Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Lambretta

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