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 63b Alvis salamander crash tender



The Lesney model of the 63b Alvis salamander airport crash tender joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1964.
It was one of four vehicles that were based upon the alvis 6x6 floorpan to be modeled by Lesney, The others being the 54a saracen personell carrier, the 67a saladin armoured car and the 61b Alvis stalwart amphibious truck.
The foamite crash tender was of course painted British fire engine red and it had a silver painted baseplate which included a highly detailed open back with various hoses and pipe connectors on show which by the vehicles nature had to be easy to access and quickly too,
It usually had 12.5 x 40 black plastic wheels on dome head rivited axles but at least one very rare example has been found with 12 x 45 black plastic wheels of the single face type that are usually found fitted to the front axle of the cab of the M9 Hendrickson interstate Cooper Jarrett set.

Mounted on the front of the roof was a nozzle for a high pressure water or foam cannon. The nozzle is usually found plated in gold but the very first issue has a silver plated nozzle which is quite a hard to find variation although on playworn examples the nozzles can tarnish and make the original colour difficult to make out.
It was enhanced by a white plastic ladder, white plastic hoses and white plastic lettering which read 'airport crash tender' which were supplied on a sprue that were intended to be fitted by the purchaser.
It was originally equiped with plastic leaf sprung suspension to the front and rear axles but this was deleted on the later issues

There were a few casting variations which were made to the baseplate,
The first base had two triangular braces and plastic leaf springs mounted underneath the front & rear axles, the second had eight triangular braces and axle leaf springs, the third had eight braces but the axle springs were deleted, a wedge shaped brace was added to the center of the front axle and a there was a hole above the rear axle, the fourth was as of type three but with the hole for the spring above the rear axle filled.
The Foamite was sold in 'E' type boxes and was replaced by the 63c Dodge crane truck in 1968.

Updated 25/01/14 Variation listing table renumbered and Antonin Shenks example with 12.5x30 black plastic wheels has been included.

code number general wheel type nozzle colour leaf springs base type
code 1 (possible pre pro) red, silver base 12 x 45 black plastic gold nozzle translucent green springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 2 red, silver base 12.5 x 30 black plastic gold nozzle translucent green springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 3 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle translucent green springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 4 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic silver nozzle white springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 5 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle white springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 6 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle black springs two triangular braces & leaf springs
code 7 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle white springs eight triangular braces & leaf springs
code 8 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle translucent green springs eight triangular braces & leaf springs
code 9 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle none eight triangular braces, no leaf springs, hole in base
code 10 red, silver base 12.5 x 40 black plastic gold nozzle none eight triangular braces, no leaf springs, no hole in base

box types notes
E1 one black side one blue, "new model"
E1 one black side one blue
E1 two blue sides
E1 light blue sides,
E3 light blue sides,
E4 light blue sides,

values

12 x 45 black plastic wheels 200+ (estimate)

all other models 30

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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