Lesney Matchbox Bedford “Evening News” Van and Morris J2 “Builders Supply” Pickup

When I bought the cab for my Matchbox Major Pack 7 recently on eBay, it came in a lot of 3 cars which included these two well-worn Lesney-era models.

Bedford was a brand of commercial vehicles produced by Vauxhall in the UK starting in 1930. The popular light commercial CA van was introduced in 1952 and made up until 1969. The Matchbox Bedford Van from 1957 would have originally had a sign board mounted diagonally across the top that proclaimed “First With The NEWS” and evening news decals on the sides and doors.

img_8236 img_82371957 | 42 | Bedford “Evening News” Van | yellow-orange | black plastic wheels

Morris Commercial was formed in the UK in 1924 and the J2 was produced from 1956 until 1967. The J2 was available as a van, minibus, or pickup. The Matchbox Morris J2 Pickup originally had “Builders Supply Company” decoration on the sides. This variation of the casting has an open rear window.

img_8238img_81281958 | 60 | Morris J2 “Builders Supply” Pickup | light blue | open rear window | gray plastic wheels

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About marcboz

Marc Bosworth is an artist who teaches printmaking and works as an art director. He lives in a 100-year-old bungalow in Wichita with his lovely wife and their young ninja son.
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5 Responses to Lesney Matchbox Bedford “Evening News” Van and Morris J2 “Builders Supply” Pickup

  1. DinoMom says:

    I see a lot of these old vans in the condition shown here in the antique shops. I’ve been reluctant to pick them up as they’re very small scale, about 1:76 right? How do you feel about the lack of windows, it always made me feel like the model was incomplete (when I picked up a lesny vauxhall cresta I searched specifically for one with plastic windows)

    • marcboz says:

      Hi Jasmine! When I was a kid (I might be a few years older than you), we had a case full of Tootsietoys, which were similar in construction to these Lesney Matchbox cars – diecast but without windows or interiors. They were among my favorite toys. So I guess I like these for the nostalgia value. Unlike most of the other cars in my collection, it doesn’t even bother me that they’re in fairly poor shape.

      • DinoMom says:

        Those imperfections give them charm too, don’t they? That’s what makes modern models less collectible IMO – they’re too perfect. An old tatty bus with patina and no windows and a history behind it has so much more value to us who have collected or who have had family who collected in the past. For me, it’s that history and charm that makes me spend a little more on something vintage, instead of stockpiling cheaper, modern cars (though I’m still guilty of buying plenty of those!!!)
        -Jasmine

      • marcboz says:

        It’s funny how I sort of waver on that. I’ve gotten spoiled by acquiring some really clean blackwall-era Hot Wheels, so these days I prefer them in good shape. I guess the older it is, the more tolerant I am of wear and tear. I’m sure it has something to do with price too – a free car that’s beat up is always accepted into my collection. ha ha Thanks for the comments!

  2. Pingback: New Year’s Inventory | The Race Case

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