wheels

updated 8/4/06
[NONE of these cars are for sale].

on this page:


other pages with Matchbox Wheel Information


regular wheels and axles:

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." new 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.

Hardy
• 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 1964–65. 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 – 1953 to early 1959

10B Mechanical Horse and Trailer metal wheels
10B MECHANICAL HORSE & TRAILER, issued 1958, 2 15/16"

 12B Land Rover metal wheels
12B LAND ROVER, issued 1959, 2 1/2"

metal wheel, 13A BEDFORD WRECK TRUCK
13A BEDFORD WRECK TRUCK, issued 1955, 2"

15A Prime Mover metal wheels
15A PRIME MOVER, issued 1956

16A Atlantic Trailer metal wheels
16A ATLANTIC TRAILER, issued 1956, 3 1/8"

17A Bedford Removals Van metal wheels
17A BEDFORD REMOVALS VAN, issued 1956

metal wheel, 19A MG SPORTS CAR
19A MG SPORTS CAR, issued 1956, 2"


metal rollers

metal roller, 18A CATERPILLAR BULLDOZER
18A CATERPILLAR BULLDOZER, issued 1956, 1 7/8"
metal rollers (18A)

18A Caterpillar Bulldozer metal rollers
8A CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, issued 1955, 1½"


gray plastic knobbly – 1958–61

13C Thames Wreck Truck gray plastic knobbly wheels
13C THAMES WRECK TRUCK, issued 1961

13C Austin Taxi Cab gray plastic knobbly wheels
17C AUSTIN TAXI CAB, issued 1960

46A Morris Minor 1000 gray plastic knobbly wheels
46A MORRIS MINOR 1000, issued 1958

59A Ford Thames Van gray plastic knobbly wheels
59A FORD THAMES VAN, issued 1958


gray plastic fine tread wheels

10C Sugar Conatiner Truck gray plastic fine tread wheels
10C SUGAR CONTAINER TRUCK, issued 1961


silver plastic wheels Knobbly – 1959–62

75A Ford Thunderbird silver plastic wheels Knobbly
75A FORD THUNDERBIRD, issued 1960


black plastic wheels – fine

7C Ford Refuse Truck black plastic wheels - fine
7C FORD REFUSE TRUCK, Issued 1966

48C Dodge Dumper Truck black plastic wheels - fine
48C DODGE DUMPER TRUCK, issued 1966

57C Land Rover Fire Truck black plastic wheels - fine
57C LAND ROVER FIRE TRUCK, issued 1966

61A Ferret Scout Car black plastic wheels - fine
61A FERRET SCOUT CAR, issued 1959


black plastic knobbly on military – 1957 on

61A Ferrett Scout Car black plastic knobbly
61A FERRET SCOUT CAR, issued 1959

2D Mercedes Trailer black plastic knobbly
2D MERCEDES TRAILER, Issued 1968


black plastic tires with spokes

19C Audton Martin Racing Car black plastic tires with spokes
19C ASTON MARTIN RACING CAR, issued 1961


black plastic wheels with chrome hub cap

67B Volkswagen 1600TL black plastic wheels with chrome hub cap
67B VOLKSWAGEN 1600TL, issued 1967


black plastic tires with red hubs

41C Ford GT >black plastic tires with red hubs
41C FORD GT, issued 1965

28D Mack Dump Truck >black plastic tires with red hubs
28D MACK DUMP TRUCK, Issued 1968


black plastic tires with yellow hubs

40C Hay Trailer black plastic tires with yellow hubs
40C HAY TRAILER, issued 1967

51B John Deere Trailer black plastic tires with yellow hubs
51B JOHN DEERE TRAILER, issued 1964


black plastic rollers

8D Caterpillar Tractor black plastic rollers
8D CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, Issued 1964


gray plastic wheels & crimped axles

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.


Superfast wheels:

Around 1969 Superfast wheels started to be used [but there are some models that continued as "regular wheels" for a period].

Superfast 5 spoke wheel
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.

 

axles:

crimped axles
crimped axles were made until mid '59 (MB43A1) 1953 to mid-1959 or sometimes later
round axles
round axles started in 1958, but it took some time to phase out the old machines. (10C) – 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].

Variation descriptions Lesney's Matchbox® Toys, Regular Wheel Years, 1947–1969, © 1992, & Encyclopedia of Matchbox® Toys, © 1997, 1999 [2nd Ed.], by Charlie Mack, reprinted with permission

© 1996–2012, Frank C. Carnahan, all rights reserved • contact:  • fcarnahan.com