Swedish Matchbox race sets the pace

01 March 2019
Swedish-Matchbox-55975.jpg Matchbox Regular Wheels Fernel Developments "Indianapolis" Car Game
January 17 was given over to diecast at Vectis and many Matchbox models went under the hammer.

January 17 was given over to diecast at Vectis and many Matchbox models went under the hammer.

An oddity was the Matchbox Regular Wheels Fernel Developments "Indianapolis" Car Game. This set included a 19d Lotus F1 Racing Car and a 52b BRM F1 Racing Car, pair of tumblers and dice, playing cards and two revolving roadways. The contents were mint (still factory shrink-wrapped, in fact) and the set was contained in an excellent box with an Ett Alga Spel lid label. This set was distributed within Sweden by AB ALGA, who were board game manufacturers, the inside of the lid bearing Swedish instructions. A very rear export issue set, expected to make up to £360, it sold for £576.

On to the main event: the pre-production models. These still exert a huge fascination for those keen on “what might have been” within the Lesney empire. Notable amongst them was a Matchbox Superfast 29b Racing Mini pre-production colour trial with a metallic gold body (but without labels fitted), featuring clear windows, a pale yellow interior, a bare metal base and five spoke wide wheels. Virtually mint, and in a new type good box, it realised £624.

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Less exciting but still rare, a Regular Wheels 32c Leyland Tanker “Aral” in the usual dark blue with a white tank, white grille and base had the bidders paying attention. In excellent plus (albeit unboxed) state, this elusive issue was expected to fetch £240 but in fact sold for exactly three times that sum.

Aside from the vehicles proper, a mid-1980s retailer’s revolving counter display dispenser intended to hold 96 blue window boxed Superfast models appeared. This was only in fair condition, and showed some damage to the corners of the plastic display shelving and scratches and rub marks to the header sign. Estimated at just £10-20, fierce bidding nonetheless took it to £240.

To end on something rather different: the Blomer & Schuler (German manufacture) tinplate Jumbo Clockwork Elephant was finished in dark grey with a tin printed body and legs, and was complete with his original string tail and a non-original (but associated) key. Only good, there was paint loss to the legs and some scratches under his left eye, he was nonetheless in working order. Importantly, he was complete with a tape repaired original box. Vectis reckoned that this was one rare pachyderm when boxed, which probably accounted for his sale price of £408.