The Lesney model of the 15d Volkswagen 1500 saloon appeared in the Matchbox 1-75 series late in 1968 which was shortly before Disney's release of the movie "The love bug" featuring the VW beetle Herbie, The Lesney VW was painted the same colours as Herbie and had racing numbers applied to the doors but to avoid having to pay royalties to Disney the number 137 in black numerals on a white background replaced the number 53 that Herbie wore.
The Lesney was painted in off white or light cream and both colours can be found on the superfast issues, It has a silver plated baseplate, a cream plastic interior incorporating a tow hook and clear windows with wiper and rear view mirror detail included, the racing numbers on the doors were originally decals but labels were used on later issues, The front bumper had a decal applied to a plate reading "Rallye Monte Carlo" with the number 137 in red letters on a white background, It had suspension to the rear axle and the front wheels could be made to steer by Lesneys patented 'Auto steer' system where the wheels could be steered by pressing down on the side of the car that you wanted to steer towards, releasing the pressure the wheels would straighten up again.
The wheels were 6mm chrome plated plastic with 11.5 x 45 black plastic tyres but examples have been found with 10.5 x 45 tyres that are usually found on the 73 mercury commuter. Dome head axles with rounded ends were used, One example is known to exist in the superfast issue colour of red which is probably a transitional model, ie regular wheel base with superfast body but it is more likely to be an early pre production piece because the white body was continued into the superfast range for some time before the red bodied version was introduced,
There was an interesting version of the car made by a Californian model shop which had the original decals / labels removed and a new set of decals applied with the Herbie racing number 53 applied to the doors & bonnet and red white and blue racing stripes applied to the bonnet (hood) and roof and although it is not a genuine Lesney issue it has become quite sought after by collectors, The regular wheeled version only stayed in the range for a year before being converted to superfast wheels, it was sold in 'F' type boxes.