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 68b Mercedes coach



The Lesney model of the German built Mercedes coach joined the Matchbox 1-75 series in 1965 when it replaced the Austin radio truck at the number 68 spot.
The first issue of the Mercedes was painted turquoise all over including the base which is part of the body casting and it had silver trim to the grille, headlights and front bumper,
It had a clear plastic window unit and a white plastic roof and interior, There were two slightly different molds used to make the interior so there are two different heights to the seat backs, One is 7.5mm high and the other 8.5mm high, On the 7.5mm version the seat backs are barely visible above the side windows but the higher 8.5 mm seats stand well above the bottom of the side windows. Both interior molds were in use for the life of the model so they are both common, It should be noted that the interior and roof can turn to off white or light brown if left in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.
Here in the UK the turquoise issue of the coach is quite hard to find but it seems to be more common in the USA so it looks as if the first issue was most likely exported to the USA.
The model was soon recoloured to orange which is a much more common variation and it should be noted that the earlier issues of the orange coach have a high gloss finish where the later issues seem to have a much flatter appearance to the paint.
The casting of the base was altered three times, he first base had open axles with thin axle braces, This was soon changed to closed axles, Later the axle braces were thickened and a final alteration added small studs at each end of the axle covers.
The Mercedes was packaged in 'E' and 'F' type boxes and the early 'E' type box displays a turquoise coach and the later boxes have the orange coach illustrated, The coach was deleted in 1970 to be replaced by another German vehicle - the new superfast Porsche 910.

above: rare first issue in turquoise.

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above: A late issue with cream interior.
photo courtesy George Marshal.(Kerbside)

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above: The 1mm and 1.5mm axle braces.
photo courtesy Joe Allen (Tinman)

above: open & closed axles and thin & thick axles braces.

above 8.5mm high seat backs.

above: 7.5mm low seat backs.

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above: As shown, there are more variations to be found
- but only if you dismantle the model !.
photo courtesy Antonin Schenk (Diecast)

code number general wheel type axle type axle braces seat height & colour
code 1 turquoise body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1mm wide 7.5mm white
code 2 turquoise body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1mm wide 8.5mm white
code 3 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1mm wide 7.5mm white
code 4 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1mm wide 8.5mm white
code 5 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1.5mm wide 7.5mm white
code 6 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic open axles 1.5mm wide 8.5mm white
code 7 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles 1.5mm wide 7.5mm white
code 8 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles 1.5mm wide 8.5mm white
code 9 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles thick with studs 7.5mm white
code 10 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles thick with studs 8.5mm white
code 11 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, cream plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles thick with studs 8.5mm white
code 12 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, white plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles thick with studs 8.5mm cream
code 13 orange body, silver trim, clear windows, cream plastic roof 10 x 36 black plastic closed axles thick with studs 8.5mm cream

box types notes
E1 two blue sides, "new model" green Mercedes shown
E1 light blue sides, green Mercedes shown
E3 light blue sides, orange Mercedes shown
E4 light blue sides,
E4R light blue sides,
F2 A Lesney Product
F2 "Matchbox" reg'd TM of Lesney Products & Co Ltd London England

values

turquoise body 70

orange body 25

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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