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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I might as well indulge and double post. As I do. Often.
I bought this one in an auction (12 New Zealand dollars, such are the prices around here) and hoped I didn't make a mistake since I already had a better one with box. It wasn't a mistake at all. The one in the mail today was an older version.

1. Licence plate variance



2. With and without tow guide



3. Door hinge variance





4.? I'd like to think there is a subtle shade variance. Easier to see in person.



Glad I bought it practically without looking. :)
 

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MB22 Variations

Thanks for the hinge pics. I have many people ask me about this one and I try to explain but your pics do a perfect job.
 

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I believe you would refer to it more as a tow guide variation rather than a licence plate variation, but either way, it's cool!

I wonder if the tow guide one is a newer, modified release, or just the fact that Lesney usually had maybe 2 to 4 different molds for each car to accomodate the thousands of copies made. (???)

As you mentioned in your other post, the steering wheels are in 2 different positions.
It looks like the firewall area where the steering collum passes through are different in each car...another variation I suppose?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, yes, the tow guide is basically the two black parts plus the plate, I sort of had a "walk" in mind, you know, someone might start with the licence plate to the base plate and the doors... :)

I do think the one with the tow guide is a newer or later model, based on the assumption that the door hinge for example on the 25 Cortina is the established version. The Pontiac without the tow guide has a door which is quite loose so I'm guessing someone decided it needed to be redesigned and improved.
 

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It was a cost cutting measure to use a spring to retain the doors - castings were painted WITH doors fitted once springs were used.The #27 Mercedes 230SL and the #71 Jeep Gladiator were also modified in the same way.Doors of different paint shades can be found on the early issues without the retaining springs although when found on cars with the springs are signs of tampering outside the factory.Lesney paint was so fine that opening components could be fitted before painting and then never stuck to the bodies after painting.We can also see from looking at various models with opening parts like #24 Rolls,#28 Jag,#46 Mercedes,#53 Zodiac that hoods or trunks were usually closed when painted but sometimes partially or fully open.......
 

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Well, yes, the tow guide is basically the two black parts plus the plate, I sort of had a "walk" in mind, you know, someone might start with the licence plate to the base plate and the doors... :)

I do think the one with the tow guide is a newer or later model, based on the assumption that the door hinge for example on the 25 Cortina is the established version. The Pontiac without the tow guide has a door which is quite loose so I'm guessing someone decided it needed to be redesigned and improved.
Tow guides were indeed a modification to enable the 1965 new model #13 wrecker to hook almost all cars.The #33 Muira had tow guides included on the pre-pro regular wheels and superfast baseplates but they were deleted because the car dragged its tail when lifted by the #13.The #27 230SL seems to be the only other car from 1-75 series produced during the 1965-71 life of the #13 Dodge wrecker NEVER to carry a tow guide and unable to be kept on the hook by the #13.
The Pontiac can be found with the deeper numberplate but without the tow guide blisters or with the blisters but without the deeper numberplate as production of the modified parts was phased in and stocks of unmodified castings were not always used up first although both cross overs are much rarer.First run Pontiacs lack the patent number (so there are 3 differnt baseplate variations and last run Pontiacs are often found in the orangey shade of red best known from the #67 VW1600TL.In the middle of the production life of the Pontiac some were made in an apparently darker red because they missed out on the primer coat.So actually there are 3 shades to collect- standard red,dark red and orange red.So there is more to this toy than first meets the eye for those that really like it!
It is likely that the moulds for the Pontaic created 2 bodyshells and at least 3 perhaps 4 baseplates each time the moulds were filled with metal.No idea how many doors were made per strike......
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all this information, especially the fact that they went through all the trouble just to accommodate #13. And I miss that fine paint that wasn't as thick on the car as today's. Thanks for your post SMS.
 

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Cool little variation there. The fine paint is one of my favorite things about the old Matchbox. Unlike with today's thick, candy-like paint, the fine casting details really showed through back then. And no compensation was really required in the molding process for paint thickness - like on today's M2's, so the opening doors were snug.
 

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The whole door gaps issue hasn't really progressed one ioda in the last 40 years, has it.

This casting isn't know for having the best fitting doors, but I'm looking at the #25 ford Cortina that's in front of me right now - it's pretty darn good!
 
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