photo home1_zpsb2bb0894.gif  photo forum1_zps065b0a95.gif

Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-20 1938 Mercedes Benz 540K

The Y20-1 1938 Mercedes Benz 540K was introduced in 1981. Although the first 'I' type (straw coloured) box and the baseplate both stated that it was a 1937 model all later boxes state that it is a 1938 model, However, the 1937/8 540K was an instant hit with collectors, Lesney caught the lines of the Mercedes perfectly.
The first release was silver & black with red interior, Next came the white bodied model with red trim which was followed by the all red body, The final release was the enhanced all black Mercedes which was made in Macau. This version had the '540K' on he baseplate relocated to make way for a screw hole to secure it in to the new style boxes. The model was not replaced or deleted but no further Y-20 Mercedes were issued.


Above: The silver & black version was issued in 1981, The first version had an interior that was only 28mm wide which was a loose fit so it was soon widened to 30mm. The interior was usually red plastic but has also been seen in amber plastic. The model can have chrome 12 or 24 spoke wheels or red 12 spoke wheels.

Above: The dickey seat was the first opening part fitted since the 1958 release of the Y8-1 Morris Cowley which also had a dickey seat.

Above: The white Mercedes was released in 1985 and it had a red plastic interior, The wheels were red plastic 24 spoke and can be found with whitewall tyres or with plain blackwall tyres. It also featured a red tampo bodyline.

Above: The rear wing had a cast in petrol filler flap and a step to gain access to the rear seat.


Above: The red Mercedes was released in 1987. It had a brown plastic interior and chrome 24 spoke wheels with whitewall tyres. The baseplate was altered to Macau to reflect the new country of origin although the baseplate did not have a screw hole cast in. It came packaged with a plastic diorama which featured garage doors and various french advertising signs.

Above: The Mercedes had a chromed chassis attached to the underneath of the baseplate which included the bumpers in the molding. It also included the bottom of the engine, gearbox, propshaft, rear axle and fuel tank.

Above: The black Mercedes was made in Macau and the 540K on the baseplate was repositioned to make room for the screw hole to attach it to the new 'N' style boxes. It had chrome 24 spoke wheels and the tyres had a much wider whitewall. The interior was maroon and it had a light brown plastic steering wheel. Later issues had push fit wheels and axles and either a brown or green steering wheel. Models without screw hole were released as part of the "Great Motor Cars of the Century" collection.

Above: The car was given extra silver trim to the bodyline on the sides and to the bonnet dividing line, Around the perimiter of the cabin and to the various trim and the convertible roof fixing points and to the sidelights and doorhandles.