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 67a Saladin armoured car



The Lesney model of the Saladin armoured car joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1959 which was a good year for military vehicles as many new Army models joined the range that year.
The Saladin was based on an Alvis 6 x 6 floorpan which was powered by a Rolls Royce engine, The same chassis was used for the 54a Saracen, the 61b Alvis Stalwart and the 63b Alvis crash tender,
The unusual wheel layout meant that it had to have an unusual steering arrangement too which resulted in the front axle steering as a normal vehicle but on the center the wheels would only turn half as much as the front axle.
The vehicles were fine off road but on the road the 6 x 6 drive meant that the halfshafts would tend to wind up and break so the driver would have to bump up a kerb every several miles or so to allow the halfshafts to unwind.

The Saladin was painted the normal military olive green which included the baseplate, It had a revolving turret with a gun barrel which is prone to breaking off and it is not unusual to find models with broken gun barrels with paint over the break meaning that the barrel was broken before the model was painted.
The wheels used were 12.5 x 30 which had an extension on the back to space the wheel out from the body, Later finer tread 12.5 x 40 wheels were fitted.
The axles were dome head with crimped ends on the early issues, the later models had dome head axles with rounded ends.
The model was in production for eight years which is quite a long time for any model and surprisingly there are no known casting modifications to the body, base or turret.
As the model had such a long production run it was packaged in four different box type, The 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' boxes were all used, The 'E' box is quite scarce and will probably fetch a premium.
The Saladin was replaced by the 67b Volkswagen 1600 TL in mid 1967.

code number general wheel type axle type
code 1 olive green body & base 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head crimped
code 2 olive green body & base 12.5 x 30 black plastic dome head rounded
code 3 olive green body & base 12.5 x 40 black plastic dome head rounded

box types notes
B4 Saladin Armoured Car
B4 'Saladin' Armoured Car
B5 none
C with background
C without background
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue
D2 two blue sides
D2 light blue sides,
E3 light blue sides,

values

with knobbly or fine wheels and 'B', 'C' or 'D' box 30

with fine tread wheels and 'E' box 70

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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