Next to join the line up of military vehicles in the Matchbox 1-75 series was the Lesney model of the 63a Ford service ambulance,
At the time Ford got the government contract to build the real ambulance it did not have a forward control lorry of it's own to adapt to meet the specifications for the ambulance so it bought the cabs off the shelf from the manufacturer of the Karrier bantam cabs hence the similarity of the cab to the one on the 38a Karrier refuse collector & the 37a coca~cola truck simply because they were all built by the same company.
The Lesney version was introduced in 1959 along with several other military vehicles to join the range this year and like the other military vehicles so far produced it was painted in Lesneys military olive green,
The baseplate was also olive green which was fixed by a tongue and slot at the rear and a single split rivet towards the front,
It was fitted with a variety of different size wheels which were always black plastic,
The first issue had the wheels mounted on dome head axles with crimped ends but all the later issues had dome head axles with rounded ends.
It was enhanced by the application of two round red cross decals to the sides of the body and one odd example has been found fitted with the American star decals that are usually found on the bonnet (hood) of the 49a halftrack but this variation has not been added to the listing as it is most likely to be an error piece or possibly a pre production model but that is doubtful,
Silver trim was applied to the lights and front bumper but the amount of trim applied can vary.
There were two small casting variations, The first was to add a hole to the baseplate and shortly afterwards the rear brace that held the baseplate tongue was thickened to add some strength to the area & to stop the baseplate coming adrift during rough play.
It was sold in box types 'B', 'C' and 'D' and was replaced in 1963 by the Foamite crash tender,
It was not one of the best sellers as it only stayed in the range for four years, There are no rare variations although the 'D' box version is quite hard to find.