In continuing with the previous post’s theme of “very old models I got for a very reasonable price because the person selling it wasn’t exploiting collectors online/didn’t know very much about Matchbox cars”, the next model I get to showcase is the original Matchbox “American Ford Station Wagon”.
Once again, here is a model I picked up for only £1. I could not believe the prices of this vehicle when I checked online later – as much as £50 for one loose, and well into the hundreds if you want the very old cardboard to go with it. As a car collector over a cardboard collector, I have to argue that my own find is probably better value for money! Then again, no price is too high for some collectors.
No. 31 American Ford Station Wagon by Lesney
There have been at least two “American Ford” station wagons by Lesney, and this yellow version sans glass seems to be the earliest, produced between 1957 and 1959. The later version came in a kind of teal/green colour with a white roof, and had glass windows.
It seems that the “American Ford Station Wagon” (the pertinence of indicating this was American was necessitated by the fact Ford of Europe produced very different kinds of Fords to Ford of America) is based off of a 1956 Ford Country Sedan wagon, although the grille looks more akin to what was on the 1956 Ford Ranch wagon (methinks the folks at Lesney took a somewhat permissive approach to the model).
Being a model from 1957, the representation is, as you might expect, crude. There is discrepancy in the design cues. The scale is small, being the same as other Matchbox of the era, being closer to 1:75 (as most were intended to fit the popular model railways, I believe).
However, even if the car was not branded as such, the design cues are clear enough to identify this car as being a 1956 Ford, thanks to the side trim, headlight, and tail light/fin design.
And even though these models are not as sophisticated as the modern offerings of Mattel, they have a charm all of their own that takes you back to a time when that didn’t matter. They’re beautiful little models, and they’re from a simpler time.
This model comes with painted grille and headlights, but no tail lights. I have seen the car online with red painted tail lights too. I am wondering if that came on some of the later releases.
See how much this model appeals, and it doesn’t even have windows! Now maybe people can stop abusing the poor Chevrolet Brookwood for having no interior, eh?
The Ford Station Wagon is super, if only because of how awesome all things vintage are. I adore the old Matchbox cars. And it’s even better when Mattel release something that sits nicely alongside them, like the Chevrolet here. Keep them coming…