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 MB74-b Daimler Fleetline Bus



The #74 Daimler Fleetline double decker was converted to SuperFast wheels in 1970 using the same cut channels in the baseplate with short plastic axle clips as the 1-75 series transitional trucks.
Thin solid or hollow 9.5x2mm 5 slot SuperFast wheels were fitted and commonly secured by black axle clips although dark red clips can be found on a tiny minority.
White seats were fitted, and as with any white plastic, they are prone to discolour with exposure to heat, light or chemicals as they age.
The bus was initially painted in the darker shade of red normally used for the #57c Land Rover Fire truck but most are found in the medium red shade used on the #59c Fire Chief. A significant quantity were also painted deep pink.
The baseplate which included the rear engine cover was painted separately from the body shells so it is possible to find any pink baseplate or bodyshell matched up to a Fire chief red bodyshell or baseplate and it has been widely accepted by collectors since 1970 that these are genuine factory mix-ups, although the swap is a simple matter for collectors today.

Standard advertising for the bus was the same “Esso“ stickers used on the last regular wheels issues. However, Lesney also made some well known short runs for other sponsers including “Baron of Beef“ and “Inn on the Park“. Other fairly well known advertisers also feature although whether these were done in the Lesney factory or by outside agents isnt always documented.
The “Esso“ stickers ran out before production ended so the Swinging London stickers for the replacement #17 Daimler Fleetline can also be found on a small quantity of the #74.
Many of these buses were bought by companies or hobbyists and fitted with advertising that was not made by Lesney and often on top of the original “Esso“ posters and as such their values and collectability are very limited compared to issues documented made by or with Lesney permission.
These buses were packed in F or G type boxes or USA or Canada blisterpacks with copyright dates between 1969 and 1971.
No further use was ever made of this tooling once the new #17 Daimler Fleetline was released in 1972.


Above: Showing the early dark red versions and the dayglow pink

Above: Promotional for TWA - Trans World Airlines. Note the early Superfast 'F' type box which has "Superfast" printed on the sides yet the illustration clearly shows a regular wheel model.

Above: Promotional for Inn on the Park.

Above: This promotional issue was commissioned by the NAMC - The North American Matchbox Club. It was released in the USA.


Above: The daimler was briefly recoloured to dayglow pink....

Above: ...before being recoloured to a lighter red. Note shades can vary significantly.

Above: Promotional for The Baron of Beef

Above: Promotional for Cyprus Airways.

Above: Promotional for Beefeater Gin.

Above: Promotional for Big 'T' 100% Scotch Whiskies.

Above: An unusual USA issue blister pack model with a F type box showing a green Daimler with regular wheels.

Above: An unusual pre production colour trial in dark grey with a bright yellow baseplate.

code
number
body
colour
base
colour
wheels
interior
colour
labels
code 9
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 10
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Cyprus airways
code 11
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Beefeater gin
code 12
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
The miniature vehicle
code 13
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
The baron of beef
code 14
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Inn on the park
code 15
dark red
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Fly TWA 747's
code 16
dayglow pink
dark red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 17
dayglow pink
dayglow pink
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 18
dayglow pink
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 19
light red
dayglow pink
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 20
light red
dayglow pink
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Cyprus airways
code 21
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Cyprus airways
code 22
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
The baron of beef
code 23
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Inn on the park
code 24
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
The miniature vehicle
code 25
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
IPC chemicals
code 26
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Big T scotch whiskies
code 27
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Swinging London (from 17-f)
code 28
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Borregaard papier
code 29
light red
light red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra
code 30
light red
bright red
9.5x2mm 5 slot
white
Esso extra

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
dark red, dayglow pink or red, Esso labels - £15-£25
dark red or red, Baron of beef labels - £50-£70
dark red or red, NAMC minature vehicle labels - £60-£80
dark red or red, Inn on the park labels - £70-£90
dark red or red, Cyprus airways labels - £150-£200
dark red or red, Beefeater gin labels - £250-£300
red, Big T scotch whisky labels - £80-£100
red, TWA labels - £150-£200
red, ICP chemicals labels - £250-£300
red, Swinging London labels - £150-£200 ? (estimate)
red, Borregaard papier labels - £150-£200 ? (estimate)
for F type box or red axle clips - add £20