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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-18 1937 Cord Model 812

The Y-18 1937 Cord Model 812 Supercharged Convertible Phaeton Sedan to give it its full title according to the baseplate inscription was introduced in 1979. The first release was in an orangy-red which is very similar to the second version which was issued in 1981 and coloured red. In 1983 it was released in plum red. These all had Lesney 1978 England baseplates, At this time production was moved to China and the baseplate was modified accordingly. The final issue was pale yellow and it featured extra silver trim to the grille, doorhandles and kickplates, It had red trim to the tail lights and the license plates were highlighted with blue tampo licence plates.
No further Y-18 Cords were issued but the final release in yellow was also used for the 1998 Matchbox Collectibles Dealer Conference model which is quite a rare variation


Above: The first Cord was a bright orangy-red. It had an orangy-red baseplate that was very similar to those used on the 1-75 miniatures which also held the front and rear bumpers in place, A chromed exhaust system exited each side of the hood and disappeared into the front wings. It had a chrome plated windscreen frame and a black plastic steering wheel. The convertible roof and interior were in bright white plastic and the model did not feature any silver trim.

Above: The Cord was the first model to feature solid disc type wheels and it was also the first model to be fitted with whitewall tyres. Examples with 12 spoke chrome wheels have also been seen.

Above: The red issue of the Cord was basically identical to the previous model except that it was red rather than orange-red, The plastics and chrome were unchanged but on my red version the tyres were without the whitewall to the sides but I don't know if this is true for all of the red models.

Above: The chromed dashboard featured a full array of clocks, dials and switches.

Above: The early orangy-red is on the left and the later red cord is shown on the right, Although very similar in shade when photographed they are noticably different when held in the hand.


Above: The plum red version was very similar to the previous issues except for the baseplate was painted black gloss. The seats and convertible roof were still in bright white plastic and the chrome plate was unchanged.

Above: The plum coloured Cord had chromed disc type wheels and whitewall tyres.

Above: The yellow Cord was made in China and it had the baseplate modified to reflect the new country of origin, The baseplate was black and it had the exhaust system highlighted in silver, The seats and convertible roof were brown plastic and the steering wheel was off white plastic. The wheels were chrome plated disc and they were fitted with yellow wall tyres. The tail lights highlighted with red trim and the grille, kickpanels and doorhandles were silver trimmed. Finally the dials on the dashboard were picked out in black.

Above: The yellow Cord is fairly common but not so the ones that were given to the Dealers at the Matchbox Collecibles Conference held in 1998.