Saturday, November 12, 2016

#742 MATCHBOX – LAMBORGHINI MIURA and MERCURY POLICE (Nr. 33 and 55) (1969)


MATCHBOX AUTO-STEER

This feature was adapted for some Matchbox models in the regular wheels era. These models are quite rare, since they were probably a bit more expensive to produce, and they were produced only during one year. It was in 1969, that Matchbox decided to release a few models with this new feature. The models, as seen in a German catalogue were:
  • Nr.3 Mercedes Benz “Binz” Ambulance
  • Nr.6 Ford Pick Up
  • Nr.15 Volkswagen 1500
  • Nr.18 Field car
  • Nr.25 Ford Cortina GT
  • Nr.33 Lamborghini Miura
  • Nr.50 Ford Kennel Truck
  • Nr.55 Mercury Police
  • Nr.62 Mercury Cougar


The catalogue from 1970 does not show these models with the Auto-steer symbol, so I assume the feature was cancelled very soon, in less than one year. That means there was probably just one batch of each moel made, and probably not in especially high numbers.

The Auto-Steer feature allows you driving and steering the car by pushing (down) on either sides of it, just like if it was a skateboard. The card turns left or right if pushed and straight if not pushed down.

I present two nice models from the early 70s. One is already known, since I presented it a long time ago in a previous entry (see #69). By the way, that model is the ultra-rare “tow-slot” version! The Miura was reproduced by Matchbox during many consecutive years and was one of the models that was made with regular and superfast wheels (was in production during the transition from one type of wheels to the other).




The second one is the Mercury in its Police version with blue siren and two figures inside.





Both are in very good condition with almost no paint loss. I love these two models I wish I could find more auto-steer models.

As a curiosity, I also presented cars with the same feature in entry #204, only those were much more modern and made by Majorette of France.

UPDATE (JAN/2017): Two more models. Mercury (Nr.55) and Mercury Cougar (Nr.62).






FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: LAMBORGHINI MIURA and MERCURY POLICE (Nr. 33 and 55)
  • Scale: Approx. 1:64
  • Year: 1969
  • Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

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