Lesney Matchbox Superfast #67 Volkswagen 1600 tl.
One of my favourite models of the Matchbox Transitional era. What are transitionals, you may ask? Simply put, they are the castings that were assembled first with regular wheels and then switched over to Superfast. You can see a regular wheeled example on the top left corner in the photo above. The wheels didn't spin fast at all and so Lesney (along with every other die-cast manufacturer) had to scramble to come up with their own version of Hot Wheels that had taken the market by storm.
Let's start with the other two red models. They are examples of the very first version released in 1969 with thin 5-spoke Superfast wheels and still sporting the regular wheels-era paint colour. These are rather scarce and prized by collectors. For 1970, the red was retired and replaced with metallic purple (2nd row from top). There are slight variations of the hue but not enough to warrant any of them being classed as its own shade. But for one version, all the purple models came only with Superfast wheels. The exception is an extremely rare regular wheeled variation that was available for a very short time and only in Canada, which is the one missing from my collection. It is one of those models that sells for ridiculous amounts of money and so I never bothered trying to acquire an example for myself.
The next change occurred during 1971 when the paint switched from purple to magenta (3rd row from top) and was available in shades from light to dark and in intensity of the metallic content -some were sparkly while others nearly had a gloss quality. All magenta versions have thin wheels. Finally, in 1972, magenta gave way to pink (bottom row) and the casting was altered a bit for larger arches to accommodate wider wheels. One could say this era had its own transitional of which I have an example: pink with small wheel arches and fitted with thin wheels (far left). This one was rather difficult to find. The pink came in light to dark, and it's metallic content varied as well. All models in every paint colour had clear windows, ivory interiors, opening doors, and unpainted bases.
The final pink models all had large wheel arches and wide 5-slot wheels as shown by the three on the right in the bottom row. You can see the paint varies from bright to an almost pale pinkish coral colour. The Volkswagen 1600 tl gave way to the Rola-matics Hot Rocker for 1973, which I will cover another time.
All in all, I'm pretty sure I have every paint variation made as this is one of those models I was always on the lookout for. I bought many and subsequently ended up up with doubles or triples. But that's alright, one can never have too many of their favorite things.
Boxes: The earliest was the 'F' type that looked exactly like the regular wheels issue but for 'Superfast' added in red script. The next was also an 'F' box that illustrated the red Superfast model and the Superfast script was in black. You can see portions of that box top center (showing the black script) and bottom center (showing a bit of the car) in the main photo. The last box that carried this model was the 'G' design that showed the purple model. There were no specific boxes made for the magenta and pink models. The F boxes are much harder to find (especially the one illustrating the Superfast-wheeled car) than the G box.
Last and first boxes for this model.