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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-13 American 'General' class Locomotive

The 1862 American 'General' class Locomotive joined the range in 1959, It was always painted dark green with a dark red chassis and smoke box, One very short run produced a lighter green Loco which is very rare, The wheels were painted black but shades can vary and some may even appear to be brown, The earlier wheels were quite thick which were reduced in thickness on the later issues. Yellow & red Santa Fe decals were applied to the sides of the cab and the early versions had silver trim to the headlight lens.
Gold trim was appled to the walkways on the sides of the boiler, to the chimney top and condenser and safety valve which are all mounted on top of the boiler, Soon the walkway trim was omitted and later the safety valve and condenser trim was omitted as well.
Casting variations are limited to the baseplate rivet and the piston slide on the right hand side. The baseplate rivet was originally part of the chassis so it was painted dark red but later a longer rivet from beneath the boiler was used so these had a green rivet. The alterations in the piston slide were probably due to wear in the dies rather than being a deliberate modification but the slide had openings like the one on the left but they gradually filled in so this would point to there being wear in the dies.
Although it is a beautiful model many have commented that it could have been greatly improved if it had a matching tender. The cab floor has a hole towards the rear which was probably intended to be used to attach the tender but for reasons unknown the tender was never produced so Lesney probably lost out on a great many sales due to this oversight. The General Locomotive was replaced in 1966.


The dark green Loco, The model pictured has gold trim to the walkways which was deleted quite early in the run, There are no rare variations apart from the lighter green version which is pictured below

Above. The lighter green Loco, This variation is very rare


Above. A is the later type with closed piston slides
B is the earlier version with open piston slides

Above. Comparing an early model with full silver & Gold trim (except for the walkways) with a later version that has less gold trim and no silver trim to the headlight.