The Lesney model of the Hatra tractor shovel joined the Matchbox 1-75 series early in 1965, It had a shovel that was mounted on a turntable so it could not only be raised and lowered but could be swivelled from side to side as well.
Early models were painted orange all over including the baseplate but later on it was recoloured to yellow all over, during the colour changeover some orange bodies with yellow wheels were paired up with yellow turntables and shovels which is quite a rare and sought after variation.
The wheels were originally 7mm orange plastic but later red and yellow wheels of the same size were used but sadly they are prone to shrinkage over time so the tyres are quite often a very loose fit, these were always on dome head axles with rounded ends and the tyres were 15 x 30 grey plastic to begin with but were soon changed to black plastic tyres of the same size.
The baseplate was held on by one round rivet at the back and a tongue and slot at the front and was always body coloured, The round rivet at the front was the attachment point for the shovel turntable.
There were three casting modifications, the first was to add a brace to the rear of the bucket in between the bucket arms to add some strength, next the baseplate which originally had a square cover over the rear differential was modified by changing the cover from square to round and by adding a hole in it's center, The final casting modification was to the cab, Early models had two thin triangular braces on the cab front by the turntable, The final issue had thicker triangular braces and the area in between was filled by a less prominent but full length triangular brace
The Hatra was not considered suitable for the superfast range so was deleted in 1969, it was sold in 'E' type boxes, apart from the previously mentioned orange & yellow version there are no other rare variations although the orange version with grey tyres and the yellow one with red wheels are not so common.