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Big things with little cars
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Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

It’s a cold stormy Saturday here, a good time to look at something a little different. Several weeks ago, I posted a Models of Yesteryear Bugatti, a model that many people seemed to love. Today, we’ll examine another model from this series. This is Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesyeryear Y15-1, the 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. This casting entered the range in 1960, and enjoyed a long run, remaining until 1968. As one can see, it is as much of a gem as the prior casting:

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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Like the Bugatti, this model shows off the amazing amount of casting detail Lesney was able to attain by 1960 - I think this casting is fairly exquisite for something of its age, size, and original price point. There are endless fine casting lines, rivets, and other details. Grille and lamps are painted gold, I am not sure why, as the real world car did not have these details - likely for contrast against the body color. Scale is claimed to be 1:55, which I believe may be a typo - this model appears to match up well with the Bugatti (1:48), and I believe this one is also really in the upper 1:40s. From all angles, there’s a lot to take in:

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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

Front and rear have similarly high detail. The radiator shell and radiator have especially amazing detail, with an accurate Rolls-Royce badge:

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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

The base is about identifying data rather than technical detail:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its nice original Type C box. With this box and the grey wheels (one of only a few Yesteryears to have grey wheels), it is from early production, and was likely made in roughly 1960:

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As with the Bugatti, this box has historical data on the reverse:

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This casting should not be confused with Y-10-3, a similar Silver Ghost which replaced this, in 1969 and was made until 1986, often with the inaccurate thick tires - I had one of these when I was a kid, and it was well-played with. This 60s era casting is different.

I am happy to have this model in my collection. The grey wheels were the draw for me, and the casting itself is nothing short of excellent. I have a handful of early Yesteryears, and should probably find some more - they remain relatively affordable, as survival rates are high, and models of contemporary cars usually fare better than vintage cars in terms of value. These also can be found mint in box for around $30 if one looks around (later Yesteryears are much much cheaper), not bad for something of this vintage and from a great time for a beloved maker:

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And some 1:1 images from wikipedia, pinterest, youtube, and classiccarmag.net. AX201 is a real and famous car, having been driven hundreds of thousands of miles over the past 110 years, and has to be one of the most famous and valuable cars in the world.

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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
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Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Illustration for article titled Surprise Saturday: Lesney Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
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That is all.

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