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 57b Chevrolet Impala 1959



The Lesney model of the amazing 1959 Chevrolet Impala cruised into the Matchbox 1-75 series in early 1961 replacing the Wolseley 1500 at that number.
The Impala was painted metallic blue with a contrasting pale blue gloss roof, The first issues were fitted with clear plastic windows and either a black or dark blue baseplate and silver plastic wheels,
The model had silver trim to the grille, headlights and to the front and rear bumpers. red trim was applied to the rear lights.
Later the windows were changed to green tinted plastic and grey plastic wheels made a brief appearance.
The next two quite hard to find issues can be found with either a pale blue baseplate or a mid blue baseplate with silver plastic wheels.
The last issues had a black baseplate with grey silver or fine black plastic wheels.
The silver trim was omitted from the rear of some later issues and the red trim was soon to follow.
Casting modifications consisted of adding a full width brace to the rear rivet post which is visible just behind the rear wheels and at the same time the side window posts or pillars were increased in width from 0.75mm to 1.5mm wide,
Towards the end of the models life a raised ridge was add on to the inside of the grille just ahead of the front wheels.
The Impala was always a very popular model which leaves mint in boxed examples hard to find and all models are quite expensive although there are no super rare colours with high prices to match.
The Impala was packaged in box types 'C' and 'D', It was replaced by the 57c Land Rover fire engine in early 1966.

above: early 0.75mm and later 1.5mm window posts.

note: the silver wheeled model above was completely covered in black enamel
when I found it, It cleaned up really well, never disreguard repainted models
this one cost me about 20 pence!.

above: early model without crossbrace and later model with rear crossbrace.

above: early model without grille ridge and later model with grille ridge.

above: baseplate colours, photo courtesy Greg Davis.

above: at the top is a very unusual Impala with a metallic blue
baseplate which appears to be the same metallic blue as the early
65a Jaguar.
photo cortesy Mick Bruce

code number general window type wheel type baseplate boot crossbrace & window posts grille brace
code 1 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
clear plastic 9 x 20 silver plastic black no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 2 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
clear plastic 9 x 20 silver plastic dark blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 3 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 20 grey plastic dark blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 4 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 silver plastic dark blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 5 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 20 silver plastic dark blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 6 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 20 silver plastic light blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 7 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 silver plastic light blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 8 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 silver plastic mid blue no crossbrace 0.75mm post no grille brace
code 9 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 silver plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post no grille brace
code 10 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 grey plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post no grille brace
code 11 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 grey plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post with grille brace
code 12 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 24 black plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post with grille brace
code 13 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 36 grey plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post with grille brace
code 14 metallic blue body, pale blue roof
silver & red trim
green tinted plastic 9 x 36 black plastic black with crossbrace 1.5mm post with grille brace

box types notes
C "new model", no lines beneath wheels
C "new model", lines beneath wheels
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue
D2 two blue sides

values

dark blue base, silver plastic wheels 60

dark blue base, grey plastic wheels 100

black base, silver plastic wheels 50

black base, grey plastic wheels 60

black base, black plastic wheels 50

light blue base, silver plastic wheels 90

mid blue base, silver plastic wheels 90

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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