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 54a Saracen personell carrier



The Lesney model of the 54a Saracen became the second military vehicle to join the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1958 after the 49a Halftrack, following the Saracen was the 55a DUKW and the following year 1959 no less than eight more military vehicles were introduced,
The military vehicles can't have been very successful as they had all but one been deleted by 1967 leaving the 67a Saladin as the only military vehicle still in production.
The Saracen was based on the Rolls Royce powered 6 x 6 Alvis floorplan that was also modelled as the 67a Saladin, the 63b Foamite crash tender and the 61b Stalwart.
The Saracen was painted gloss olive green all over including the baseplate but towards the end of it's life it was released in flat olive green,
To add to pay value the model was fitted with a rotating body coloured turret to the roof and because it was a military vehicle it did not need silver trim or decals to be applied

The wheels were 12.5 x 30 black plastic that had a shoulder to the inside of the wheel to space it away from the baseplate, these were later changed to a finer tread 12.5 x 40 black plastic wheel.
The axles were originally dome head with crimped ends but were later changed to dome head axles with rounded ends.
There were two casting variations, the first was a modification to the baseplate, Early baseplates had two open ends, later the open end at the rear was closed giving one closed end and one open end.
The next casting variation was due to a poorly repaired broken die, the repaired die lost the aerial mount detail and also part of a hatch cover, The air vent lost it's shape and became a rounded blob.
Like the rest of the military vehicles it was not a great seller so it was replaced by the 54b Cadillac S&S ambulance in 1965, it was packaged in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes and is fairly easy to find, there are no rare variations.

above: left, gloss green. right, flat green

code number general wheel type axle type baseplate type body casting
code 1 gloss olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head crimped two open ends with aerial & hatch
code 2 gloss olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head crimped one open end one closed end with aerial & hatch
code 3 gloss olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head rounded one open end one closed end with aerial & hatch
code 4 gloss olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head rounded one open end one closed end no aerial, partial hatch casting
code 5 gloss olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 40 black plastic dome head rounded one open end one closed end no aerial, partial hatch casting
code 6 flat olive green body & baseplate 12.5 x 40 black plastic dome head rounded one open end one closed end no aerial, partial hatch casting

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

all models 25

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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