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 42a Bedford "Evening News" van



The Lesney model of the Bedford evening news delivery van joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1957. It was painted orangy yellow and had decals for the "Evening News" a London newspaper. it was a common sight on the London streets back in the 1960's, I can clearly remember waiting for one of these vans to make a delivery to a street vendor while fetching dad's newspapers. it had either a flat or gloss black baseplate that was held in place by a tongue and slot at the rear and a rivet at the front. it had either grey metal wheels or grey or black plastic wheels with knobbly or fine treads, the early models had crimped axles and the later ones had rounded ends.

The decal on the diagonal roof banner read 'first with the news' and I can't help to wonder what the banner did for the vehicles aerodynamics. the door decals read 'football results' and 'evening news'. the criss cross pattern on the door decals represented the wire mesh which on the real vehicles would hold the paper adverts that proclaimed the latest news headlines, in real life the paper adverts would be changed on a daily basis or as new news stories broke, silver trim was applied to the headlights, front bumper and grille, at first this was hand applied and on later issues it was mask sprayed.

there were a few casting variations, the first one was to add two triangular braces to the inside of the roof to either side of where the roof advert located, later this was changed to straight braces which came down behind the side decals, a minor alteration was made to the body below the back doors to the slot where the base located, this originally had sloping sides but on later issues it was squared off. on the early issues the baseplate had the outline of an ejector ring on the cab floor, at some time this became a proper ejector ring standing a few millimetres high.

It is a very common model because it was in the range for eight years but the fine tread grey and fine tread black plastic wheeled versions are quite hard to find and it appears that even vectis has not handled one for at least seven years, the model was sold in box type 'B', 'C' and 'D' and was deleted in 1965 to make way for the Studebaker wagonair.

roof intertior detail left to right: no braces, triangular braces & full width braces.

code number wheel type axle type roof brace type
code 1 grey metal wheels 10.5 x 24 flat head crimped no roof braces
code 2 grey metal wheels 10.5 x 24 domed head crimped no roof braces
code 3 grey plastic 10 x 24 domed head crimped no roof braces
code 4 grey plastic 10 x 24 dome head rounded no roof braces
code 5 grey plastic 10 x 24 dome head rounded triangular roof braces
code 6 black plastic 10 x 24 dome head rounded no roof braces
code 7 black plastic 10 x 24 dome head rounded triangular roof braces
code 8 black plastic 10 x 24 dome head rounded full width roof braces
code 9 black plastic 10 x 45 dome head rounded full width roof braces
code 10 grey plastic 10 x 45 dome head rounded full width roof braces

box types notes
B2 no text on roof sign
B2 with text on roof sign
B3 none
B3 larger box
B4 "Evening News" Van
B4 Evening News Van
B5 Evening News Van
C "Evening News" Van
C Evening News Van
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

grey metal wheels or knobbly grey plastic wheels 45

knobbly black plastic wheels 70

fine tread grey or black plastic wheels 150+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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