My favourite years for collecting Matchbox cars are 1969 and 1970. The era when Matchbox changed from regular wheels to Superfast wheels in an attempt to compete with Hot Wheels, introduced in 1968. I don’t intend to look at every Matchbox year, I have previously looked at Matchbox 1975 and I intend looking at 1970, too.
In 1969, I celebrated my 5th birthday, Matchbox had always been part of my life but by 1969, I could recognise each model in the catalogue. I didn’t have all the models but I had at least half of the 1-75 range.
Unfortunately I don’t have any of my childhood collection now, the models I do have I collected after 2000, mostly after 2009 when I moved to Georgia, where any Matchbox cars are rare and pre Superfast models almost unfindable.
#1 Mercedes Truck I have this model but it is playworn and missing its canopy. I found mine at a Boot sale in Wigginton near York.
#2 Mercedes Trailer The trailer has a hook at the end so you could if you wished make up a road train with several trailers.
#3 Mercedes Benz Binz Ambulance. A nice model with a plastic stretcher. I have a Corgi Binz but not this Matchbox one.
#4 Stake Truck I see the current Matchbox range has a Stake Truck but it looks slightly different. It doesn’t have a Dodge cab.
#5 London Bus A stalwartof the line up. I have a recent London Bus by Matchbox.
#6 Ford Pick Up Truck The canopy was detachable, this was probably the first pick up I was aware of.
#7 Ford Refuse Truck.
#8 Ford Mustang This is high up my wants list, I have the later Wild Cat Mustang, a hot rod version of the Mustang which appeared in 1971.
#9 Boat and Trailer
#10 Pipe Truck
#11 Jumbo Crane
#12 Safari Land Rover…the current range also has a Land Rover
I actually have half the vehicles on page 8.
#13 Wreck Truck (Dodge)
My truck is missing the original hook, so I improvise with a piece of chain I found.
#14 Iso Grifo This could be my favourite Matchbox model of all time, I love the lines and the dark blue paintwork.
#18 Field Car
#19 Lotus Racing Car
#23 Trailer Caravan
#24 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
As a child my model of the Rolls got squashed under the wheels of a parking car. Which was slightly traumatic at the time.
I don’t have any of the models on page 9. I would love to have them all. I especially like the Foden Concrete Truck, Pontiac Grand Prix and Mercedes 230SL.
The Opel Diplomat, I found at the Wigginton Boot Sale without its bonnet. I have the 8-Wheel Crane, too somewhere.
The Lamborghini Miura is high on my wants list along with the Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar. I have a more recent Matchbox model of the Miura.
The Honda Motorcycle with Trailer is the largest scale (41-1) in the 1-75 range.
The Mercedes 300SE is unusual as it has opening doors and an opening boot.
The Ford GT Racer is the only Matchbox Car I have in near mint condition with its box. It cost me £20 from an antiques store in York earlier in the year.
Like the Opel Diplomat, I also have the Ford Zodiac without its bonnet.
The Greyhound Bus is the smallest scale (159-1) in the range.
I only had nine of the models at the time of the original posting. I have added some others since.
There are many other products in the 1969 catalogue, I am primarily interested in the 1-75 range. The King Size were too expensive in my childhood and too bulky to store now. My earliest memory is being on a train holding the Racing Car Transporter (K-5) and looking out of the train window, I would have been about three years old.
The King Size cars are interesting particularly as they have a Lamborghini Miura and a Mercury Cougar, two of my favourites in the 1-75 range.
I was also interested in the gift sets and road layouts.
G-1 Included a red Fiat 1500, which is much rarer than its turquoise counterpart in the regular range. G-2 with the Car Transporter is one I craved as a child but never had.
The Pop-Up Roadways were made of thin card, I remember having the Construction Site, as a child, I love the artwork for these in the catalogue featuring vehicles from the 1-75 range.