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 59b Fire chief car



The Lesney model of the Ford fairlane fire chief joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in mid 1963 and was based on a recoloured 55b police car with new decals that had been released six months earlier,
It was painted red and had a black baseplate that was attached by two round rivets, the roof light was also changed from the transparent red light found on the police car to a solid white plastic light.
The interior was an ivory coloured unit the same as used on the police car as were the clear plastic windows which are marked 'No 55' on the inside of the roof.
It can be found with 9 x 24 black, grey or silver wheels or 9 x 36 black plastic on the final issues, these were always mounted on dome head axles with rounded ends

The decals were always 'fire chief' on the bonnet (hood) and usually 'fire chief' on the doors too but the final run had shield decals on the doors as found on the next issue of the fire chief the 59c Galaxie.
Silver trim was applied to the grille & headlights and to the rear bumper but later the trim was omitted from the rear bumper, For some reason Lesney never saw fit to trim the front bumper so it was always left in the body colour.
There was only one casting variation and that was carried out early in its life, Three of the wheelwells had diagonal lines cast in to them which are visible above the wheels.
Occasionally the fire chief turns up fitted with the 55b police car base, these usually have black wheels fitted and don't fetch a premium but if it had grey or silver wheels it probably would sell for more than a regular model.

The Fairlane was and still is a popular model, the grey or silver wheeled models and the one with shield decals to the doors are all quite rare, the silver wheeled one is the rarest, it was sold in 'D' type boxes and in 1966 after only three years it was deleted when the new Ford Galaxie fire chief car was introduced.

above: hard to find issue with shield decals to the doors.

above: the hard to find issue with grey plastic wheels.

above: the rarest version with silver plastic wheels.

code number general wheel type wheelwells silver trim decal type
code 1 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 24 black plastic smooth front & rear 'fire chief' to bonnet & doors
code 2 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 24 black plastic 3 with lines front & rear 'fire chief' to bonnet & doors
code 3 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 24 grey plastic 3 with lines front & rear 'fire chief' to bonnet & doors
code 4 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 24 silver plastic 3 with lines front & rear 'fire chief' to bonnet & doors
code 5 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 36 black plastic 3 with lines front only 'fire chief' to bonnet & doors
code 6 red body, ivory interior, white roof light 9 x 36 black plastic 3 with lines front only 'fire chief' to bonnet, shield to doors

box types notes
D2 one black side one blue, "new model"
D2 two blue sides

values

black plastic wheels, fire chief decals on doors 35

silver plastic wheels, fire chief decals on doors 400+

grey plastic wheels, fire chief decals on doors 250

black plastic wheels, shield decals on doors 150

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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