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 17a Bedford removals van



The Lesney model of the Bedford removals van joined the Matchbox 1-75 series at number 17 in 1955 although only the box carried the number,
It was painted blue with silver trim to the grille & bumper and had 8.5 x 18 grey metal wheels on flat head axles with crimped ends,
It was fitted with a seperate tailboard that was solidly fixed in place by three prongs that located into holes in the sides of the body and was further enhanced by the fitting of plain white lettered decals to the sides that read 'Matchbox removals service'.

Soon the colour was changed to maroon which briefly kept its silver trim before being changed to gold trim,
Finally the colour was changed to green with silver trim which it kept until it was deleted,
It was later fitted with dome head axles with crimped ends and just before it was replaced it was fitted with slightly larger 9 x 18 grey metal wheels,
There were three casting variations, The first was the addition of a cast line on the inside of the cargo box,
Next the platform under the front axle was raised at one end, Possibly because of damage to the die and finally the open window between the cab and the cargo box was closed,

There are three other 'variations' which were due to wear to the die,
First the gap between the left side of the cab and the cargo box was filled, Then the area between the cab roof and the underneath of the cargo box overhang was filled, And finally the gap between the right side of the cab and cargo box was filled.
All three were due to wear or breakage to the dies.
The blue and maroon versions are quite rare, particularly the maroon with silver trim, The green version is quite common,
It was sold in 'B' type boxes and was deleted in 1958 when it was replaced by the second version of the Bedford removals van the 17b.

Updated: 16-11-10,
John Walter and George Marshall have both informed me of a very unusual 17a that they have which has been missed by Stannard but was listed by AIM many years ago, It is a very early 17a casting without any infill around the cab so was cast in 1955 or 1956 and it should really have either blue or maroon paintwork.
A stock of unassembled and unpainted castings were obviously kept in storage for some time before being completed, They were eventually assembled some time in 1959 alongside standard 17b-7 castings so they were painted light green and fitted with black outlined decals and grey plastic wheels on dome head crimped axles so at first they appear to be later 17b castings, In order to keep the castings in the order that they were produced this odd piece has been listed as variation 17a number 3.

above: blue & maroon versions, both with silver trim

above: the maroon version with gold trim

above: the very unusual variation #3 which should have blue or maroon
paint but the castings were put into storage until 1959 so have black
outlined decals, grey plastic wheels on dome head crimped axles
as found on the 17b-7.
photo courtesy John Walter.

above, the differencies between the 17a and 17b

code number general wheel type axle type axle platform body line & infill cab window
code 1 blue body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight no body line, no infill with window
code 2 blue body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight body line, no infill with window
code 3 NEW green body, silver trim, outlined decals 8.5 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped straight body line, no infill with window
code 4 maroon body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight body line, no infill with window
code 5 maroon body, gold trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight body line, no infill with window
code 6 maroon body, gold trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight body line, infill to the left side with window
code 7 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped straight body line, infill to the left side with window
code 8 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped straight body line, infill to the left side with window
code 9 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left & top with window
code 10 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left & top with window
code 11 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left, top & right with window
code 12 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left, top & right with window
code 13 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left, top & right no window
code 14 green body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left, top & right no window
code 15 green body, silver trim, decals 9 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped with raised end body line, infill to the left, top & right no window

box types notes
B1 blurred picture "Removals" on van
B1 sharp picture "Removals" on van
B1 "Matchbox Removals service" on van
B2 small picture
B2 large picture

values

blue body 120

maroon body silver trim 250+

maroon body gold trim 150+

green body 60

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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