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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
During the 1970′s many of the Matchbox range went hotrod, the trucks on the other hand remained faithful to British and US truck makers with a few exceptions.
The Matchbox cement truck from 1976 doesn’t resemble a known maker, although some will say it may be based on an International truck design.
This truck was produced from 1976 until 1981, always painted in red, although different drum colours were issued including black, the glass was green and again purple has been seen, the drum rotates and tips.
But wait a minute, haven’t we seen this casting before?
In 1973 Matchbox registered a design for the following years production run, called the Badger and was released in 1974, numbered 16 and was part of the Rolamatics range.
The Badger is a three-axled radar or communications truck, sporting a radar/communications dish on its roof, as it moved the radar would turn.
Two colours were produced, Olive green in 1974 and metallic copper in 1976 and was removed from the range in 1978.
It is obvious Matchbox re-used the idea of the Badger casting for the cement mixer changing the back part of the casting and removing the winch from the front bumper.
As for a real vehicle, many years later in 2002 the military produced a vehicle called the Badger Cougar, but at the time, in the mid 70′s, not much like the Matchbox Badger existed, Matchbox forsight or designer imagination? there is a resemblance.
For more on the real Badger Cougar, Click Here
This Matchbox Superfast car is one of the first Rola-matics, whereas each has a feature that moves as the car is pushed or pulled along, in this case the fan/turbo rotates on the back.
It’s name is Fandango.
The Matchbox number is 35, and was first released in 1975 in white, it changed to the red in 1978 and discontinued in 1981.
My red version has no sticker on the bonnet and is the second I have had like this, so maybe the last of the line had the sticker decals omitted, there is no sign a decal sticker was ever applied to either red version I have.
As far as I can tell the model is not based on any known real car.
Other Rola-matics; Matchbox Range Rover
In 1983 Matchbox released their version of the Range Rover based six wheeled Carmichael shown with a two door body.
This was available in either the Police rescue as below or as a Fire rescue vehicle in red, I have seen other colour versions including silver and believe these other colour versions to be Bulgarian issues.
The Matchbox version above was number 57 and still available in mint condition.
Matchbox, Carmichael Commando
Colour, White or Red
Country of origin, UK
Matchbox did very few smaller scale Range Rovers and this would of been the second one, the first was number 20 and a Rola-matics Police version, again available in various guises including a military ambulance and a Paris Dakar security vehicle, all base plates are marked ‘police patrol’.
Rola-matics, whereas each has a feature that moves as the car is pushed or pulled along, in this case the roof light rotates.
The SuperKings range saw a few more variations on the Range Rover including the one below, number K164 and released in 1989.
Others include the forestry set K89 and K64 in the guise of police and fire rescue vehicles
The real vehicles
The real Carmichael vehicles are converted Range Rovers and Carmichael have been around for years and probably the only company in the UK to be making purpose made emergency rescue vehicles
Carmichael are vehicle manufacturers in their own right therefore I have added them to the makers list under catergories.
For more on Carmichael vehicles Click Here