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Matchbox Models of Yesteryear Y-4 1930 Duesenberg
model J town car

The Y4-4 1930 Duesenberg model J town car joined the range in 1976. Although the first colour scheme was erroneously released in very limited numbers it was actually a pre production model which has gone on to become one of the most desirable variations of all of the models of Yesteryear.
The first proper production run was the all metallic red which was also a 1976 release, It was followed by the two tone green version which was a 1979 issue. 1983 saw the release of the brown and cream version in gloss colours which was a little more authentic than the metallics the model had previously been released in.
Next came the 1986 metallic silver and blue which can be found with a "England" baseplate or a Macau baseplate and finally with a "China" baseplate.
The final issue was two tone blue gloss which was made in Macau and it featured additional silver trim to the body. No further Y4 Duesenbergs were released although the Y4 number was not reused on any new models.
The original 'I' type box was used for the first issue but the model was too long so the box had to have a hole cut into one end of the inner packaging to accommodate it, Unfortunately the packaging proved to be near impossible to open if you happened to try opening it from the 'wrong' side so I'm sure many Duesenbergs ended up with a broken front bumper.


Above: The very rare red & white Duesenberg, Although in reality this was a pre pro model it was released in very limited numbers, Note that the roof and seats can be found in yellow or black plastic and the rear window is only 7mm wide. This first version also has the roof cast in a H shape, All later issues have a full roof cast.

Above: Like the red & white issue the early versions of the metallic red Dusenberg did not have Y4 cast into the bumper brackets but all of them had the rear window widened to 8mm. Very soon the bumper brackets had 'Y4' molded in and for some reason the hollow horn trumpets were altered to make them solid which only appeared on this colour variation as they reverted back to the hollow type horns on all of the later issues.
The model usually had black plastic seats and roof but one issue was released with the components molded in maroon plastic. The wheels were chrome 24 spoke but one issue can be found with chrome 12 spoke wheels.

Above: The version without Y4 molded into the bumper brackets is quite hard to find and the version with maroon seats and roof is rare.

Above: The two tone green model was issued in 1979 and it was fitted with solid chrome disc wheels, The first version is quite hard to find as it has the rear panel painted in the same light green gloss as the sides are painted in. Later issues had a metallic green rear panel. The green Duesenberg can be found with either green or occasionally with black plastic seats and roof.

Above: The common issue with metallic green rear panel.

Above: The two tone green Duesenberg did throw up some unusual variations such as this rare issue with dark green gloss body and metallic green baseplate.

Above: The rare green gloss all over was probably more authentic than the metallic coloured models produced so far.


Above: In 1983 a Duesenberg was released that was painted an authentic looking dark brown gloss with cream gloss sidepanels. It could have either a " 1975 Lesney" or a " 1975 Matchbox" baseplate inscription and it had either a cream, beige or reddish-brown roof, The seats were either cream or beige and it can have chrome plated 24 spoke or chrome plated solid disc type wheels.

Above: The new style thin whitewall tyres were a very welcome modification.

Above: Lesney really caught the spirit of the 30's with the silver & blue Duesenberg, In 1985 it was made in England and then in 1988 production moved to Macau and the baseplate was changed to Macau, Then in 1991 production was moved to China so the baseplate had to be modified again. The various different countries models were made to the same specifications there are variations in shade and the chinese model has the newer push fit axles and wheels.

Above: Very classy!


Above: The two tone blue Duesenberg was made in Macau in 1989, Early examples were sold as part of the "Great Motor Cars of the Century" collection which can easily be identified because they don't have a screw hole in the baseplate and they were packaged in a white box. The later issues all had screw holes in the baseplate and apart from having a light brown or a light green steering wheel there are no variations. The model was enhanced by simply highlighting the body lines with silver trim. The tail lights were picked out in red and the trunk straps in black while the latches and the door handles were silver trimmed.

Above: I have run out of captions
Mack lists a maroon and cream Dusie but I have no info on that variation.