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 17c Austin taxi



The Lesney model of the Austin taxi joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1960.
It was an accurate representation of the 3 door vehicle which had, instead of a front passenger seat, an open platform that was for carrying suitcases and having no left front door allowed very easy access to the suitcase carrier. It was commonly seen plying its trade on the streets of london during the 1950s and 1960s.
It was painted maroon or dark red as shades vary and it had silver trim to the headlights, The grille and to the front bumper.
Maroon was an unusual choice because in those days all london taxis were painted black which could have actually been a legal requirement but the maroon paint was probably because lesney produced 236 models in many different colours and never had a single black painted vehicle among them although most had black painted baseplates so the black paint was availble.

It was fitted with a tan coloured die cast metal driver and the interior & baseplate could be either dark grey or light grey. The light grey version is commonly known as the USA issue but I don't know if this was strictly true.
It is usually found with 9.5 x 20 or 9 x 20 grey plastic wheels but 9.5 x 20 silver plastic wheels were fitted to later issues and this variation is quite haed to find.
There was only one casting variation to the base,
The early issues had a strengthening ridge running the length of the inside of the baseplate, Later issues had an ejector ring cast between the center of the rear wheels on the strengthening ridge.
It was sold in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes and deleted in 1963 to make way for the 17d hoveringham tipper truck.

above, early base shown, later base has an ejector
ring cast above rear axle in the area circled in yellow.

above: left, darker grey base. right, pale grey base.

code number general wheels base colour base casting
code 1 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9.5 x 20 grey plastic grey no ejector ring
code 2 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9.5 x 20 grey plastic grey with ejector ring
code 3 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9 x 20 grey plastic grey with ejector ring
code 4 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9.5 x 20 silver plastic grey with ejector ring
code 5 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9.5 x 20 grey plastic pale grey with ejector ring
code 6 maroon body, tan driver, silver trim, dome head rounded axles 9.5 x 20 silver plastic pale grey with ejector ring

box types notes
B5 "new model"
C none
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

grey plastic wheels 60

silver plastic wheels light grey interior 100

silver plastic wheels grey interior 130

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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