Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Lesney Matchbox time again, and just enough time to do a quick review. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 44b, the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. This casting entered the range early in 1964, and remained until 1967. This is a wonderfully detailed piece for something of its era and price point:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V

A significant amount of detail is visible from all angles, and proportion is excellent. The interior is also more than adequate. This casting is one of the first Lesney products to have something of a suspension - there is a little springiness to it. This model to me marks the beginning of the mid-late 60s boom time for Lesney, when sales were off the charts, and the models gained amazing detail. I estimate scale to be 1:65-1:70 or so - this is a large car in the 1:1 world, but it must fit in a normal 1-75 series box:

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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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Front and rear have similar detail. The accurate looking number plate is a nice touch:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V

This is from the beginning of the era when opening parts were becoming expected - the trunk/boot opens on this:

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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V

Minimalist base, typical of the era:

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This one is fortunate to live in a “D” type box, which marks it as earlier in the production run:

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This is a relatively common casting - not a long production run, but I see them a lot out there, and they aren’t expensive. There are rare varieties with grey or silver wheels, but the fine tread black wheel example is easy to find. The Phantom V is one of my favorite Rolls-Royces, such a timeless understated elegant car, the antithesis of what the marque has been in modern times:

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And pics of a 1:1 example from an article on thedailymail.co.uk - this was actually bought new by Elvis. These angles show off the accuracy of the Lesney Matchbox version:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Rolls-Royce Phantom V

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