PLEASE NOTE: I will no longer be altering the variation codes. All new discoveries will be inserted in to their correct place in the timeline and given a suffix.
So a new variation that would be nearest to variation 4 would become the new 4a, etc.

Matchbox Superfast MB52-c Dodge Charger Mk III



The 1968 concept show car Dodge Charger III was a new casting which joined the 1-75 series in 1970 as the new #52. Colour trials which feature in some Lesney promotional photographs including the G3 giftset were painted in the same shade of gold as the #56 BMC with orange tinted glazing,thin 11x2mm all black Superfast wheels and white baseplates however the eventual production issue was in the same dark metallic red as the real 1:1 one-off car.

The relatively hard-to-find-today first run featured 11x2mm hot foiled thin superfast wheels with dark metallic red clearcoat over silver primer body over a metallic green clearcoat over gold primer chassis (same shades as body of #45c) with clear windows and black interior, the very first 1-75 series with a black interior!, Subsequent large volumes were made with wide hot foiled 11.5x4mm 5 slot wheels of the same type created for the #45 Ford Group 6 and #68 Porsche with the body colour changing to a distinctly pinkish shade of clearcoat not quite so dark red but otherwise the same as the first run.
There are two more scarce major body colour variations, with short runs being made in the same dark metallic purple clearcoat over silver primer common on Superfast 22c Pontiac GPs and the metallic magenta clearcoat over silver primer that was similar to the colour of the Superfast #19 Lotus F1.
For 1973 and until its deletion in 1975, the Charger III was re-coloured to the same lime clearcoat over silver primer that was also used at the same time as the second standard colour for the #45c. The baseplate was painted in bright red enamel although one short run was made with plated metal baseplates. Wheels, glazing and interior unchanged from 1970 after recolours.

There was only two casting changes, the first of which involved the filling in of the tow slot so lime bodied cars exist in large numbers both with and without a tow slot. Some metallic dark red with metallic green baseplate also exist with filled tow slots however it is very difficult to prove conclusively that they were 1972 production because this model went back into production in these same colours during 1977-79 for the Japanese packaged special series although many of these feature wheels with 5 smaller square slots which were the very last production from this tooling by 1979.

The second casting modification was the early models the opening door had extra thick lip added to the lower edge of the windscreen frame to retain the glazing. Later on this lip was removed so most colours of the Charger can be found with or without the lip.

The #52 Dodge Charger III was packaged in all types of blisterpack with copyright dates between 1969 and 1975 as well as G and I boxes, all Japanese packaging from 1977-1980 and G3 giftset boxes. Cars from G3 sets can be found with varying quantities of stickers supplied with the sets and come in both metallic pinkish red and metallic lime body colours.
Odd stickers including Scorpion logos have also been found on loose cars which may or may not be genuine factory applications as none have been found factory sealed in blisterpacks.

Full sets of components for this casting were shipped to Roly Toys of Brazil for painting in a multitude of colours of their choice during the early and mid 1970s.


Above: A variety of Charger colours, Also shown are the 'G' and 'I' type boxes.

Above: The first release was in dark metallic red with 2mm wide wheels,
Shown here is a slightly later issue with #5 labels from the G-3 giftset.

Above: The yellow and black bonnet label can be found on some models.

Above: The Charger was also released in a lighter metallic red.

Above: And a light pinky red metallic.

Above: The Charger in metallic magenta.

Above: Dark metallic purple.

Above: Light metallic purple.

Above: The Charger was recoloured to light metallic lime with a metallic red base. This scarce variation has an unpainted baseplate.

Above: The dark metallic lime Charger, This one is a rare promotional issue that is fitted with 'Castrol' labels.

Above: Two J-8 Japanese Chargers with their boxes, Note that the Charger also came in a J-52 box.

Above: Two early blister cards.

Above: The recently discovered "small " baseplate, The Charger is normally found with an that is much larger than the other text. This version is believed to be a pre production, Note the "LesneyProd&CoLtd" was also recut with spaces included for the regular issue. At present this is the only known small baseplate known to exist.
photo courtesy Jason (Nearlymint)

Above: The Charger also came as part of the 1970 G-3 "Racing Specials Superset".

Above: A pre production model in metallic gold with a white base, white interior, amber windows and unchromed wheel centers.

code
number
body
colour
baseplate
colour
wheels
towing
slot
windscreen
brace
labels
code 1
dark metallic red
dark metallic green
11x2mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 2
dark metallic red
light metallic green
11x2mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 3
dark metallic red
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 4
dark metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 5
dark metallic red
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 6
dark metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 7
dark metallic red
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
yellow & black
code 8
dark metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
yellow & black
code 9
light metallic red
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 10
light metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 11
light metallic red
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 12
light metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 13
metallic pinkish red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 14
metallic pinkish red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 15
metallic magenta
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 16
metallic magenta
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 17
metallic magenta
? metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
STP (G-3)
code 18
metallic purple
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 19
metallic purple
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
none
code 20
metallic purple
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
#5 (G-3)
code 21
metallic purple
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
#5 (G-3)
code 22
metallic purple
dark metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
?
Scorpion
code 23
pale metallic purple
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
yes
none
code 24
pale metallic purple
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
none
code 25
metallic lime
bright red
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
none
code 26
metallic lime
unpainted
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
none
code 27
metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
none
code 28
metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
bull head (from 73c)
code 29
metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
open
no
#5 (G-3)
code 30
metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
filled
no
none
code 31
metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
filled
no
Castrol (promo)
code 32
metallic lime
red
10x4mm 5 sp squ
filled
no
(CC-12, MP-1)
code 33
dark metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
filled
no
none
code 34
dark metallic lime
red
11x4mm 5 slot
filled
no
Castrol (promo)
code 35
dark metallic red
light metallic green
11x4mm 5 slot
filled
no
japan issue J8-J52
code 36
dark metallic red
light metallic green
10x4mm 5 sp squ
filled
no
Japan issue J8-J52

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
metallic red, no labels - 15-25
metallic red, yellow & black labels - 15-25
metallic red, #5 labels (G-3) - 20-30
metallic magenta, no labels - 15-25
metallic magenta, STP labels (G-3) - 30-40
metallic purple, no labels - 20-30
metallic purple, #5 labels (G-3) - 25-35
metallic purple, Scorpion decals (?) - 80-100 (estimated)
metallic lime, no labels - 15-25
metallic lime, unpainted base - 70-80
metallic lime, #5 labels (G-3) - 20-30
metallic lime, bull head labels (73c) - 80-100 (estimated)
metallic lime, castrol labels - 250-300 (estimated)
metallic red, japanese box - 30-40