Category Archives: Chrysler

Matrix March 2019

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

Here are the details of the latest releases from Matrix. These models are all moulded in resin to 1:43 scale in China for the Netherlands. All are produced in limited quantities and two have already sold out on dealer’s pre-orders so may be particularly difficult to obtain.

Matrix prices have risen very considerably over the last few years but they seem to have steadied a little in recent months. I hope that this continues as I feel that sales must have declined as some Matrix models crossed the 100 UK pounds price point.

New Models

MX10108-031 Aston Martin DB6 Volante grey metallic 1966

The DB6 was an in-house styling exercise with the major emphasis upon wind tunnel testing to stop the back end lift that was experienced on the DB5, and re-engineering the height to give more space inside. The solution was a Kamm tail with a small lip spoiler at the rear. It was in production from 1965 to 1970 when it was replaced by the DBS. The convertible was made as the ‘Volante‘ from 1966 and only 140 were made.

This model is in silver with the hood down.


MX10108-032 Aston Martin DB6 Volante red metallic closed 1966

Here is the same model painted red and with its hood up. A neat presentation of the hood. It follows the earlier Matrix DB6 coupe which was painted a bright yellow.


MX 40108-011 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt red 1953

This DB2/4 was a one of its kind Bertone bodied fixed head coupe commissioned by Stanley H ‘Wacky’ Arnolt. There is also speculation that the lost Arnolt chassis, LML/503, may also have been bodied in this style. The car was delivered by Arnolt to a French customer in 1955. The design was by Franco Scaglione, It is powered by the later DB2/4 2.9 litre engine.

This model is painted red the colour that the car was in when delivered from Bertone.


MX40108-012 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt white 1953

The same car as above, literally in the case of the 1:1 scale car. Bertone was proud of this styling work and the car was seen in white at a Turin Motor Show. In more recent times the car made its way to the US where it currently resides. The car never went into series production because David Brown decided to stop supplying Aston Martin rolling chassis to Coach Builders.


MX40604-011 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe “Bumblebee” Vignale #0197EL black / yellow 1952

This model is another that dealers have taken up the whole output already clearly expecting this unusual variation to sell out quickly.

Vignale built about 153 Ferraris from 1950 to 1954. Not all were stylistic successes. The 212 Export Lungo modelled here by Matrix is known as ‘bumble bee’ due to the yellow and black colours used. They have vestigial rear fins and the classic Ferrari egg crate grille.

This car was originally delivered to a French customer, then was exported to the States before ending up in the UK where it was fully restored to its original finish before travelling back to the US again.


Another version of the same VIgnale Ferrari. This time in classic red. Less distinctive than its sister model but perhaps more typical of the colour selected by customers.

MX40604-012 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red 1952


New Versions

MX20302-372 Chevrolet Suburban K10 brown metallic 1978

Dealers have pre-ordered the entire run of this model so they obviously anticipate them being popular with collectors.

The model is of a seventh generation Suburban which was the longest lasting being in production from 1973 to 1991 though there were considerable changes in styling and engine line up over the long run. The Suburban was a truck like full sized SUV typical of the time.


MX20303-072 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon black 1942

The Town and Country wagon was introduced in 1941 and production was suspended in 1942 as the US turned to full scale war production after their entry into the Second World War.

The Matrix model captures the original well with the narrow chrome strips making up the grille and on the rear wing neatly added. The pictures suggest that the wooden panels have been simulated well too.

The Town and Country returned to production in 1948 but only as a sedan or convertible. The pre-war eight passenger wagons were the last of their kind.


MX40201-062 Bentley 4.25 litre Pillarless Saloon Carlton grey metallic 1937

Editor: Reader Kenneth Hodges has kindly pointed out to the Editor that the Coachbuilder is Carlton as stated by Matrix and that the car is not Carlton grey as the editor had incorrectly assumed. So the original non-italicised text in the paragraph below is incorrect. Carlton were an English Coachbuilder based in London. They were noted for building modern looking cars and were quite productive until the Second World War. After that, staff previously involved with Carlton, had a business re-bodying pre-war Rolls-Royce chassis in a more modern style but as demand for that fell they faded away.

Matrix do not tell us which coachbuilder the car was made by. From the styling a continental coachbuilder seems more likely than a traditional UK firm. The lack of a running board and the way that the rear wings have been handled suggest a French origin perhaps?

In any event the model is excellent with the dramatic lines around the faired in rear wheel being very crisply captured.

The grey seems to suit the model better, in my opinion, than the blue and white colours used on its previous appearance in the range.


MX51311-041 Maserati Mexico Speciale by Frua red metallic 1967

The Maserati Mexico was derived from a 2+2 prototype shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Turin Salon. It used a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis which had been damaged. After the show the prototype was sold to the Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos so the model became known as the Mexico. Vignale’s prototype was so well received that Maserati put it into production debuting in August 1966.

The car modelled by Matrix is not a standard Maserati Mexico. In May 1967 a German Maserati importer had a special Mexico  made by Maserati and bodied by Frua.  Appearing like a 4-seat Mistral but built on the 3500 GTs tubular chassis this prototype ‘Mexico’ was fitted with the Mistral’s six-cylinder 3.7-litre Lucas fuel-injected engine. Its dashboard came from the Quattroporte.


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London Toyfair 2019 Part Three

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

This the third in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Oxford Diecast. The previous article about the Hornby stand can be found here.

This article shows some of the models displayed on the Oxford Stand. With so many models in production the stand has an impressive display of hundreds of models in various scales.

Last year I tried to photograph models through glass in the crowded display cabinets and the pictures were not very good. This year the Oxford representatives on the stand were extremely helpful and got out a number of items for me to photograph. Although I photographed quite a few models I did not capture all the novelties on display. A few have been photographed in the cabinets as there wasn’t time to get out every model that I would have liked to photograph.

It should be remembered that many of the models pictured are made up of a special light alloy used for trial shots and 3D printed fittings. These can only suggest what the final product will look like. Even the fully painted models of unreleased items are hand finished production samples used to confirm that the model is ready to put into production and may not fully reflect the models when they go into production.

So starting with 1:43 scale. Here there was a display of all the expected re-coloured models. but also pre-production casting of the Bedford CF Ice Cream Van as shown below. Adrienne Fuller who is responsible for selecting cars and other vehicles for Oxford explained that although this is a quarter without many new 1:43 models they are still expecting to produce two to three entirely new castings in this scale this year in addition to recolours.

This mould by Oxford has really caught the look of the CF well. It should make an excellent model when it appears. It will be appearing in classic Mr. Whippy livery first, then Hockings but I am sure there will be more liveries over time especially as so many of this type of van were brought secondhand by small local firms across the UK.

The 1:43 scale Morris J2 minibus in Skyways livery from the final release of 2018 was shown and looks like an impressive model. Seen to the rear is another of the final release in 2018 the Fred Dibnah Lightweight Land Rover in 1:43 scale.

And now on to some very large 1:43 scale models. The new Weymann Fanfare South Wales – announced as an Oxford special to celebrate their 25 Years trading. The model shown below is a pre-production item and is fitted trial plastic components – the broken horn will not feature on the production model! The model features a plastic upper section with a diecast chassis. It is a striking model with the very high level of moulded and printed detail they can achieve when using plastic.

The South Wales version is not to be the only use of this moulding. Oxford were showing a Southdown version which has been announced as part of release one 2019. With a destination board for Bournemouth this model suits the Southdown livery well.

Moving on to 1:76 scale there were some interesting recolours shown. Below is another version of the J4 this time as an Austin J4 in BMC Parts livery due for later release. This is a nice livery and the Austin version of the grille seems to be very well printed.

The forthcoming Volkswagen Transporter T4 Camper looks very good and will be a popular model.

Oxford’s Transporter T1 Camper and Samba Bus in 1:76 scale both showed up looking ready to be put into production. Photographs are shown below.

Another re-use of a casting is the relatively new Leyland Sherpa now seen in Egyptian telephone livery, as seen in a well known Bond film. This model is sure to be popular even without film themed packaging. I hope that this casting soon gets used to produce models of vehicles used by the UK utilities firms.

We also saw test shots for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter which will be seen in various forms and also in a set which includes one of each generation of the Transporter from T1 to T5. Below we have test shots of the California camper

Shown below are test shots of the T5 van which will appear in several liveries starting with that of the RAC. I am sure that this will be seen in a wide range of liveries for current users.

Oxford often show models in a very early stage of development before they are announced. The Volkswagen T1 camper with surf boards shown below does not seem to exist in any current release but I am sure that we will see it in the future.

The Volkswagen T1 van casting get another release this year in Coca Cola livery. The test shot below shows the roof display with an advertising bottle on the roof.

One of the model sets which created a lot of interest when announced in the last release of 2018 was the RAF Bloodhound missile set. This was released by Corgi in the 1960s and by Airfix too. Here we have the new 1:76 scale from Oxford. The accompanying Land Rover has been well finished in RAF blue and markings.

This will make an impressive set re-creating the Jet Age long before Cruise missiles and Polaris carrying submarines.

The Oxford 1:87 scale range of US vehicles has been a strong seller. And the display showed some due for early release and others in early pre-production form.

The new Chrysler 300 Convertible can be seen in the photographs below. This casting looks good in red and the printed silver and badging looks like it could be very well done.

The forthcoming Dodge Charger Daytonas were also shown and are impressive in this scale.

The ‘standard’ Dodge Charger was shown too and looks good. It is interesting that it has been modelled with the headlights showing as many models of this car have the headlights in their concealed position.

Another model close to release is the De Soto Suburban with its roof rack. This is a rather earlier car than many in this range so it will be interesting to see if models from this period sell well. A taxi version is expected later.

Another model due soon is the Dodge D100 Sweptside which is due for release soon. The model looked very well finished and US pickups make for popular models so I expect it may sell out quickly. It is interesting that the rear seems to be a separate moulding so we may well see more variations on the D100.

Here we see very early test shots of the 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with a siren fitted to the roof. The model has been announced for release 1 2019 in two tone blue as a standard sedan so presumably police and possibly fire versions will follow later in the year.

Another very early casting shot is the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 1957 again announced in release 1 2019. Reminiscent of the contemporary Matchbox model this is slightly smaller but promises to be impressive even in this smaller scale.

Another announced recently as part of Release One 2019 is the Chevrolet Panel van. The model may be released as an Ambulance first but clearly a van will also be forthcoming and I expect this to appear in several classic american liveries.

The early shots below show that Oxford have captured this classic 1950s van very well.

The final test casting on display in this scale is the Chevrolet Corvair Coupe announced recently. Even though this is an early shot it shows the potential for this to be a really nice model. The coupe also came in some very nice paint finishes so hopefully Oxford will be able to release it in several different authentic versions.

Oxford’s 1:148 scale range is another with upper components made in plastic. On show were some pre-production trials. These are interesting as they are made in clear plastic with 3D printed parts as shown in the photographs below.

First we have the Land Rover Discovery 4.

Then the Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter which is to appear in British Railways Western livery in 2019.

Presumably the photographs below show the pre-production test for the recently announced Hants and Dorset Bristol MW6G.

And finally in this scale the Green Goddess fire appliance expected in National Fire Service livery.


Unfortunately although samples of the new Citroën H catering van were there I did not photograph them.

I would like to thank Oxford Diecast for sharing so many pre-production and test models with us, and for so patiently getting models in and out of cabinets to allow me to photograph them.


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