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In my recent quest to find suitable futuristic vehicles for a current wargames project, my search has led me to the Corgi 700 series, not well known or even collected by many these still form a part of the Corgi brand history.
Actually, I own this by mistake, I bought it on Ebay really cheap thinking it was a small scale version like the Matchbox Stretcha Fetcha but is in fact more like 1:43 scale, I was very suprised when it arrived.
Apparently the story seems to be that Corgi produced a range of cheap diecast vehicles for younger children in the mid seventies and the 700 series was designed with that intention, this would of been 65p back in 1973 when it was released. They are similar in design especially the fronts but are completely different castings, which can be seen below from the front view. The one thing that impresses me on the crane is the metal hook (which maybe why it’s still intact) so not bent and chewed like many I have seen on plastic hooked Matchbox and Corgi trucks. There is one other I know of, number 703 the Fire Engine, all have a similar looking front design and simple lines and like the Corgi Turbo truck series have few followers or collectors chasing them down, therefore are pretty cheap still, they were discontinued in 1979. As a side note,  although not strictly one of the 700 series, Corgi No424, Hi speed security van uses the same casting as the ambulance above so should be included here. Marx did make a few diecast cars and trucks, but now are hard to find or even if you can the prices are high, they are not known for their quality and are at best simple castings without frills. Underneath it shows how simple this was made, also of note, the printing on the casting says Made in Hong Kong. Marx Toys also attempted to take advantage of the diecast market success of Matchbox and Tootsietoy.


A friend of mine had a 1964 Ford Galaxie years back and used it as a wedding car, I remember spending a sunny afternoon welding on new cills and painting them black to match the car.
The Matchbox Ford Galaxie Police car and Fire Chiefs car were based on the 1966 Galaxie and replaced the earlier Ford Fairlane examples.
Both were released in 1966 with regular black wheels and later one’s have the thin Superfast wheels, both also share the interior with driver at the wheel.
The 1966 Galaxie and Full Size Ford was available in 19 different models which spanned seven different series of body designations. Both numbered 62 in the 1-75, Matchbox Lensey range, the first one above in Metallic light green is actually not far off an original Mercury colour and was released in 1968 with metal wheels and tyres, one of this type would be a rare find, even more illusive is a cream version dating back to the early release. The next Mercury released by Matchbox was harder to track down as Matchbox only called it a Mercury, anyway after my research, I found that this car was known as the Mercury Monterey, it has also been called the Mercury commuter more correctly, again this one preceeded Superfast wheels and was released in 1970, in lime green with metal wheels and tyres, the interior has two dogs facing out of the back window, this was number 73, a later release in 1978 was a Cougar Villager and numbered 74, both colours I have, see further down the page. The Mercury commuter was later released with the thin superfast wheels in the metallic green, then in the red above with the bulls head decal. Below the  Mercury Commuter estate or station wagon, was released as a police car, the interior differs as here it has traffic cones in the back, the Ford Galaxy police car was replaced by a Mercury version in 1969 and was also made as a Fire Chiefs car, the Mercury Commuter or Monterey was a popular choice for many US police forces of the time. The police saloon was re-released with square beacons and the casting changed between the lights to accommodate these, this one doesn’t have a number on the base but still marked as Made in England by Lesney, it is likely to of remained No55, but I do know this casting went on until much later in various police liveries.
In 1978  Matchbox released the Cougar Villager and numbered it 74, as far as I know there were only two colour combinations, Blue or green metallic. The tailgates opened and no longer have the dogs, both have a different colour shade to the tailgates. Marx short-lived effort did provide a limited line of diecast cars, produced in the early 1960′s. Ford offered the LTD, the Galaxie 500XL, the Galaxie 500 7 Litre, Galaxie 500, Custom 500.


In 1968, Hot Wheels came on the scene and Marx attempted to re-style their diecast line to compete.
Their efforts failed and today, Marx diecast are just another name in the history of diecast. The LTD model had a different look with distinctive trim and ornamentation and interior trim. The 500XL was the ultimate Galaxie in 1966 with deep foam contoured bucket seats, full length console, wall to wall carpeting, padded dash and visors as well as special 500XL exterior ornamentation. Ford offered an impressive eight different engine choices from a standard economy six cylinder on up to the side oiler 427 engine with dual carburetion and 425 horsepower. Ford also introduced a new 428 cubic inch Thunderbird V-8 which was standard equipment on the Galaxie 7 Litre model.
Transmission choices were the Synchro Smooth Drive manual transmission, a 4 speed manual transmission, and Cruise-O-Matic three speed automatic. The exterior was available in 15 Super Diamond Lustre enamels, or 23 two tone combinations as well as 42 upholstery choices. The 1966 Galaxie had a variety of available options: power steering, air conditioning, power disc brakes, power windows, power seats, vinyl roof, as well as many other options.



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