The Lesney model of the 20a ERF lorry made it's debut in the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1956, It was fitted with 8.5 x 18 grey metal wheels on flat head axles with crimped ends,
The very first run was issued in a pale green with silver trim to the headlights, The grille and to the fuel tanks but it is generally believed that this was a trial or pre production run as very few of them are known to exist and it is also a slightly different casting to the later issues as all of the others had a strengthening brace cast in between the cab and the load bed,
The first proper production run was painted a dark maroon with hand applied gold trim and this variation is quite rare too,
Later silver trim replaced the gold trim and dark red was used as well as maroon for the body colour,
Towards the end of it's production life dome head axles with crimped ends were fitted and the last few runs were fitted with grey plastic wheels.
On the final issue the hand applied silver trim was replaced by mask spraying and the trim to the fuel tanks was omitted although it is not unusual to find any variation without any trim at all,
Occasionally these turn up with what appear to be spare wheels fitted between cab and load bed but they were not intentionally fitted but were jammed in place during the 'tumbling' or 'fettling' stage of production where the components were put into large rotating drums where the pieces were tumbled together to remove the components fron the sprue, The 'spare' wheels then went through the painting process with the bodies so are usually painted in the maroon colour as I have not seen the red version with the 'spare' wheel.
The ERF was packaged in 'B' type boxes only and it was replaced by the larger eight wheeler 20b ERF ever ready truck in 1959.