Big things with little cars

[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Vauxhall Victor

Lesney Matchbox time again, it’s been several weeks since we’ve examined a Matchbox passenger car. Today we take a look at Matchbox 45a, the Vauxhall Victor (FA). This casting entered the range in 1958, and enjoyed a long run, remaining until 1965. This casting has all of the charm and quality one associates with Lesney Matchbox of this period:

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I estimate scale to be around 1:65. This casting experienced all of the evolution had by Matchbox vehicles of the timespan. Upon introduction, it was a casting with no glazing, and metal wheels. As the years progressed, it acquired grey plastic wheels, then glazing, then silver plastic wheels, then black plastic wheels. There’s a tow hook to add play value. The first variant of this casting was red, and is a real rarity, commanding thousands of dollars. The rest of the production run was yellow. Detail is apparent from all angles, not as much as newly introduced models at the end of the production run for this casting, but quite a lot for 1958:

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Front and rear have similar detail. The front end accentuates how the 1:1 car very much resembles a scaled down 1955-56 Pontiac:

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The base is basic, as expected for a 1958 casting:

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This is definitely a casting I feel lucky to have in my hoard. It is another unboxed model, probably worthy of finding a correct D type box. This specific example, with fine tread black wheels and no silver mask painting at rear, is from the final run of this casting, and was almost certainly made in 1964 or 1965. These final run variants are uncommon. It’s an interesting link between the older more basic pre-1960 castings, and the ~1965+ or so high production years of Lesney when Matchbox cars became a mainstream hit and acquired detail that is still enviable today:

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A 1:1 example from carandclassic.co.uk:

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