Matchbox Toys
13d Dodge Wreck Truck
Reverse Colours


A genuine Number 13d Dodge Wreck truck in "Reverse Colours". Note the grey tow hook and BP decals

The second version of the Number 13d Dodge Wreck Truck. This is the colour combination they were all meant to be

This is a "pirate" copy made in the Matchbox Factory in 1970. Notice it has a red tow hook and BP labels (not decals) and a wider crane jib. It was sold in April 2007 by Vectis Auction for £3800
This shows the difference in the crane jibs. The yellow jib has an extra support on the under side to give it more "play" strength. All genuine green cab versions had the narrow crane jibs

Above are the 2 E type boxes made for this model. The first one shows the Reverse Colours, while the second shows the correct colour version.



Perhaps one of the most talked about 1-75 series models is the Number 13d Dodge BP Wreck Truck in “Reverse Colours”.

When first introduced in April 1965 this toy was painted with the cab and crane jib green and the body and base yellow. This colour combination was quickly changed to the more common version with the cab and crane jib yellow and body and base green. Obviously, some of the green cab versions were released for retail as I have seen "played with” examples. How many were released, no one seems to know, but considering around this time, Matchbox Toys were making in excess of 2,000,000 toys a week, it just might be more than we think!

I have read differing stories about the original version. One is that it was a pre-production colour trial model. Another is that it was painted this way by mistake and BP were not happy, so the colours were reversed to a yellow cab and green body.

Whatever the reason, the green cab version is extremely rare! As a result, there are numerous “fakes” in the market place. These range from collectors restoring normal models and repainting them in the reverse colours, to reproduction “masters” creating near perfect fake examples and passing them off as genuine.

I find it interesting when visiting different Matchbox Toy web rings how the “experts” look at photo's of a model and instantly determine whether it is genuine or a fake. No explanation given, just a conclusion. Unfortunately, an explanation is the information that every Matchbox Toy collector needs! Perhaps many of the “experts” don't know themselves (or don't want to share their knowledge) and find it safer to state everything is a fake! Who is there to argue with them if the information is not shared.

Here, I am going to show the differences between a fake and genuine No: 13d Dodge BP Wreck Truck - Reverse Colour model.

  • All green cab versions had silver sprayed grille and headlights. All following versions had NO silver detailing.
  • All early version Number 13d Dodge Wreck Trucks (both green and yellow cab versions) had BP decals (transfers) rather than paper labels that were applied to later toys.
  • Early production models had grey plastic single cable tow hooks.
  • Green cab, yellow bodied versions had a different crane jib to the yellow cab version. This crane jib was narrower at the base where the yellow cab version had an added brace giving it more support at the base (see photo's)

In late 1969 or early 1970 one or some employees at the Lesney factory made some “pirate” versions of the Green cab wrecker. These are quite easy to pick as they had crimped axle ends, BP labels rather than decals and red tow hooks. Apparently, at the time, some were sold to collectors for US$15 each. In April 2007 one of these was sold for £3800 ($7700 US) by Vectis UK . Not a bad investment!

As to the value of the genuine article, here are some recent sale results:

2005 Ebay Auctions - Mint & Boxed - US$9600

2005 Vectis Auctions - Mint & Boxed - £5000

2006 Vectis Auctions - Mint & Boxed - £3800

2006 Vectis Auctions - Mint & Boxed - £2800

So, now you know what to look for! Keep your eyes peeled because they are still out there.




© 2008 Moko Lesney Matchbox