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 34a Volkswagen van
"Matchbox International Express"



To increase the worldwide appeal of the 1-75 series Lesney introduced the German built Volkswagen van as the number 34a in the "Matchbox International Express" livery to the 1-75 series in 1957.
The VW was always painted in a darkish blue. It had hand applied silver trim to the headlights, To the front and rear bumpers and to the VW emblem on the front panel.
The early issues had a flat black baseplate but this was later amended to gloss black baseplate.
To enhance the model the sides were adorned with orange-yellow or yellow decals that read "Matchbox International Express".

The first issue was fitted with grey metal wheels on flat head axles with crimped ends, this was soon altered to dome head axles that also had crimped ends and it's this variation which is by far the most common.
Later grey plastic wheels were used as well as black plastic wheels, the grey plastic wheel version is quite common but the black wheeled one is very rare.

Later the axles were changed to dome head with rounded ends and this type can be found with two sizes of grey plastic wheels, This variation is fairly common but later silver plastic wheels and black plastic wheels were used, the silver wheeled version is quite rare but it does occasionally come up for sale the black wheeled variation is rarer still and is seldom seen.
Note that the silver trim was usually omitted from the rear bumper on these last two issues with silver or black wheels.
At the moment there are no known casting variations to the VW.
Note that because the vehicle is a classic era Volkswagen there are more collectors seeking the model which tends to push up the prices of even the most common variations.
The VW van was deleted and replaced by the larger and more detailed 34b Volkswagen caravette in mid 1962. It was packaged in 'B' and 'C' type boxes.

above: with grey plastic wheels.

above: scarce variation with silver plastic wheels.

code number general wheel type axle type baseplate colour
code 1 blue body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped flat black
code 2 blue body, silver trim, decals 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped flat black
code 3 blue body, silver trim, decals 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head crimped gloss black
code 4 blue body, silver trim, decals 9 x 20 black plastic dome head crimped gloss black
code 5 blue body, silver trim, decals 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head rounded gloss black
code 6 blue body, silver trim, decals 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head rounded gloss black
code 7 blue body, silver trim, decals 9 x 20 silver plastic dome head rounded gloss black
code 8 blue body, silver trim, decals 9 x 20 black plastic dome head rounded gloss black

box types notes
B2 none
B3 none
B4 none
B5 none
C none

values

blue body, grey metal wheels 45

blue body, grey plastic wheels 70

blue body, silver plastic wheels 300+

blue body, black plastic wheels 1000+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

price guide gallery
box gallery