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 21a Bedford coach 'London to Glasgow'



The Lesney model of the 21a Bedford coach joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1956 and measured just 57mm long.
This model was always painted green all over which included the baseplate, The green paint used is not as stable as the paint that is usually found on Lesney toys and playworn examples of the coach can often be seen with yellow patches on the paint, I don't know what causes the decay but it is so common it must be a fault or contamination of the paint rather than something that happened to the model after it was sold.
This was technically the first model to be fitted with a seperate baseplate (the earlier 5a included part of the cab & the bonnet in the baseplate casting) and Lesney attached it to the body by four prongs which located into corresponding holes in the side of the body which was a method it repeated on the larger 21b.
The coach was enhanced by red and yellow "London to Glasgow" decals which unfortunately are prone to getting damaged because they are mounted on the edge of the roof so even the most gently played with models will show signs of wear to the decals.
As for the "London to Glasgow" bit well I'm not sure about that, When I was at school every wednesday afternoon we were taken to a sports ground on a fleet of old Bedfords like these. A journey of 400+ miles from London to Glasgow would have been unbearable and it would have taken days!.
The first issue was trimmed with gold paint which is a very rare variation and one I have still to see, The later issues were trimmed in the much more common silver paint, The trim was applied to the grille, The headlights and to the front bumper.
The wheels were tiny 7 x 18 grey metal which it kept for the life of the model. On early issues they were mounted on flat head axles with crimped ends but later they were fitted with dome head axles which also had crimped ends.
One preproduction example of the coach is known to exist in red with the usual decals and metal wheels which sold at Vectis auctions for an astounding 4800 + commission (5750) a few years back, See the price guide gallery for details.
In 1958 the coach was replaced by a scaled up version of the same vehicle in the same colour scheme with the same decals which measured 68mm long but it is easy to tell the two versions apart because the second issue had a black painted baseplate and this one had a green baseplate. The model was packaged in 'B' type boxes only.

above: the 21a shown with the larger 21b that replaced it.
note the different shape of the reproduction decals as fitted to the 21b,
Lesney decals should curve downward at the ends.

above: shown here with it's larger replacement the 21b, the 21a
always had a green baseplate, the later issue had a black baseplate

code number general trim colour wheel type axle type
code 1 green body & baseplate "London to Glasgow" decals gold trim 7 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped
code 2 green body & baseplate "London to Glasgow" decals silver trim 7 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped
code 3 green body & baseplate "London to Glasgow" decals silver trim 7 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped

box types notes
B1 blurred picture
B1 sharp picture
B2 none

values

green with gold trim 150+ (estimate)

green with silver trim 35

values are for mint models in mint boxes

price guide gallery
box gallery