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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y9-1 Fowler Showmans Engine
'Big Lion'

To many collectors the Fowler Showmans Engine is probably the most popular model in the whole of the Yesteryear range. It was introduced in 1958 and it sold by the hundreds of thousands here in the UK but proved difficult to sell abroad,
The body, flywheel and baseplate were initially painted in dark maroon, then in light maroon, dark purple, red and finally bright red, The roof was originally cream which was later changed to white. It had a small amount of the usual gold trim which was reduced as the years went by, The wheels were yellow or orange-yellow and it is not uncommon to find both colours used on the same vehicle.
The spiral roof supports at each end of the canopy can be found in gold, gold and white or bare metal and the chimney extension mounted on the roof can be very dark grey through to black, The smokebox door at the front was plated with either gold, copper or silver and finally the sides of the canopy were adorned with decals proclaiming "Lesney's Modern Amusements" while body lining detail decals were fitted elsewhere,
Apart from ejector rings being added to the inside of the canopy it had just one major casting modification which was to the underneath where it had a block cast in just behind the baseplate which gave it T shape when viewed from below, The small baseplate can be fitted either way up and is usually found in body colour but black baseplates were used on a few issues.
When new the Fowler was sold at a premium over the other models in the range but it did nothing to slow sales as it stayed in the range for ten years and was not deleted until 1968. Being as it had such a long lifespan and went through so many colour schemes there are numerous minor variations that will keep the avid collector busy for many years trying to find them all.


Above. Maroon
The ones to look for, With gold trim to the cylinder block, In purple or models issued with black baseplates are all hard to find.

Above. Purple, Note that the black paint to the smokebox is not original.


Above. Bright red with minimal gold trim

A denotes the additional cast in block on the T shaped base.
B shows the copper and gold smokebox door.
C shows the white & gold and the gold canopy supports.