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 23c Bluebird dauphine caravan



The Lesney model of the Bluebird Dauphine replaced the earlier Berkeley Cavalier caravan at the number 23 spot in the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1960.
The first issue was painted metallic mauve but it was very odd because it had a crimson painted baseplate and a black door, It had 9 x 20 grey plastic wheels and was enhancerd with an "On tow" decal applied to the rear end.
Very soon the colour was changed to metallic lime green which was carried over from the last issues of the 23b Berkeley Cavalier caravan, Both of these early issues are extremely rare.
The next issues were painted metallic mauve all over which it kept for the remainer of its life, The shade of mauve did vary but the colour is very prone to fading to silver if it is left in direct sunlight.
All of the caravans had two window fixing rivets cast into the inside roof but only one very rare issue was actually fitted with windows and this one appeared aproximately half way through the models life but as there are only two or so of them known I have removed them from the listing table as it is unlikely any more will show up.
There were numerous casting modificatios, The window pillars were originally 1mm thick but were later increased to 1.5 mm thick.
The tow hitch was altered six times with wide and narrow hitches and modifiactions to the underneath of the hitch.
Also on the inside of the caravan there were three versions of the upper door hinge. I have uploaded some new photographs of the inside of the door hinge which were supplied by Jason (Nearlymint) from our forum, I'm sure you'll agree that they are much better than the previous photoshopped pictures
Note that it is easy to remove the baseplate from the caravan and swap them around so other variations to those already listed will probably exist.
The Bluebird was packaged in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes. It was replaced by the 23d Trailer caravan in early 1965.

LATEST 23c NEWS prototypes and models with windows

above: the rare black plastic wheeled version

above: the rare metallic lime green version

above: the odd but very rare version in metallic
mauve with crimson base and black door

above: left, later 1.5mm thick pillars. right, early 1mm thick pillars

above: the inside of the top door hinge
left, early type short 2mm wide door hinge with the end of the door hinge pin exposed.
center, later and longer 2mm wide type hinge with covered door hinge pin.
right, later type 3mm wide squared and tapered hinge.
Photos courtesy Jason (Nearlymint) from our forum.

hitch type 1

hitch type 2

hitch type 3

hitch type 4

hitch type 5

hitch type 6

code number general wheel type window pillars door hinge tow hitch type
code 1 metallic mauve body, crimson base, black door, on tow decal 8 x 18 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 1
code 2 metallic lime green body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 1
code 3 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 1
code 4 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 2
code 5 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 3
code 6 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 4
code 7 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 2
code 8 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 2
code 9 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 3
code 10 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 3
code 11 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 8 x 18 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 3
code 12 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 8 x 18 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 3
code 13 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 8 x 18 grey plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 4
code 14 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 24 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 1 tow hitch 4
code 15 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 24 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 4
code 16 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 24 silver plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 5
code 17 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9.5 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 5
code 18 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9.5 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 4
code 19 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9.5 x 20 silver plastic 1mm wide hinge 2 tow hitch 5
code 20 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 24 grey plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 5
code 21 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 24 grey plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 6
code 22 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 36 grey plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 5
code 23 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 36 grey plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 6
code 24 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 36 black plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 5
code 25 metallic mauve body & base, on tow decal 9 x 36 black plastic 1.5mm wide hinge 3 tow hitch 6

box types notes
B5 (23b box)
B5 23c picture
C 23b picture
C 23c picture
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

metallic mauve body with grey or silver wheels 30

metallic mauve body with black wheels 250+

metallic lime green body with grey wheels 500+

metallic mauve body, crimson base, black door, grey wheels 1000+

metallic mauve body silver wheels and green tinted windows 1000+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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