Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Motorbikes

Matchbox, Lesney, Motorbikes & sidecars

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Harley Davidson, Lambretta, Matchbox, Motorbikes, Triumph
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During the early 1960′s Matchbox, or Lesney as they were better known then, produced a small range of motorcycle and sidecar models in a scale very close to 1:42, as far as I am aware only the colours below were issued.

First we have the Lambretta TV 175, and numbered 36 this was the second outfit issued in 1961 (outfit is what we used to refer to a motorbike and side car combination)

The first issue was this Triumph T110, numbered 4 and issued in 1960

And the last one is the Harley Davidson, number 66 released later in 1965, a decent version of the Harley has eluded me for sometime but now the set is complete.

The real motorbikes

Lambretta was a line of motor scooters originally manufactured in Milan, Italy by Innocenti, founded in 1947 and sold in 1972

In 1922, Ferdinando Innocenti of Pescia built a steel-tubing factory in Rome. In 1931, he took the business to Milan where he built a larger factory producing seamless steel tubing and employing about 6,000. During the Second World War, the factory was heavily bombed and destroyed. It is said that surveying the ruins, Innocenti saw the future of cheap, private transport and decided to produce a motor scooter – competing on cost and weather protection against the ubiquitous motorcycle.

The Triumph Tiger 110 650 cc OHV Twin was Triumph’s fastest production motorcycle to date, developed for the American market which wanted a higher power output. The T110 was first built in 1953 and introduced as a 1954 model. Originally produced with a cast iron cylinder block and head, this was quickly replaced with a light alloy cylinder head with special airways to improve cooling and austenitic iron valve seat inserts. The external oil fed pipes were also replaced with internal oilways via the pushrod tubes.

Harley-Davidson Inc often abbreviated H-D or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers

The picture above is of a ‘panhead’ engine the Matchbox one could even of been based on a ‘knucklehead’ but hard to tell on the casting.

All ‘real’ motorcycle information from Wikipedia


Maisto, Motorcycles

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Maisto, Motorbikes, Triumph, Yamaha
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Today we have something a bit different, a few years back I probably had 30 of these Maisto 1:18 scale motorbikes and now down to just three.

The one’s I now have are the one’s I liked the most, although I may add to them again at some point.

The first is a classic Triumph Bonneville or T120, descended directly from the Tiger 110. Twin Carburettor.

The second one is a much later Triumph Thunderbird 900, based on the 1995 model.

The next one is a Yamaha V Star 1100 Classic, looks like a Harley and better than the older Yamaha V-max, a fantastic looking bike.

These are now out of production and hard to find any real solid information on the models so will leave you with some real Motorcycle history and pictures.

Triumph speed twins

The Triumph Speed Twin designed by Edward Turner before the war was produced in large numbers after the war. Efforts to settle the lend-lease debts caused nearly 70% of Triumphs post war production to be shipped to the United States. Post War, the Speed Twin and Triumph Tiger 100 were available with a sprung rear hub, Triumph’s first attempt at a rear suspension.

For more on Triumph Engineering Co Ltd Click Here

The Thunderbird 900

For more on Triumph Motorcycles Ltd Click Here

Yamaha V Star 1100

The Yamaha XVS 1100 DragStar, sold as the V-Star 1100 in North America, is a motorcycle manufactured by Yamaha Motor Corporation. It comes in two versions, the XVS1100 Custom and the XVS1100A Classic, the former a more modern style, and the latter a more classic style, with rounder edges and is 13 kg (29 lb) heavier.

For more on the Yamaha V Star Click here or Here


Matchbox, ‘concept’ transporters

Today we look at some of the ‘concept’ vehicles created by Matchbox in the way of trucks and transporters, not that long back I did an article on the futuristic Matchbox Adventure 2000 series which now leads to possible concepts.

I don’t know if Matchbox actually modelled these on real vehicles or inspired by them, but during the 70′s many way out designs emerged from Matchbox as well as others.

These are the later King Size models with Superfast wheels and named Super Kings.

The first vehicle is the Matchbox racing car transporter, Number K7 and released in 1972

There were two casting variations to this one, mine below is the earlier one, the later one had the side glass bar on the cab removed.

It takes a single racing car and has great body lines that would still look good if released today as a transporter, the gull wing doors on the living/workshop space is great too.

My one has been paired with a formula 1 race car from Corgi Juniors

This cab design was used for the Matchbox Tractor transporter No K21

The second Transporter has also been used more than once, this one being the Matchbox Pickup Truck K6 and supplied with a Honda motorbike known as the Matchbox Hondarora No18 from the 1-75 Superfast range both released in 1974

I have seen a version with an engine sticking out of the bonnet but not sure whether this is a later release or the first version.

This pickup was also released as a recovery truck and numbered K11, on both base plates they are known as ‘K6/11 pickup truck’ so was a common baseplate and body

You can find the article on the repair of this tow truck by Clicking Here

Concept trucks and pickups are not uncommon in the real world as the pictures below testify.