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 65c Claas combine harvester



The Lesney model of the German built Claas combine harvester was introduced into the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1967 and it was released in just the one colour scheme which was red all over including the baseplate,
It was fitted with yellow plastic harvester blades and yellow plastic front wheel hubs,
The front wheels were 8mm diameter and were fitted with 14 x 70 black plastic tyres, the rear axle had regular 9 x 36 black plastic wheels,
The axles were dome head with rounded ends and the harvester blade could be rotated as it came into contact with the ground through small slots in the harvester blade carrier and as it was held on by a regular axle pin this allowed the blades to rotate as the vehicle was pushed along.
No decals or silver trim were applied to this model,

There were a few casting variations,
Firstly the baseplate was modified very early in it's life, The first type baseplate had 5 lines of text and is quite rare. It may possibly be a pre production issue as very few are known to exist but it is not one of the most sought after variations as the harvester was not one of the most popular toys and also the baseplate variation can not be seen when the model is in the display cabinet unless the model is displayed on its side.
The much more common later type baseplates had a hole cast in the center and only four lines of text,
A recent discovery was made where the bottom step of the ladder on the side was cast open but this did not last long as it was soon cast shut, no doubt to the delicate step being damaged during the fettling stage of production where the components were tumbled together to remove the parts from the sprue.
The Claas is a very common piece and although the early type baseplate and the open cast step are quite rare there are not any particularly valuable variations to be found, It was sold in 'E' and 'F' type boxes and although it was not suitable for conversion to superfast wheels it was kept in the range and was released along with the superfast wheel issues until it was deleted in 1972 to make way for the 65c Saab Sonnet.


The recently discovered variation 1 with cast closed step and 5 line baseplate without a hole


The early baseplate with 5 lines of text and no hole and a later type cast closed ladder step


The later baseplate with 4 lines of text and a hole cast in


The early "open step" body casting.


above: A period Lesney publicity picture.

code number general front wheels rear wheels baseplate type ladder step
code 1 red body & base, yellow harvester blades 8mm yellow hubs 14 x 70 tyres 9 x 36 black plastic no hole, 5 lines of text open step
code 2 red body & base, yellow harvester blades 8mm yellow hubs 14 x 70 tyres 9 x 36 black plastic no hole, 5 lines of text closed step
code 3 red body & base, yellow harvester blades 8mm yellow hubs 14 x 70 tyres 9 x 36 black plastic with hole, 4 lines of text open step
code 4 red body & base, yellow harvester blades 8mm yellow hubs 14 x 70 tyres 9 x 36 black plastic with hole, 4 lines of text closed step

box types notes
E4 light blue sides, "new model"
E4R light blue sides, "new model"
F2 A Lesney Product
F2 "Matchbox" is the reg'd TM of Lesney Products & Co Ltd London England

values
variation 1 400+ ?
variation 2 or 3 200 ?
variation 4 20
values are for mint models in mint boxes
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