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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Lesney Matchbox 75a Ford Thunderbird

Moko Lesney Matchbox 75a Ford Thunderbird



The Lesney model of the American Ford Thunderbird was introduced into the Matchbox 1-75 series in mid 1960.
It was painted white with peach coloured side panels but it should be noted that the side panel paint can vary from pink to peach and the paint used can fade if it is left in direct sunlight.
The castings were firstly given a coat of white paint then when they were dry a metal cap was put on top of the body to mask it ready for the peach trim to be applied.
Unfortunately the fitting and removal of the masking cap often damaged the white paint on the sides of the roof so it is not uncommon to find otherwise mint models with slight paint damage to the sides of the roof.
The windows were green tinted and can vary from having a light green tint to having a dark green tint but a few have been found fitted with clear windows.
The baseplate can be blue, dark blue or blue-green on the early issues, The later issues had a black baseplate and of course all had the mandatory tow hook cast in.
The model was initially fitted with knobbly tread grey or silver wheels and the last issues were fitted with either knobbly or fine tread black plastic wheels.
The front axles were regular dome head axles with rounded ends but the rear axle was just a straight steel rod as it did not need ends to hold the wheels on because the bodywork came below the center of the axle and kept everything in place,
Note that the rear axle rods used on this model are often found to be copper plated.
Silver trim was applied to the grille, headlights and the rear bumper and red trim was applied to the 4 rear light lenses,
Later the silver trim was omitted from the rear bumper and towards the end of production the red trim was applied to the whole of the rear lights, See the photographs below for details.
Despite being in production for a full five years there are no known casting variations to this model.
The Thunderbird packaged in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes and was replaced by the 75b Ferrari Berlinetta in mid 1965.

above: rare issues fitted with black plastic wheels.

above: unusual shades to the peach side trim.

above: left, trim to the 4 lenses. right, to the 2 rear lights

above: black. dark blue, blue-green & light blue
photo courtesy Greg Davis

code number trim detail
type 1 silver trim to headlights, grille & rear bumper, red to the 4 rear lenses
type 2 silver trim to headlights & grille, red to the 4 rear lenses
type 3 silver trim to headlights & grille, red to the 2 rear lights

code number general wheel type baseplate colour window colour trim type
code 1 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic blue green tinted type 1
code 2 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic dark blue green tinted type 1
code 3 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic dark blue clear plastic type 1
code 4 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic blue-green green tinted type 1
code 5 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 silver plastic blue green tinted type 2
code 6 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 silver plastic dark blue green tinted type 2
code 7 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 silver plastic blue-green green tinted type 2
code 8 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic black clear plastic type 3
code 9 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic black green tinted type 1
code 10 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic black clear plastic type 1
code 11 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 silver plastic black green tinted type 3
code 12 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 silver plastic black green tinted type 3
code 13 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 20 grey plastic black green tinted type 3
code 14 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 grey plastic black green tinted type 3
code 15 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 24 black plastic black green tinted type 3
code 16 white & peach body, silver & red trim 9 x 36 black plastic black green tinted type 3

box types notes
B4 none
B5 none
C none
D1 one black side one blue
D2 one black side one blue

values

dark blue base, silver wheels 80

dark blue base, grey wheels 120

blue base, silver or grey wheels 150

blue-green base, silver wheels 150

black base, silver or grey wheels 80

black base, black wheels 200

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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