11 February 2022
Rick Wilson remembers a pair of eye-catching adverts that helped get him hooked on Superfasts, over 50 years ago.
In 1969, when the Superfast range was launched by Matchbox, I was just five years old. Any impressionable youngster would surely have fallen for the same temptation that I did. The appeal of those early castings was made all the more irresistable by the advertising bombardment within the pages of my favourite comics.
The first three releases to sport the new, snazzy wheelsets – No 56 BMC Pininfarina, No 5 Lotus Europa and No 20 Lamborghini Marzal – were all beautifully made, with opening doors on two of them (the look of the Marzal was enough on its own in my eyes), so resistance was useless.
Just a few months later, and with plenty of Superfast track now acquired, I was again powerless to resist another advert, nestling within the pages of The Victor. There, racing along the very same track that I had at home, was a pair of pretty accurate representations of real late-1960s racing cars – the Ford F3L (No 45 Ford Group 6) and Porsche 910 (No 68).
It has to be said that this pairing, in particular, went a long way towards starting the fire within me that led to my fascination with endurance racing, with many laps of the living room carpet under my belt ‘driving’ these two for hours on end (with appropriate noises, of course). Two years later, when Steve McQueen’s movie Le Mans came out, I was absolutely mesmerised by the race, and have been ever since.
It didn't matter to me that the colours weren't like the real cars back then, but it does now, so there will be some Code 3s produced at some point in the near future.
See, it all started with that simple, but effective half page in a mere comic. It properly pulled me in and cast a spell. Power is everything!