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.

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Moko Lesney Matchbox 13c Ford Thames wrecker



In 1960 the Lesney model of the Thames trader wreck truck became the third vehicle of this type to occupy the number 13 spot in the Matchbox 1-75 series.
The Thames was always painted red, It had a gloss black baseplate and silver trim to the grille, headlights, front bumper and to the smaller grille set into the bonnet (hood).
The model was enhanced with decals applied to the sides which read "AA & RAC Matchbox Garages Breakdown Service" (AA = Automobile Association. RAC = Royal Automobile Club).
The early issues had a black outline to "Matchbox Garages" which was in orange lettering and later issues had the lettering in red without a black outline.
The Thames was usually fitted with large 11mm or 11.5mm diameter wheels in grey or black plastic but one issue has been seen fitted with smaller diameter black plastic wheels but I don't know the full details of this model so for now it has not been included in the variation table, The axles were always dome head with rounded ends.
There were four different hooks used, 19mm or 20mm metal in red or later silver paint and later still 20mm or 22mm grey plastic.
The crane jib originally had an open upper lattice but this was filled fairly early in the models life.
There were four different baseplates used, The first type had a gap between the 1 and the 3, ie "No 1 3" which later had a brace cast in above the front axle to become the second type, The third type had the 1 and the 3 cast closer together, ie "No 13" and later this one also had a brace cast above the front axle to become version four.
The final casting variation is to be found below the headlights, Quite late in the models life part of the die below the headlights broke off which briefly left a rough ended block below one headlight, To make the model presentable this was quickly modified to leave the model with two blocks, one below each headlight.
Despite being in production for five years the Thames is not an easy model to find in any condition although there does not appear to be any particularly rare variations so the price guide below gives a rough estimate for all models, For more information on prices see the price guide gallery (link below) but bear in mind the estimates given by Vectis as prices realised at auction can sometimes be very innacurate.
The Thames was packaged in box types 'B', 'C' and 'D'. It was replaced by the 13d Dodge wrecker in 1965.

Updated: 19-06-10,
Jeff (lrrp59 from the forum) has informed us of a new variation Wrecker with smaller 10x24 grey plastic wheels, It has been added to the list at number 3 and 4 as it can almost certainly be found with both the 19mm and the 20 mm hook.

above: decals with & without outline to "Matchbox Garages".

above: open and closed crane jib lattice.

above: with & without gap between "1" and "3".

above: 19 and 20 mm red metal hooks.

above: red metal, silver metal and grey plastic hooks.


An unusual Thames casting which has a block cast below the right headlamp
and what appears to be a left headlamp without a block which shows evidence
of the dies being broken, This raises the question of do Thameses exist with
only the right headlamp block cast in.
photo courtesy Antonin Shenk.

code number general decal wheel type grille blocks crane jib base type hook type
code 1 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 19mm red metal
code 2 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 20mm red metal
code 3 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 10 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 4 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 10 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 5 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 6 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 grey plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 7 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 grey plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 8 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 black plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 9 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 9a NEW red body, black base, silver trim with outline 10 x 24 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 10 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 black plastic no blocks open lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 11 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 12 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11 x 24 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 2 20mm silver metal
code 13 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 14 red body, black base, silver trim with outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 15 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 19mm silver metal
code 16 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 1 20mm silver metal
code 17 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 2 20mm silver metal
code 18 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 grey plastic no blocks closed lattice base 3 20mm grey plastic
code 19 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 grey plastic no blocks closed lattice base 3 22mm grey plastic
code 20 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 3 20mm grey plastic
code 21 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 4 20mm grey plastic
code 22 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 3 20mm grey plastic
code 23 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic no blocks closed lattice base 3 22mm grey plastic
code 24 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 3 20mm grey plastic
code 25 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 3 22mm grey plastic
code 26 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 4 20mm grey plastic
code 27 red body, black base, silver trim no outline 11.5 x 45 black plastic with blocks closed lattice base 4 22mm grey plastic

box types notes
B5 with 13b model shown
B5 none
C with background
C without background
C larger box
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue
D2 two blue sides

values

all models 40 to 80, see pricegude gallery for detailed information

values are for mint models in mint boxes

price guide gallery
box gallery