on this page:
- Hal Harrison's page of Matchbox wheels used
- Diecast Metal car Collector 12/13/98
images of various Superfast wheels
MICA Newsletter, Volume 18 No. 6, April/May 2003, Matchbox series review, by Nigel Cooper, on the No. 14, Daimler (14A and 14B) and Bedford (14C) Ambulances. "In 1959 most vehicles were fitted with grey plastic wheels, owing to a number of complaints Lesney had received concerning the metal wheels scratching furniture. … In 1961, Lesney experimented by fitting some models with silver plastic wheels." 5/25/03
Ethan – it is generally thought that MW went until 1958, GPW followed by SPW in 1961. But there are some models that were BPW at the same time as SPW; such as 53A Aston; Knobby tread preceded fine in most wheel types.
- MW (and rollers) 1953 – early 1959
- gray plastic knobbly 1958-61
- black plastic knobbly 1957 ( military models only )
- silver wheels 1961
- Fine tread wheels 1959-62
- 36 treads on small wheels, 45 treads on larger were used from 1962 onwards
[black plastic wheels would seem to appear on non-military vehicles around 1964–5. FCC]
- Around 1960/61 we had a mixture of the earlier knobbly wheels and the interim "medium" tread wheels with 24 treads. Both types were used at the same time
- Axles: crimped axles were made until mid 1959. They started with the round axles in 1958, but it took some time to phase out the old crimping machines.
Wheel trivia: The last first-series model to have metal wheels was the 56-A London Trolley [George, the Virtual Collector]
metal wheels (39A) – 1953 to early 1959
metal rollers (18A)
gray plastic knobbly (10C) – 1958–61
silver plastic wheels Knobbly (33B) – 1959–62
black plastic knobbly (12B)
black plastic knobbly on military (61A) – 1957 on
gray plastic fine tread wheels (10C)
45 treads on larger vehicle (71C)
black plastic tires with spokes (41B)
black plastic wheels with hub cap (33C)
36 treads on small (black) wheels (5D)
George, the Virtual Collector's 43A2 Hillman has early (darker) gray plastic wheels & crimped axles. Some collectors call this (CA-gpw) combination "transitional" in the early regular wheel series because relatively few such models were produced. In 1958, shortly after changing wheels from metal to plastic, Lesney began to rivet (round over) the free end of axles in the process of fitting the wheels instead of crimping them.
Wheel trivia: The last "first-series" model to have metal wheels was the 56-A London Trolley.
Around 1969 Superfast wheels started to be used [but there are some models that continued as "regular wheels" for a period].
Superfast 5 spoke
There are a number of other variations (8 MB Tourer). See Hal Harrison's page of Matchbox wheels used for other examples of Superfast wheels.
crimped axles were made until mid '59 (MB43A1) 1953 to mid-1959 or sometimes later
round axles started in 1958, but it took some time to phase out the old machines. (MB37B) – starting in 1958
Some collectors call a crimped axle/plastic wheel combination "transitional" in the early regular wheel series because there were relatively few models produced with crimped axles and plastic wheels [George, the Virtual Collector].