In 1982 Matchbox introduced the Convoy series of vehicles, interchangeable tractor-trailer combinations that used the same wheels and sizes of mainline vehicles. The Convoy page of the online Matchbox wiki (which, by the way, is actually a really thorough but concise history of Matchbox tractor-trailers) lists 13 tractors – most based on actual vehicles – and about 20 different trailers in the range. See the photo at the bottom of the page for some of the various combinations pictured on the back of the card.
This 1983 Matchbox Convoy NASA Rocket Transporter is another of the NASA-themed item I recently scored on eBay. The item had been shipped wrapped in bubble wrap in a soft envelope, and when I opened it up the vehicle came spilling out of the blister, which had separated from the card en route. Fortunately, I was able to take a little bit of Elmer’s white glue and seal the model back inside the blister card.
This Convoy NASA Rocket Transporter features a white Macau-cast Kenworth Aerodyne (COE) cab. The NASA Kenworth cab can also be found with gray paint, cast in either England or Macau.
The trailer is the Low Bed Trailer, which has holes in the base to accommodate different plastic brackets for either a boat trailer or, in this case, the rocket. The Low Bed base was also used for other box trailers, such as the Horse Box and the Mobile Workshop in the Convoy series. The rocket on mine is white, but there is also a variation that features a chrome plastic rocket.
Matchbox | 1983 | Convoy CY-2 Rocket Transporter | white Kenworth cab with red and blue NASA trim, gray Low Bed Trailer with white plastic NASA rocket | Macau | 1:90 | chrome hub 8-spoke concave treaded