Dating matchbox cars

I was looking at both and the window fell out of the Corgi model.

From then on I’ve only collected Matchbox.” You can’t own this many models without becoming an expert on the subject, and David knows his stuff.

Working out of a bombed-out Tottenham pub called The Rifleman, Lesney spent the early Fifties moving away from producing small products for industrial use towards making die-cast toys.

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Matchbox, along with Corgi and Dinky, turned Britain into the dominant force in die-cast models.

In the Sixties, Lesney would become the fourth largest toy company in Europe, with 14 factories in and around London producing more than 250,000 models a week.

He is a regular contributor to The Matchbox Club and was a former Matchbox ambassador for Mattel, but even he can be surprised by the mysteries of these little cars.

For example, he cites how he has 14 examples of one model, the Iso Grifo, each in a slightly different shade of blue.

These old Matchbox cars survive to this day, tucked away in my parents’ loft awaiting the next generation to take them for a spin.