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Lesney Caterpillar crawler tractor



The Lesney Caterpillar crawler tractor was also released in 1947/8 and it was 100mm (4 inches) long,
The body was a one piece casting and the wheels a two piece casting which was assembled before painting so the axles should be painted. Then black rubber tracks and a brown painted die cast driver were fitted.
The crawler like the other models so far produced was painted in whatever colour paint was available at the time due to the post war shortages in paint.
With exception of the soap box racer and the rag & bone cart the crawler is probably the hardest one to find of all of the early large scale models so it may not have been a great seller in its day, The next model, the Bulldozer which was based on this model is much more common so its possible that the Bulldozer may have replaced the crawler. The model was copied by Benbros who were another toymaking diecasters local to Lesney, To avoid confusion the Benbros model had "Benbros" on the underneath.
Note that the axles on the bulldozer are much longer than those on the crawler because they also had to attach the dozer blade, It is not unusual for broken bulldozers having the blade removed and being passed off as crawlers but only genuine crawlers will have the shorter axle type.
The crawler was never sold in an individual box, like the other early toys made so far it was packed in a box of twelve, I believe it was deleted in 1950 but am not 100% sure on this one. In 1954 the crawler was scaled down to become the 8a crawler in the Matchbox 1-75 series.


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above: the Benbros crawler.
photo courtesy Gary Galvin.

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Lot 820 Matchbox Magic 14 - April 5th, 2006 Matchbox Early Lesney Toys large scale Caterpillar Tractor - orange including rollers, original black rubber tracks, tan driver - Excellent unboxed. Estimate: 140 -180 Bidding is now closed on this item Price Realised: 600


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collectable toy specialists.

Lot 605 MOKO, MAJOR, KINGSZE ETC. - November 15th, 2000 Lesney large Caterpillar Tractors - (1) mustard-yellow, black tracks. Excellent; (2) dark green, black tracks, driver. Excellent; (3) red, replaced white tracks. Fair. (3) Estimate: 150 - 200 Bidding is now closed on this item Price Realised: 280