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 4a Massey Harris tractor



The fourth Lesney model to join the Matchbox 1-75 series was the Massey Harris tractor which like the three earlier models was a scaled down version of one of the early large scale models but both the large scale model and 1-75 model of the tractor were introduced in 1954 and no one knows for sure which one came first.
The Massey was always painted red with a light brown driver that was part of the tractor casting that had to be painted by hand by outworkers, The outworkers also applied gold trim to the engine detail and to the center of the rear wheels.
The front wheel was 10mm diameter grey metal four spoke wheel which is rather delicate and prone to breaking on the weak spot which was between the spokes leaving the tractor with just a hub minus the tyre itself. The axles were flat head with crimped ends.
The rear wheels were 17mm with 20 treads and were solid cast and as previously mentioned the hub centers were trimmed in gold,
The tractor body was also a solid casting which made for a rather heavy model, It had a tow hook but Lesney never saw fit to make anything suitable for it to tow. Cast in to the top of the bonnet (hood) were the air intake and exhaust pipes which were also rather thin and delicate and it is not unusual to find otherwise mint tractors with the exhaust & air pipes missing and with the broken ends painted over so the pipes often broke off during production,
The rear mudguards were a seperate casting which had to be fitted to the tractor body and these usually have "Lesney" cast into the inside of one mudguard and "England" cast into the other but models exist with either two "Englands" or two "Lesneys".
The only other casting variation is to the gap between the top of the engine which is filled in on the later issues and it is not known if this was a deliberate alteration or wear to the dies.
In 1957 the tractor was modified where the engine casting was hollowed out, the rear hubs were also hollowed out at the back and the front wheels changed to solid metal wheels, The driver was removed and replaced by a seperately cast driver which was held in place by the rear axle and the rear mudguards deleted but this version is reguarded as a new model by collectors and is designated as the 4b Massey Harris.
The 4a Massey Harris was packaged in box types 'A' and 'B', There are no particularly rare variations although mint and boxed examples are quite hard to find.

above: top, open gap between fuel tank & engine.
lower, with closed gap.


All Tractor wheels have "Made in England by Lesney" cast into them
photo courtesy Jeff (llrp59)

code number general front wheel rear wheel axle type engine
gap
mudguard
text
code 1 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped open text 1
code 2 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped open text 2
code 3 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped open text 3
code 4 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped open text 4
code 5 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped closed text 1
code 6 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped closed text 2
code 7 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped closed text 3
code 8 red body, tan driver, gold trim 10mm 4 spokes grey metal 17 x 20 grey metal, gold center flat head crimped closed text 4

box types notes
A none
B1 none

values

all models 40

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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