Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Nissan

Matchbox and the Nissan connection

by Peter
Categories: Cars, Concept Vehicles, Datsun, Diecast models, Matchbox, Nissan
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I’m never quite sure when Datsun became Nissan but even in the 70′s both names were commonplace among concept cars.

Matchbox created some great cars of the time but every now and again even Matchbox got it wrong.

Our first car today is the Datsun 126x released in 1973 and Matchbox Number 33.

These pictures show the most common available colour scheme and there is also a version of this with decals added, this model continued right up to the ‘Made in China’ issues and available in many other colours.

This one has the chrome plastic interior and detailed engine and a metal orange painted base, the later Chinese versions were made a cheap as possible and done away with the interior and engine, fitted blacked out windows and replaced the metal base for a plastic version, the opening engine cover was also scrapped.

This car has great lines and in my eyes is a faithfull copy of the real concept car.

But Matchbox got it badly wrong with the Nissan 270x.

This is a Matchbox Superkings Nissan 270x Number K42 and was released in 1972, I picked this up as a restoration project but the more I looked at it the more something looked wrong.

This has the opening top and yellow interior and have not seen any other versions of it.

I decided to research and see if a real car was made and found it was a concept car designed for a 1970 motor show, can you see the difference?

It’s not often you will here me moan about Matchbox castings but this is nothing like the real car, the lines of the real car are really nice but for some reason Matchbox re-designed it and failed, the rear wheel arches should be across the wheels and the headlights on the Matchbox model are round, the real car looks completely different.

As far as I know no one else made a model of the 270x but I did find a custom made 1:43 scale model faithfully reproducing the car and it’s beauty.

So yes I think Matchbox failed with this one but made up for it with the Datsun 126x a year later.

The restoration of my 270x will be more involved as I will be changing the body to replicate the real car in the near future.