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Thursday, June 19, 2014

#426 MATCHBOX – SEVERAL MODELS OF YESTERYEAR (years ranging from 1979 to 1988)


Matchbox has released many different kinds of cars in many different scales. One of the less popular (in my opinion) is the Models of Yesteryear. These models are ancient vehicles (from Steam Machines to Sport Cars of the 30s, 40s and 50s) made in a bigger scale than 1:64, I would say most cars are around 1:35 scale, although it is difficult to chose a number for all those trucks, machines and cars. All models are around 11 centimetres longs.

All these models are marked with a reference number started with “Y”. The collection was started very early; as early as 1956… Those days, only a few Models of Yesteryear were released per year, for example that year were released models Y-1 to Y-4, then two further models in 1957, 5 morein 1958…

As in the Superfast series, some models were discontinued, leaving a gap in the numbering system. This gap was then taken over by a newer model. There can be up to 5 different models with the same reference number, and for the same reference, there might be many different variations (colour, wheels, casting, decals…)

The best source for this particular Matchbox series is There you’ll find a complete list of all models ordered by number.

According to that website, we might distinguish several “runs” or “époques”:
  • Y1 to Y16 from 1956 to 1975
  • Y17 was used for the first time in 1975
  • References from Y18 on were used starting in 1979.
  • The highest reference number is Y-66 (model form 1992), although models Y-48 to Y-60 were never released.
  • In 1992, the Models of Yesteryear line was renamed Collectibles, and in 2006, for the 50th anniversary of the line, there were some new issues, but the line didn’t have any continuity after that.
The models I currently own are:

Y-3-3: 1934 Riley MPH (first release 1974 red. 1979 blue) - Scale 1:35

The box for this model is an older version than the rest of the boxes shown in this entry. What it didn't change from one version to the next, is that box included a short history of the car on the bottom or the back of the box in three languages (English, French and German)

Y-5-4: 1927 Talbot Van (Issued 1978, 1985) - Scale 1:47
Y-12-5: 1937 G.M.C. Van (issued 1988) - Scale 1:45

Y-22-1: 1930 Model ‘A’ Ford Van (issued 1982, several years) - Scale 1:40

Y-25-1: 1910 Renault Type AG (issued 1983, blue 1986) - Scale 1:38
Y-26-1: 1918 Crossley “Beer Lorry” (issued 1984) - Scale 1:47

In the last two pictures, note that the cast of the base is actually the same for these two models.

NOTE: Sorry for the quality of the pictures, they were taken very quickly, and were not originally intended to be shown in this blog.

  • Name: 1934 Riley MPH (Y3-3), 1927 Talbot Van (Y5-4), 1937 G.M.C. Van (Y12-5), 1930 Model ‘A’ Ford Van (Y22-1), 1910 Renault Type AG (Y25-1), 1918 Crossley “Beer Lorry” (Y26-1)
  • Scale: 1:32 (approx.)
  • Year: 1979, 1985, 1988, 1982, 1986 and 1984 respectively
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 10 to 13 cm

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