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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
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
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.