Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Lesney Matchbox time is here again. I am in Austria right now, and as VW/Porsche has links to Austria, this fits in. Today we examine a casting a few people might like. This is Lesney Matchbox 34a, the Volkswagen Transporter/Van/Type 2 (Lesney called it simply “Volkswagen”). This casting entered the range in 1957, and remained until 1962. As one can see, this is a charmer:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2

I believe I have showed off a couple of these before, but I don’t think I have reviewed this one. I estimate scale of this model to be around 1:70, it feels just a little dainty, and was made to fit in the smaller Type B box. As this is is 1957, there is no interior, glazing, opening parts, nor suspension - these luxuries were all several years in the future. However, the replacement for this model, the 34b VW camper, had opening doors, interior, and glazing - quite loaded for 1962. Even without the frills, this model has ample detail for the age, size, and price point. The decals also add some interest, and those on this model have aged well. This model spanned the range of Matchbox wheels of the years it was made, going from metal to grey plastic, silver plastic, and black. Black wheels are a high rarity, and silver plastic wheels are quite rare too. From all angles, one can see why this casting has been popular for ages:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2

Front and rear have similar detail. The hand-applied silver paint is still lustrous as new, this is a model which has spent little time in the open air over the past 60 years:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2

The base is typical for the time, with identifying data:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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This example is lucky enough to live in its crisp original Type B2 box. With this box and details like the metal wheels and crimped axle ends, this is from early production of this casting, likely made in 1957 or early 1958 at the latest:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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I am definitely happy and lucky to have this in my collection. It is in time-warp condition, and is a popular and likable casting. One of these of any variation is needed in a representative collection of early Lesney Matchbox models:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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And a few pics of a 1:1 from classicdriver.com - VW apparently had a few similar colors in the period, this fits:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Volkswagen T2

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