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 23a Berkeley cavalier caravan



To compliment the 22a Vauxhall Cresta which was the first saloon car and the first vehicle to be equipped with a tow hook Lesney introduced the 23a berkley cavalier caravan,
Most of the car type vehicles produced from now would be equipped with a tow hook so the caravan could be hooked up to almost all of the other cars in the range and not just the Cresta.
The caravan joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1956.

It was always painted in very pale blue and it was fitted with 8.5 x 18 grey metal wheels on flat head axles with crimped ends,
A decal was applied to the rear end that read "On Tow MBS 23", The decal would also be used on the later 23b Berkeley Cavalier caravan.

It had no number on the baseplate or on the wheels.
It is easy to tell the 23a from the later 23b apart because on the 23a the the stud that held the baseplate to the body went through the bottom of the door. on the 23b caravan it protruded through the body but on this one it was next to the door.

There were few casting variations,
The first was a modification to the baseplate and this was the addition of four braces to the axle cover,
The second was a minor modification to the towing hitch where the gap between the towing eye and the foot was filled in very slightly.

It was packaged in just the one box which was the 'B' type box and is not a very hard to find piece,
It was replaced by another very similar Berkley Caravan in 1958.

Above: The easiest way to tell the 23a from the 23b is by
the stud that holds the base in place, on the 23a it comes
through the door, on the 23b it is next to the door

Above: the decal number plate reads 'on tow' and 'mbs23',
the same decal was used on the 23b and 23c caravans.

Above left: long brace between towing eye and foot
right: short brace between towing eye and foot

 photo 23a x 2 bases 836x598_zpst3tm1ksa.jpg

Above: the very hard to find early baseplate casting.
photo courtesy George Marshal, super find George.

code number general towing eye axle cover braces
code 1 blue, 8.5 x 18 metal wheels, crimped flat head axles short infill to towing hitch no axle braces
code 2 blue, 8.5 x 18 metal wheels, crimped flat head axles short infill to towing hitch with axle braces
code 3 blue, 8.5 x 18 metal wheels, crimped flat head axles longer infill to towing hitch with axle braces

box types notes
B1 blurred picture
B1 sharp picture

values

all models 40

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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