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Monday, May 8, 2017

Matchbox 1956 Ford F-100 Panel Truck

One of the nicest vintage Matchbox pickup truck castings, aside from the obvious 1957 GMC stepside, is the 1956 Ford F-100.  Introduced in 1997 this casting has always looked impressive and spot-on no matter if it has a clean look or a work-truck look.  About ten years after its initial release Matchbox released the panel truck version with some slight modifications to the model, yet still retaining those fantastic details.

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The latest release in flat blue with Matchbox City Store logo's on the sides is just one of the many fantastic variations of this casting.  Also helping is the disc wheels to give it a classy look over the spinner wheels of past releases (or that horrible 2012 release in green).  The F-100 series was all-new in the early 1950's with a more curvacious front-end that has a taller hood and V-shaped grille on V8 models.  It's an iconic design that has been replicated by many diecast manufacturer's countlessly.  Here this Matchbox casting is all-metal on the body with a chrome plastic base that shows a few lines here an there.  The front has that V-shaped grille with headlights and signal lights below mounted to the bumper which in turn is mounted to the base.  The front fenders and tall hood are nicely casted into the metal and the windshield is a one-piece unit.  On the sides the rear fenders bulge out of the panel body with chrome running boards connecting the front and rear fenders.  Other nice touches are the mirrors, door handles, and on the left side the gas cap which on this version has a bit of rust underneath the cap.  At the rear are red taillights, dual panel doors, and a rear plate mount on the left door.

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The exterior work is amazing, while the interior is typical with a front bench seat, steering wheel, basic gauge and control layout, and shifter on the floor.  In the back the rear cargo area has the floor strips with boxes of gear inside and (providing this is the correct Matchbox model) a dog sleeping on one of the crates.  The powertrain is the 239 CID flathead V8 motor and three-speed manual transmission.  This is a pretty quick truck despite the weight though during handling the taller height of the panel does carry more body roll in the corners.  The very first release in 2008 is the orange one with Farmer's Market on the sides and it was a good looking casting to start as it is today.  A more natural Auto Parts delivery truck arrived the next year in red, and there are countless versions that Matchbox made of this F-100 panel, though do avoid the 2012 model in its wacky color.  It's a great casting that goes along with the F-100 pickup despite having details that are scaled down a bit compared to the pickup, and I hope it gets more use in the Matchbox line for years to come.

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