this 156 variant was nicknamed “sharknose”, and the exhausts are a nice touch:

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The base is basic as per usual for this era, and contains identifying data:

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This example is fortunate enough to live in its original Type D box, dating it to roughly 1962-64:

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Without a doubt I am pleased to have this little gem in my collection. It represents something from a specific point in time, and will always have collector appeal due to the brand:

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Some 1:1 images from imcdb, wheelsage.org, and carthrottle.com: The 156 sharknose style was a successful F1 entrant in 1961-62 driven by some famous names such as Hill, Ginther, von Trips:

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