Lesney Matchbox time is here again, Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 55b, the Ford Fairlane police car. This casting entered the range in 1963, remaining until 1966, and is a good example of the quality products made by the company at this time:

I was thinking I already reviewed one of these, but I reviewed its casting mate, the 59b Ford Fairlane Fire Chief’s Car:

As one can see, this is the same casting with slight differences, both based on a 1961 model year (US) Ford Fairlane. This casting dates from a time when Lesney products acquired many high quality traits, and this model has some. There is ample fine line casting detail, along with glazing, and a detailed interior. The dome light adds interest. Scale is probably around 1:65 or so, maybe slightly smaller, as the real world car is not small, and this model isn’t particularly huge. The decals are crisp and precise, and have aged well. From all angles, there’s no mistaking the point of this casting:

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Front and rear have similar detail, nice touches being the finely cast grille with “FORD” on the hood, and emblem at rear:

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The base contains identifying detail. Lack of wear to the wheels and axles tells me this car was treated gently. With knobby black plastic wheels and a painted rear bumper, this is from earlier in the production run, I will guess 1963-64:

This is an unboxed model I am happy to have in my collection. I like 60-61 Fords, I like Lesney Matchbox of this era, and this one has survived in remarkable condition for a loose model. I picked this up at the same sale with several uncommon castings, and for a few dollars, one can’t go wrong. It’s a great addition to an unboxed display:

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And some 1:1s, from imcdb, pinterest, cardomain, and an Andy Griffith-esque police car from a Barrett-Jackson auction. A 61 Ford (Galaxie) police car is the star of a key scene in “American Graffiti”, where a chain is tied to the rear axle of a police car - when it takes off, the axle is yanked out, and the car lunges forward, a scene I have remembered for ages:

The rear shot emphasizes the bubble window:

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