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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-17 1938 Hispano Suiza

1975 saw the 1938 Hispano Suiza take it's place at the number Y17 spot, The range had usually ended at number Y16 and this became the first model to extend the range. It appeared in no less than 8 different colour schemes but fortunately there were no casting variations except for to the baseplate where the description was altered and a screw hole was added so it could be secured into the newer type boxes, The model was originally made in England by Lesney and the copyright date on the baseplate was 1973 which is quite surprising as the model was not released until 1975. The Y17 was not replaced or deleted but in 1993 Matchbox stopped using the Y prefix and started using a 3 digit code instead so no further Y17's were released.


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Above: The first release was painted in metallic red to the body and black gloss to the wings-baseplate, It had a black plastic interior, grille insert and roof with 24 spoke chrome plated wheels, The windscreen frame, bumpers, headlights and grille were all silver plated,
Surprisingly there are no short run first releases like there are to be found on most other Models of Yesteryear.

Above: The chromed dashboard was a nice touch, Shame it can barely be seen through the small side windows though.

Above: The second issue was painted light metallic blue all over except for the sides of the body were highlighted with pale blue gloss. This version also had black plastic seats, steering wheel, grille insert and roof. The wheels can be either 24 spoke chrome wires or alternately solid chrome disc and they were fitted with whitewall tyres.

Above: There were no rare variations of the light metallic blue Y17.


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Above: The third issue was painted a silvery metallic light blue with pale blue gloss side panels which was very similar to the previous issue but this version had a black wings-baseplate, It too had a black plastic interior, roof and grille insert. It also had 24 spoke cromed wire wheels or solid chrome disc wheels with whitewall tyres

Above: There were no rare variations here either.

Above: The next release was in silver with pale blue sidepanels, It had black plastic seats, roof and grille insert and the wings & baseplate can be in either silver paint or black paint and both variations are rare. The silver Hispano has solid chrome disc wheels and whitewall tyres.

Above: The next issue was released in emerald green with a dark green wings-baseplate, It had reverted back to the 24 spoke wire wheels but for this model they were gold plated and it was fitted with the older type blackwall tyres. The seats, roof and grille insert were black plastic but the grille, headlights and bumper were gold plated although the windscreen frame was still silver plated.


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Above: The emerald green version can be found with no less than three different baseplate inscriptions, It can have either
"Lesney 1973 England"
"Matchbox 1973 England"
"Matchbox 1973 Macau"
and none of them seem particularly rare.

Above: The next release was painted metallic green all over with light green gloss side panels to the body. It had a white plastic roof and seats and a light brown steering wheel with black spokes, The grille insert was black plastic and it was fitted with 24 spoke wire wheels with white wall tyres, The rear licence plate had the cast in digits smoothed off and the licence plate tampo printed in its place, The front licence plate can have either cast in digits or tampo printed on to a smooth licence plate,
This version was made in Macau and it featured extra silver trim to the body lines and badges and sidelights and on the baseplate where the mechanical parts were highlighted in silver.

Above: The rear view shows the extra trim to the sidelights, doorhandles, bodylines, boot handle and to the Stork emblem which was the Hispano Suiza trademark.

Above: The following release was made in China, It was painted dark blue all over and it had a black plastic roof and seats, The brightwork was gold plated and it had 24 spoke wire wheels with thin white walls to the tyres, It had extra trim to the bodylines and to the mechanical parts on the baseplate like the previous model but with gold paint instead of silver.