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 51a Albion Chieftain 'Portland cement'



The Lesney model of the Scottish built Albion Chieftain joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1958,
It was painted a deep yellow which does seem to chip rather easily and the cement sack load was painted light brown,
The very first issue had round 'blue circle portland cement' decals applied to the doors and 'portland cement' decals to the sides of the load bed but the load bed decals were very soon changed to read 'blue circle portland cement'.
The decals were usually light blue on the metal and grey plastic wheeled versions but later issues with grey wheels and all the silver and black wheeled versions had darker navy blue decals.
Grey metal wheels were fitted to the first issues and the model progressed through grey plastic wheels, small and large silver plastic wheels and finally small black plastic wheels, The grey metal and grey plastic wheeled versions were fitted with dome head axles with crimped ends but later the grey plastic and all the silver and black wheeled issues were mounted on dome head axles with rounded ends. The early flat head axle has only recently been found on the earliest grey metal wheeled Albion.

The cement sack load was briefly changed to a yellow-brown before it was recoloured to a darker brown for the last of the grey wheeled versions and for the black wheeled version.
Silver trim was hand applied to the grill and headlights but this was changed to mask sprayed silver trim soon after the rounded axles came into use.
The baseplate was initially painted flat black but soon after the grey plastic wheels came into use it was changed to gloss black.
There is only one known casting variation which is quite unusual especially as the model was in production for six years and this was very early in production where a brace was added to the inside of the cab behind the radiator grille.
The grey metal wheeled and grey plastic wheeled variations are fairly common, the large silver wheel and black wheeled versions are quite rare but the variation with small silver wheels is probably the hardest one to find,
It was packaged in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes and was replaced by the 51b tipping farm trailer in mid 1964.
Updated 09/11/13 with the assistance of Antonin Schenk

above: some of the many wheel variations on the Chieftain

Above: left, the early decal. right, the later decal.

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above: 3 shades of early light tan, the yellow-brown and later dark tan load
Photo cortesy Antonin Schenk

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Above: Left, the early cab without brace. Right, the later cab with brace
Photos cortesy Antonin Schenk

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Above: showing the variations in trim detail.
Photo cortesy Antonin Schenk

code number general wheel type axle type cab brace decal type silver trim baseplate colour
code 1 yellow body, light tan load 8.5 x 18 grey metal #51 flat head crimped no cab brace portland cement hand applied flat black
code 2 yellow body, light tan load 8.5 x 18 grey metal #51 dome head crimped no cab brace portland cement hand applied flat black
code 3 yellow body, light tan load 8.5 x 18 grey metal no# dome head crimped no cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied flat black
code 4 yellow body, light tan load 8.5 x 18 grey metal #51 dome head crimped no cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied flat black
code 5 yellow body, light tan load 8.5 x 18 grey metal #51 dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied flat black
code 6 yellow body, light tan load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied flat black
code 7 yellow body, light tan load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied gloss black
code 8 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied flat black
code 9 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied gloss black
code 10 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head crimped cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 11 yellow body, light tan load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement hand applied gloss black
code 12 yellow body, light tan load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 13 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 20 grey plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 14 yellow body, light tan load 7.5 x 18 silver plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 15 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 20 silver plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 16 yellow body, light tan load 9 x 24 silver plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 17 yellow body, yellow-brown load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 18 yellow body, brown load 8 x 18 grey plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black
code 19 yellow body, brown load 8 x 18 black plastic dome head rounded cab brace blue circle portland cement mask sprayed gloss black

box types notes
B2 none
B3 none
B4 none
B5 none
C none
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

grey metal wheels, portland cement decal 40

grey metal wheels, blue circle decal 40

grey plastic wheels 60

large silver plastic wheels 180

small silver plastic wheels 300+

small black plastic wheels 100+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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