Big things with little cars

Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Supercharged Bugatti Type 35

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a Saturday post, today we examine a model from a product line I have yet to show here. This is Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y6-2, the Bugatti Type 35 Supercharged grand prix car. This casting entered the range in 1961, and remained until 1967. As one can see, it shows the excellent quality Lesney products were able to attain by this time:

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I believe I have yet to review a Models of Yesteryear here. I generally prefer castings of cars contemporary to when the model was made. I had Yesteryears in my childhood fleet, and played with them - a good fate for them, as later Yesteryears are quite common, people saved them. If I had to choose a type to collect, it would be the earlier ones, which had more realistic tires and wheels. This variant is a pleasing French racing blue common to earlier relases - it would later be seen in red (and would exist as a different casting much later). Scale is claimed to be 1:48, likely accurate. This model features excellent detail and proportion, with many fine cast-in details like ample louvers, and accurately depicted alloy wheels, along with the nice handbrake and shift lever all in brass. From all angles, it is quite impressive for something of this size, age, and initial price point:

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Front and rear have similar detail. The gauges cast-in to the dash are a nice touch:

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The base is similar to 1-75 series models of the era, with identifying data, but no technical detail:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its clean original Type C “new model” box. This box dates the model to 1961:

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Yesteryear boxes have historical data about the car on the reverse:

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I am pleased to have this in my collection. I don’t have a ton of Yesteryears, but I have a handful of these earlier examples that I picked up for a fair price. These are not terribly rare nor expensive - if one shops around, I think they can be found in the $30 range - not bad for something of this quality and age, from a beloved maker:

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And a couple 1:1s from uncrate.com and Sports Car Digest - these were legends in the 20s, and could still be found for reasonable money into the 60s. Not a bad investment for lucky collectors:

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That is all.

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