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 53c Ford Zodiac Mk Vl



The Lesney model of Ford's flagship Zodiac Mk Vl was introduced into the 1-75 series in early 1968. The Zodiac was Fords largest and most luxurious model which was powered by a 2.5 or 3.0 liter V6 which went out of production in 1972 but the car was killed off by the fuel crisis of 1973 which quadrupled the price of crude oil, The average Ford driver could no longer afford to run such fuel hungry vehicles so many perfectly roadworthy examples of the Zodiac were scrapped.
The Lesney Zodiac was painted a light metallic blue but the shades can vary, It had a silver plated baseplate which included the grille and the front & rear bumper detail cast in which meant silver trim was not needed on this model.
It had clear plastic windows and 11 x 45 black plastic wheels on dome head axles with rounded ends and spring suspension was to all four wheels.
The interior was ivory coloured and unusually it did not include a tow hook as part of the molding as the Zodiac was never fitted with a tow hook.
The model was enhanced by having an opening bonnet (hood) which covered a detailed chromed plastic engine and spare wheel which was mounted up front on the Zodiac.

Casting modifications were made to the blocks at the rear of the engine bay which were 3.5mm wide and had a small central tab in between them on the first issues, Then the blocks were slimmed down to 2.5mm wide with central tab on the next issue and the final issue had 2.5mm wide blocks but the central tab was removed.
The other casting variation is to the tow guide beneath the front bumper where all issues can be found with either a 5.5mm wide or 6mm wide towing guide, This variation in the towing guide is just a variation between two different baseplate dies which were both in use for the life of the model so are both equally as common as the other.
At the time of changeover to superfast wheels the Zodiac was recoloured to a bright metallic green and as has been seen on other models some of the superfast bodies were paired up with regular wheel bases which leaves us with one very rare and desirable variation.
Violet coloured interiors have also been seen on this model which is another very rare variation and what is believed to be a later issue pre production model with black plastic tyres on chromed hubs is known and it is assumed that Lesney were going to fit the chromed hub & tyre to the Zodiac which was soon forgotten when Mattel introduced their revolutionary 'Hot Wheels' models and Lesney realised that to stay in the toy market they needed a high speed wheel system of their own.
The Zodiac was packaged in 'E' and 'F' type boxes, It was converted to superfast wheels in 1970 and deleted in 1972.

code number general wheel type engine blocks tow guide
code 1 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 3.5mm blocks with tab 5.5mm wide
code 2 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 3.5mm blocks with tab 6mm wide
code 3 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks with tab 5.5mm wide
code 4 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks with tab 6mm wide
code 5 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks without tab 5.5mm wide
code 6 metallic blue body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks without tab 6mm wide
code 7 metallic green body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks without tab 5.5mm wide
code 8 metallic green body, clear windows, ivory interior, plated base 11 x 45 black plastic 2.5mm blocks without tab 6mm wide

box types notes
E4 light blue sides, "new model"
E4R light blue sides, "new model"
F2 none

values

metallic blue body, ivory interior, black plastic wheels 25

metallic blue body, violet interior, black plastic wheels 700+

metallic green body, ivory interior, black plastic wheels 1000+

metallic blue body, ivory interior, black plastic tyres on chromed hubs 300+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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