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 20c Chevrolet Impala taxi



The ERF ever ready truck was replaced by the Lesney Chrvrolet Impala taxi which joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in early 1965. I guess it was to add to play value that Lesney saw fit to add a tow hook but it is something I have never seen on a real taxi.
The taxi was initially painted orange with an ivory plastic interior and clear plastic windows. It had a red "taxi" decal applied to the bonnet (hood) and silver trim to the headlights and grille, Red trim was never applied to this model.
The first two issues had a silver painted baseplate, The first of these did not have a tow guide and very few of these are known to exist so this variation is most likely to be a pre production model.
The model is usually found with 10 x 36 black plastic wheels on dome head axles with rounded ends but the next very rare issue was fitted with grey plastic wheels, For this issue the silver paint was omitted from the baseplate and for this and all later issues the baseplate was silver plated,
The next issue reverted back to black wheels and after a while came the first of two casting modifications to the inside of the body where two lines were cast in an 'X' on the inside of each rear wheel well.
This was soon modified again where multiple diagonal lines were cast in to the wheelwells and there were two different body castings in use at the time but because these are difficult to tell apart they have been grouped together in the variation table
Later the interior was recoloured to red plastic and soon after the 'taxi' decal was replaced by a 'taxi' label.
Later the model was recoloured to lemon yellow and this version is usually found with a red plastic interior but some were issued with an ivory interior.
The grey wheeled version is extremely rare, the orange version with red interior and the yellow one with ivory interior are both very hard to find,
The Impala was packaged in 'E' type boxes which can be found with different artwork to the endflaps,
After four years in production the Impala was looking a little dated and was not considered suitable for conversion to superfast wheels so in 1969 it was replaced by the new superfast wheeled model of the Lambourghini Marzal.

above: top right, the very rare grey plastic wheeled variation

above: the early issue in orange with 'taxi' decal

above: the later issue in lemon yellow with 'taxi' label

above: the lemon yellow with cream
interior is particularly difficult to find

above: the rare grey wheeled 20c
photograph courtesy Jan Naessens

above: left, silver painted baseplate. right, silver plated baseplate.

above: Different variations on the bonnet decal & label

above: the inside of the boot on the first body
was completely smooth and was not painted

above: the second body type had a single 'X'
under each wheel well and is painted inside

above: the third body type had multiple
crossed lines and is painted on the inside

above: the fourth body was like type 3 but it
was actually a different casting

Jones Taxi Co.

code number general wheel type decal/label interior baseplate body type
code 1 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal cream silver painted, no towguide body 1
code 2 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal cream silver painted, with towguide body 1
code 3 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 grey plastic decal cream plated metal, with towguide body 1
code 4 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal cream plated metal, with towguide body 1
code 5 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal cream plated metal, with towguide body 2
code 6 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal cream plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4
code 7 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal red plated metal, with towguide body 2
code 8 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic decal red plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4
code 9 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label red plated metal, with towguide body 2
code 10 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label red plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4
code 11 orange body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label cream plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4
code 12 yellow body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label cream plated metal, with towguide body 2
code 13 yellow body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label cream plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4
code 14 yellow body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label red plated metal, with towguide body 2
code 15 yellow body, silver trim, clear windows 10 x 36 black plastic label red plated metal, with towguide body 3 or 4

box types notes
E2 "new model" two blue sides
E2 light blue sides
E3 light blue sides
E4 light blue sides
E4R light blue sides

values

orange body, ivory interior, plated base, black wheels 30

orange body, ivory interior, silver painted base, black wheels 80

orange body, ivory interior, plated base, grey wheels 2000+

orange body, red interior, plated base, black wheels 50

yellow body, red interior, plated base, black wheels 30

yellow body, ivory interior, plated base, black wheels 100+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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