Matchbox King Size K4 McCormick International B-250 tractor
by Chris Sweetman
Lesney released the first of their ‘King Size’ models in September 1960. These were larger models than either their 1-75 series and the Major Pack ranges. The majority of the ‘King Size’ series featured models with a construction site connection. However, to add variety agricultural vehicles were also part of this range. The earliest farm related ‘King Size’ model was the McCormick International B-250 tractor and was numbered K4. This ‘King Size’ model was introduced in September 1960 and replaced in 1966 by the GMC Tractor with Hopper train.
Scale quoted in Matchbox catalogues is 1:37th. The model is nicely cast and features fine details. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature a three point lift only a tow hook. The rationale here would be to keep the price down and the fact that Matchbox didn’t issue a plow. Matchbox, unlike contemporary Corgi Toys and Dinky Toys, didn’t have a range of agricultural implements and only included two versions of farm trailers in their ‘King Size’ series.
History of the real deal
The International B250 was built by the International Harvester Company of GB Ltd. The factory was formerly the Jowett cars and van manufacturing plant which was located in Bradford, England. They also built Bristol crawlers for a period. The B250 was built from 1955 through to 1961.
The B-250 was the first English made IH medium size tractor and was introduced at the 1955 Royal Smithfield show. A 4 cylinder 30 hp (22 Kw) indirect diesel engine powered by glow plugs was used. This featured a 5 speed forward and one reverse gear box, live hydraulics, two stage clutch and a three point hitch. The B250 was one of the first tractors to have disc brakes and a diff lock. ( Thanks to Woolbeef & the Yesterday’s Tractors Co. Forums.)
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