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- Diecast Restoration
- Tri-ang, Spot-On, fiat Multipla restoration
- Budgie Bedford TK’s
- Matchbox Lotus Europa born again
- Merlin A100, diecast jeep restoration
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- Quick Fix #1
- Aston Martin DB7 refurbishment
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- Replacing, Matchbox Superfast axles
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- Salvaged from scrap
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This is a new section and will be looking at mainly garages and other buildings produced by diecast car makers along with some other types I have acquired or have bought recently, Matchbox produced some great garages and even a fire station in the 1960′s which are included here as I acquire them.
This article is inspired by a lesser known toy plastic garage I remember having as a young 12 year old, it’s been on my list for about six years and had no luck finding one, this week I have now managed to find one, done in what looks like a deco style building this looks fantastic even now.
This plastic garage has no markings on it at all, which has made it even harder to track one down, I thought it was probably a cheap foreign import from the late 1960′s but other information I now have tells me it’s made in the UK from the 1950′s by a company called Coral plastics, I can’t find anything on this maker but will continue searching, this was sold in Woolworth’s, how do I know this? because as a 12 year old the only possible shop I could of got this in my home town in 1969 was Woolworth’s, also where my original Husky diecast cars came from.
It may of been a cheap toy garage but I still remember walking down the street with my Mother and playing with the opening doors, I’m sure mine was blue and yellow but after 43 years my memory may be a bit foggy on the issue of colour, the plastic is slightly softer than modern good quality plastic but that may be why this garage is complete and intact, the doors are still as new even down to the plastic flash on the door edges.
This works perfectly with 1:43 scale diecast cars.
The mouldings are clean and crisp for a toy and with a quick clean looks as good as new, if your thinking you would like one of these, then good luck finding one, it’s taken me six years and I knew what I was looking for, and although really not worth much, this, to me is probably the most important toy garage I could of found as it was one I had and remember having.
Size wise, it’s about 180mm long by 130mm wide and 80mm high, I wonder how many of these garages survived? Have you seen/got one? My original one no doubt ended in the bin for what ever reason as maybe many did, so by the passage of time these maybe quite rare.
I have only one other picture on the internet showing a completely different colour.
Another version of this garage I have found was marked as a Mettoy garage so as the moulding is similar the one’s above could also be Mettoy but not confirmed, the main difference is the one below has sliding doors.
As a collector finding that rare or elusive item your after is what drives a collector on, the idea of crossing one more item off my list of things I’m looking for is also a great feeling.
Lock Up garages
These I found recently and bought both that were on sale, again a very clean crisp moulding of what is a common constructed garage in the UK, a concrete precast garage with and up and over door and corrugated tin roof, what makes these more interesting is they are British made.
They are made by B.E Ebdon (Toolmakers) of West Malling in Kent, a quick search shows me the company still exists so these may be quite modern.
They were easy to scale as the size of an ‘UP and Over’ door is a standard size, so this works out about 1:50 scale, I don’t have any 1:50 scale cars so the best I could do was a Lone Star taxi cab.
They fit nicely next to one another and with more I could create a line of lock-up garages, I will be contacting B.E Ebdon to see if they can shed some light onto their production dates for these garages.
Matchbox Garage MG-1
The first Matchbox MG1 (MG-1a) garage shown below was made between 1959 and 1961, this one was actually the first to be made by Matchbox.
This wasn’t big but the Matchbox cars of the time were also smaller than the later ranges.
Accessory pack number 1, which included the Esso sign and Esso pumps fitted this garage as was intended.
Strictly speaking there was one before this with the plastic colours the other way round but was made by another plastics company before Matchbox was set up for it and although I don’t have one of the earlier examples the picture below is from the internet, this was made in 1957 until Matchbox made their own version above in 1959.
This shows two of the Matchbox garage’s produced in the late sixties and shows the box artwork for the 1967 garage and the later version with the card forecourt (1968-1969), the only fly in the ointment is both of mine came with the card forecourt, I’m guessing, but maybe my earlier box was a transition and included the card forecourt before the box changed over .
This one was classed as the third MG-1 (MG-1c) Matchbox garage and produced from 1967 until 1970.
A copy of the Matchbox Lesney advert banner for the garage below.
My interpretation of the above poster.
Modern garage forecourt
I bought this one on Ebay for a couple of pounds, the listing stated it was Matchbox but have found no reference or evidence that it is.
It’s a good size and suitable for 1:43 scale, the only marking on the mouldings is K113 on the inside of the canopy, this maybe what the seller saw and maybe thought it was a Matchbox item, I’m not convinced or find any other information on the internet regarding this toy, nor can I find another to confirm it.
Texaco Garage front
This was part of the Texaco promotion and 1:32 scale Texaco truck diecast issues in 2012
Although only a frontage, this is ideal for display for any 1:32 scale vehicles, I’ve has this about a year and some of the stickers are beginning to curl, no real issue, the sign post seems to be bending and could be more of a problem as time goes on but still a good backdrop.
I did have designs on this and making it part of a bigger 1:32 diorama and may still do it at some point.
This one I had for a while then was made an offer I couldn’t refuse to sell it, it is now with it’s new owner.
I picked this up because I liked the style and layout, it was likely handmade but even so, I was going to re-paint it
Because whoever owned this put old advertising over it I decided to leave it, any renovation would have destroyed the history of this piece.
This had a tinplate/steel car lift that makes me think it may of been adapted from something else rather than built from scratch.
This was a great display piece but did take up a lot of space.