[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Ford 3 Ton 4x4 Service Ambulance

Lesney Matchbox time is here again. This is Matchbox 63a, the Ford 3 ton 4x4 service ambulance. This casting entered the range in 1959, remaining until 1963, and is another vehicle type seldom-seen here:

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A 4WD cabover/forward control ambulance, yep, that’s unusual. One may recall I mentioned the upper range in numbers of the 1-75 series contains several military vehicles, here’s another, and I have at least one more planned in this batch of boxed models. This particular model is really an exercise in casting quality. Scale is probably a little smaller than most passenger car castings, perhaps around 1:70, as it was made to fit in a box. Detail and proportion are exceptional, fine line casting detail is everywhere. The red cross decal has aged well and adds realism. As this is from 1959, luxurious amenities like glazing or moving parts are still something for the future, this exists for the quality of the casting. I suspect this model had appeal to model railroaders along with those fond of military play scenes. From all angles, the quality is apparent:

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Front and rear contain the same accurate detail. The grille is a nice representation of the overall quality, amazing that this is a small scale pocket money toy from 60 years ago - modern castings seldom exceed this:

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The base is basic, the style of the time, and contains identifying data:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its nice original Type D box, which dates it to the end of the production run, 1962-63:

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As one would expect, I am glad to have this example in my collection. As the D box type is scarcest for this casting, it is the one to have, and the quality of the model itself is remarkable. This is not particularly common nor rare, but military vehicles generally command lower prices than civilian vehicles, so if one wants their own example, it shouldn’t be a bank-breaker:

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And a 1:1 from imcdb.org. I initially thought this vehicle was a WW2 era machine, as the cab has that kind of style to me, but apparently the real world version is fairly contemporary to the casting, early 1950s:

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