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 55-e Mercury Commuter Police Car



Late in 1971 the #73 Mercury Commuter stationwagon tooling was modified with a new roof with 2 holes for lights, a new baseplate just for #55 with a new interior moulding featuring traffic cones instead of dogs, and painted white as the new SuperFast #55e to replace the #55d saloon version of the same car.
This bodyshell always featured the wider wheel arches and flatter bonnet but not the roof strips of the final version of the #73 stationwagon.
It was packaged in H boxes or any blisterpacks with copyright dates between 1971 and 1974.

The first run carried over the same paper bonnet & door stickers that had been fitted to the #55d. But the bulk of production was fitted with yellow red edged POLICE arrows on the doors and bonnet.
All were painted brilliant white with no shade variations however as with all whites it is easily discoloured by light or chemicals over time.
Baseplates were normally silver plated however one scarce run was silver painted. All were fitted with a pair of the same red (never blue) roof lights as used on the #55d.
Ivory or off white seats were always fitted, with the actual shade dependant upon the amount of white colour added to the otherwise clear plastic used to make the seats.
All were fitted with 10 x4mm 5 slot SuperFast wheels on plastic suspension strips and it is worth noting that the shape and sizes of the slots did vary noticably between different batches of wheel moulds.

Components for this model were shipped to Roly Toys Brazil for painting and assembly in a wide range of colours which included the logical metallic blue and a smart red Firechief version fitted with #59d helmet and axe stickers. No further use was ever made of this tooling beyond 1975.


Above: Showing the 3 basic label variations, On the left is the last issue fitted with the
5 square slot wheels. The Commuter Police car was only available in 'H' type boxes

Above: The first release was fitted with the same police labels that were
used on the earlier regular wheeled 55d Mercury Park Lane Police sedan.

Above: The Mercury Commuter that is fitted with the later type red & yellow
'Police' labels can be found with or without door labels.


Above: This one has a silver grey baseplate which may attract a small premium.

Above: The Commuter Police car was not included in any of the UK made sets
but it can be found in the Bronner set that was released in the USA. Although it
was called the 'Rescue carry case' the contents can vary.

Above: The Commuter Police Car did have it's bigger brother in
the King size range, This one had a different set of labels, rubber
tyres and a set of air horns which I believe were borrowed from the M9 Cooper Jarrett Interstate double freighter.

Above: A pre production / colour trial model in lime green with red dome lights and the modified police car interior - without the dogs.
photo courtesy Tim Leathers.

code
number
body
colour
baseplate
colour
wheels
wheel
strip
roof
lights
bonnet (hood)
label
door
labels
code 1
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
black
red
Police / shield
shield
code 2
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
red
Police / shield
shield
code 3
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
black
red
Police (red & yellow)
Police (red & yellow)
code 4
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
Police (red & yellow)
code 5
white
silver grey
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
Police (red & yellow)
code 6
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
black
red
Police (red & yellow)
none
code 7
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
none
code 8
white
silver grey
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
none
code 9
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot
red
amber
Police (red & yellow)
none
code 10
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot square
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
Police (red & yellow)
code 11
white
silver plated
10.5x4mm 5 slot square
red
red
Police (red & yellow)
none

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
white body, Police shield labels - 25-30
white body, red & yellow Police labels - 15-20