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 36a Austin A50



Lesney introduced the Austin A50 to the Matchbox range in 1957 and it was a rather dull model of what was perhaps a rather dull car but it can't have been that bad a vehicle as my grandparents drove one of these until the late seventies with little trouble.
The car was eventually scrapped, not due to mechanical faults but to accident damage.

The Austin was initially painted a greenish blue or turquoise but the later issues were recoloured to a pale blue and silver trim was hand applied to the grille, headlights and front & rear bumpers,
Around about the time that grey plastic wheels were introduced the trim application was changed to mask spray paint.
The rear lights were enhanced by the addition of red trim which was also done by hand but for some reason Lesney put the red trim at the top of the rear wings when the tail lights were actually much lower down on the real car.

The wheels were grey metal to begin with but the last issues were fitted with grey plastic wheels and the axles were originally flat head crimped but later dome head axles were used, The axles were always crimped because the model was deleted before rounded axles were in use.
The baseplate was attached by a tongue & slot at the front and by a round rivet at the rear and it was painted flat black on the early issues, Satin black and then gloss black on the last, It was of course fitted with the mandatory tow hook.

The baseplate had a strengthening brace cast in lenghtwise very early in production and much later the front ejector post was lengthened, The main modifications were to the inside of the roof, Early models had a smooth roof interior, soon two pips were cast just inside the windscreen frame, Later issues had this increased to a row of six pips and very soon after a brace was added just forwards of the pips.
The Austin was only sold in one type of box, the 'B' type, It was not one of the best selling models so after just four years it was replaced by the 36b Lambretta motorscooter and sidecar in 1961.


Updated: 27-02-10,
Goggo from the forum has recently found an Austin with six pips under the roof and no roof brace, Until this model was discovered it was assumed that the six pips and brace were added at the same time which was obviously wrong.

Updated: 04-07-10,
James (Actiontrooper) from the forum informs us that he has found a pale blue Austin which has roof pips and brace but it has 8x18 metal wheels, George Marshall also confirms seeing this variation.

Updated: 25-11-10,
Martin Avis from the forum has recently discovered a pale blue Austin with 6 pips in the roof and no windscreen brace but it has flat head axles.

Updated: 01-03-13,
Antonin Shenk and Radval have both found A50's with completely smooth roof interiors.

Updated 30/05/13 with the assistance of Antonin Schenk


Above: Roof type 1 (left) and type three (right).


Above: Type two roof with six pips but no brace
Photo cortesy Michael (Goggo from the forum)


As can be seen in this photograph of Antonin Schenk's collection the Austin came in many
different shades, For simplicity sake they have all been listed as either blue-green or light blue.
photo courtesy Antonin Schenk

code number general wheel type axle type roof interior front post baseplate colour baseplate type
code 1 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped smooth short post flat black no brace
code 2 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped smooth short post flat black with brace
code 3 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped two pips short post flat black no brace
code 4 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped two pips short post flat black with brace
code 5 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped six pips short post flat black with brace
code 6 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped six pips long post flat black with brace
code 7 pale blue body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal flat head crimped six pips long post flat black with brace
code 8 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips short post flat black with brace
code 9 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips long post flat black with brace
code 10 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips long post satin black with brace
code 11 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips & brace long post flat black with brace
code 12 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips & brace long post satin black with brace
code 13 pale blue body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips & brace long post satin black with brace
code 14 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post flat black with brace
code 15 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post satin black with brace
code 16 blue-green body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post flat black with brace
code 17 blue-green body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8.5 x 18 grey metal dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post satin black with brace
code 18 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post flat black with brace
code 19 blue-green body, hand applied silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post satin black with brace
code 20 blue-green body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post flat black with brace
code 21 blue-green body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips, brace & ejector ring long post satin black with brace
code 22 pale blue body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips & brace & ejector ring long post flat black baseplate
code 23 pale blue body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips & brace & ejector ring long post satin black baseplate
code 24 pale blue body, mask sprayed silver trim, red tailights 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped six pips & brace & ejector ring long post gloss black baseplate

box types notes
B2 large model number
B2 medium model number
B3 none
B4 "Austin A 50"
B4 "Austin A.50"
B5 "Austin A 50"

values

blue-green, grey metal wheels 30

blue-green, grey plastic wheels 35

pale blue, grey plastic wheels 60

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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