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Matchbox mania means mega money

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The Simon Hope Matchbox Collection (Part One) recently went under the hammer at Vectis. Long awaited, this part collection featured some great 1-75 models – and great prices, to boot.

A regular wheels 14c Bedford Lomas Ambulance (Stannard Code 10) with off-white body and with early pattern silver trim applied in a large rectangle across its grille and front bumper, and running on 20 tread silver plastic wheels, was near mint in a type C Lesney box. Estimated at £120-140, it realised £384. Another boxed regular wheels car, the 31b Ford Fairlane Station Wagon with yellow body and with rear silver trim and 20 tread silver wheels, didn’t hang around either, fetching £504. A 39a Ford Zodiac Convertible in dark salmon pink type with a tan type B driver, turquoise interior and base, attracted attention: this was fitted with 18 tread grey plastic wheels and whizzed off to make £480, quadruple its estimate.

The Superfast models stole the show, though. A 8d Rover 3500 Police Car in white with a pale yellow and black Police tampo print carried clear roof lights, and not the usual blue, which singled it out. In a “New" type L box, it was touted at £100 but it sold for £600.

A staggering £624 was bid on a mint Superfast 59a Ford Galaxie Fire Chief Car in red with "Fire Chief" bonnet decals (not labels) and shield door labels; but over £1,000 was required to secure the Superfast 71a Ford Heavy Wreck Truck Multi-Pack issue. This featured a dark blue body and base but without a model number cast, dark green windows and roof light and a black plastic hook. In mint condition in a type G “New” box, it was quite a find. Described as a rare factory error (some licence there, I suspect!) the Superfast 34c Chevy Pro Stocker in plain white, but without a tampo print, was standard aside from this omission: estimated at £100-130, it shot away to make £624. And a bit more (£648) was needed to bag the Superfast 68a Porsche 910. This was in metallic red with a racing number 68 nose label, featured rare clear windows and was fitted with an ivory interior. It was also mint and came in a "New" type G box.

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