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 68a Austin Radio Truck



Following the influx of military vehicles to join the Matchbox 1-75 series in the late 1950s was the Lesney model of the Austin (K9) radio truck.
The recently introduced military vehicles were an unusual choice because they would not have been recognisable to the children that were buying the toys so must have had a very limited appeal,
In fact by 1965 most of the military vehicles had been replaced by regular road going vehicles which shows that adding the military vehicles to the range had perhaps been a mistake,
When the last real military vehicle which was the Alvis Stalwart joined the range in 1965 it was not issued in the usual military olive green like its predecessors but in the civillian colour of white and yellow with decals for "BP Exploration" which is a very doubtful livery which almost certainly never existed.
The Austin radio truck joined the range in 1959. It had military dark green body and baseplate and the early issues had silver trim to the headlights and front bumper, and occasionally the radiator grill can be found with silver trim.

It was always fitted with knobbly or later fine tread black plastic wheels and on the very early issues these were on domed head crimped axles and on the later issues domed head rounded axles which are much more common.

There is only one minor casting variation to the windscreen and that is the early issues has rounded corners to the windscreens and the last issue the windscreen has square cut corners.
An unusal feature of this model is the ghost like writing that is just discernable on the baseplate.
The name was originally inscribed on the outer edges of the base but before the model went into production these details were moved to the center of the base but dispite being removed some of the original lettering can still be seen.
It was sold in type 'B' 'C' and 'D' boxes and as it stayed in the range for six years, until 1965, it is quite common.

Left: rounded window corners - Right: square window corners

code number wheel type axle type silver trim windscreen corners
code 1 black plastic wheels 11 x 24 crimped axles headlights, bumper, grille rounded windscreen corners
code 2 black plastic wheels 11 x 24 crimped axles headlights, bumper rounded windscreen corners
code 3 black plastic wheels 11 x 24 rounded axles headlights, bumper, grille rounded windscreen corners
code 4 black plastic wheels 11 x 24 rounded axles headlights, bumper rounded windscreen corners
code 5 black plastic wheels 11 x 24 rounded axles no silver trim rounded windscreen corners
code 6 black plastic wheels 11.5 x 45 rounded axles headlights, bumper rounded windscreen corners
code 7 black plastic wheels 11.5 x 45 rounded axles headlights, bumper square windscreen corners
code 8 black plastic wheels 11.5 x 45 rounded axles no silver trim square windscreen corners

box types notes
B4 without background
B4 with background
B5 without background
B5 with background
C without background
C with background
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

all models 30

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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