Matchbox Number 17

Daimler Fleetline DMS "The Londoner"

London Transport's Daimler Fleetline DMS

The Daimler Fleetline DMS was used by London Transport for 23 years from 1970 until 1993. In 1968 London Transport ordered 17 Daimler Fleetline's for delivery in 1969, these were to be used for test and comparison trials.

Over a 5 year period from 1969 to 1974 London Transport ordered a total of over 2600 Fleetline's. The first two to be completed were displayed at the 1970 Commercial Motor Show at Earl's Court.

The DMS was built on a Daimler Fleetline chassis with a Park Royal or MCW body. It was powered by a Gardner diesel engine. It's carrying capacity was 89 passengers, 44 seated on the upper deck, 24 seated and 21 standing on the lower deck. It came with a split front entrance that gave passengers the choice of entering on the left to pay the driver or the right to use the new automatic fare collection machine which had a turnstile.

The driver had a periscope to view the upper deck and two mirrors to view the exit doors. The buses were fitted with an internal and external public address system, automatic temperature-controlled heating on both up and lower decks, fluorescent lighting and warning bells if either emergency exit was opened.

The Daimler Fleetline DMS was just over 30 feet long and 8 feet wide. They were the most expensive bus in Britain at nearly £13,000.

By 1993 London Transport had replaced it's 23 year old Fleetline DMS's. Ensign Bus of Purfleet contracted to buy all London Transports DMS's and they rebuilt and sold them to many smaller bus operators throughout the UK who continued to used them for many years. Ensign also sold and exported over four hundred rebuilt DMS's to Hong Kong and Chinese bus companies.

Lesney Matchbox Toys Daimler Fleetline DMS

Matchbox Toys introduced "The Londoner" in August 1972 as the 6th version of number 17. It was modelled to a scale of 1:121.

There are many different casting variations with this model. Perhaps the most notable are the strengthening ribs over the front and rear axles. These were added in 1973. The main colour of the base was gloss black but over the models life span, other colours were used including matt black, brown and grey. There were also versions that came with unpainted bases.

There were 2 different wheels used. Early versions had a five spoke superfast wheel. This was replaced in 1976 by the "dot dash" style wheel. The interior was molded in 2 pieces (upper and lower decks) and was always white except for the Silver Jubilee model which had a red interior. The silver model with red interior was available in a few different liveries. (I have not gone into the detail of variations for each model. The purpose of these pages are purely as reference material so collectors have an idea of what is available.)

All the labels were applied after the model was assembled and were always self adhesive paper. Early labels had square cut corners, later ones were rounded. Although there were only 5 "General Releases", this model was used by Matchbox as a promotional tool for many companies. Subsequently, there have been thousands of "code 3" models made with labels applied by collectors, charities and businesses.

A code 3 model is where a label is applied to the model without the consent of Matchbox Toys. This does not deem the model illegal however many "die hard" collectors do not recognize these models as genuine items. It is virtually impossible to compile a list of code 3 models. I have featured a page here showing ones I have come across over the years. If you have ones not shown here, you are welcome to email me information and photos and I will include them.

© 2008 Moko Lesney Matchbox