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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-4 1904 Shand Mason
Horsedrawn Fire Engine

The Y4-2 Shand Mason Horsedrawn Fire Engine was introduced in 1960, It was intended to be number Y16 but the tooling for the Y4-1 Sentinel was worn so the Shand Mason became the replacement number Y4. It was always painted red but shades can vary considerably. The horses had gold trim which was applied to the harnesses and the three black plastic Firemen had gold trim to the helmets and breastplate but the breastplate trim was soon deleted and later the helmet trim too. It had brass plating to the boiler and pumping equipment and black painted spoked metal wheels.
The first version was the much sought after 'grey horses' issue which had a dirty milk coloured horses and no decal aligning ridges to the locker sides for the 'Kent Fire Brigade' decals, The grey horses had either dark grey or white manes and tails.
Very soon the horses were recoloured to white with grey manes and tails and the locker had decal aligning ridges cast in. This version had the 'Kent Fire Brigade' decals. Soon the decal aligning ridges were removed and 'London Fire Bridade' decals applied instead which had two thin blue lines around the border. The decals were modified again where the two thin blue border lines were recoloured to black.
Then came a casting modification to the drawbar which was originally rounded and held on by a single rivet, The new drawbar had a sqare end and was secured by two rivets, Then the footplate at the back that had 12 slots was modified when 5 of the slots were filled in leaving seven slots.
The horses were recoloured to black but one issue had 'Bronze'coloured horses which was probably due to gold paint somehow getting mixed with the black, For identification purposes the 'Bronze' horses are speckled with gold flakes of paint.
The decals were altered again where the thin black lines border was changed to a single thick gold line and The final issue had webs added to the sides of the ashcan/rear footplate support.
The Shand Mason was relaced by the 1909 Opel Coupe in 1968.


Above. The later issue of the Shand Mason with 'London' decals and white horses. The Shand Mason is not the easiest Yesteryear model to find so usually realises prices higher than other models but the only very rare issue has 'grey' horses, 'Dirty milk' is probably more accurate description than grey. The 'Bronze' horses issue is rare.

Above. The Shand Mason looks good from any angle.


Above. The 'Kent' decals,
On the right is the very rare grey horses and locker sides without decal locating guides.
On the left is the normal 'Kent' decals on a locker with decal alligning guides and white horses.

Above. The early 'London Fire Brigade' type decals with black (or blue) outline and smooth locker sides.

Above. The later 'London Fire Brigade' type decals with gold outline, smooth locker sides and black horses.


Above. The locker sides.
Type 1 is only found on the grey horses 'Kent' version.
Type 2 is the regular 'Kent' version.
Type 3 is the 'London' version.

Above. 'A' is the early type drawbar secured by a single rivet. 'B' is the later 2 rivet drawbar.

Above. The footplate castings.
Type 'A' (early) has 12 slots in the floor.
Type 'B' has 7 slots in the floor.
Type 'C' (later) has strengthening webs added.

Above. The most common version?, The headless firemen issue seems to turn up at most toy fairs.