Fakes and Frauds

Number 41a Jaguar D Type with Number 52 Decals

This model was listed on ebay. As I write this (2nd July 2008) the auction still has 3 days to go and has one bidder, unfortunately. It is a clear case of "know what you are buying"! A little research and asking the seller a couple of questions would save this buyer $500.


This is a legitimate variation that is extremely hard to find. It was produced near the end of the production run of the number 41a model.


The photos included in the auction listing are of reasonable quality, however if I was going to spend $499 on a model I would want to see more than just 2 photos and I would want closer shots showing more detail, but that's just me!

In both photo's, the box is shown face on. The 41 a came with 4 different variations of the B type Moko box, so it is important to know what box goes with what variation.

The version with the number 52 decal was a late production model with metal wheels and dome head and crimped axle ends. It should be in a box with end flaps that have a white circle with the number "41" in the circle.

I sent an email to the seller asking 2 questions. Question one was to determine what box this model was being sold with, as that could not be determined from the two photos supplied. The seller told me it has the number "41" in black print on the end flaps and no white circle. This was an earlier style B type box. The models that came in this box had metal wheels with number "41" decals.

So, the box is incorrect for this model that is being offered for sale.



The other question I asked the seller was concerning the rivet posts.

On the left are drawings of the 2 different types of rivet posts this model came with.

Early versions came with rivet posts without the strengthening angled braces between the post and the body, where as all other versions had the angled braces as shown in the lower drawing.

I asked the seller which version this model was. It turns out to be an early version without the angled braces. The models that were made with the number "52" decals all had the angled braces.

So, by asking these 2 questions I have established that the box is incorrect and the model is the wrong casting to have the number "52" decals. IT IS A FAKE!


Now, the seller claims this model has been packed away for over 50 years. That may well be so, but the number "52" decals are more than likely a very recent addition!

This auction is a perfect example of, as a buyer, knowing what to look for and what questions to ask the sellers.

The model for sale is a lovely example of a number 41a and in fact quite rare being an early casting without rivet braces.

From the photos supplied with this auction listing it can not determine that the model is genuine. That is why it's so important to know what casting variations to look for and what boxes go with what variations.

It so happens that in this case, the body casting came out in 1957 (for a short time) yet the decals (which were made for the #52a Maserati) did not appear until 1959.

So, ask yourself, could a model be released with decals that were still 2 years away from release? NO! It's knowing details like these that help determine fakes in the Matchbox community.

Again, it can not be stressed enough. Know what you are buying! Spend the money and buy some good reference books on Matchbox Toys AND REFER TO THEM BEFORE BUYING!!


It could save you hundreds of dollars. If the buyer of this model had referred to my book, The Definitive Guide to Matchbox Toys 1-75 Series 1953 - 1969 and then asked the seller about the rivet posts, he would be saving $500 and not buying a fake model for his collection.

I have been watching the person that is selling this model for sometime now. He consistently has rare Matchbox Toys for sale. I know collectors that have purchased some quite rare legitimate models from him, but there have been many he has offered that I thought were very suspect. This is the first I have been able to prove conclusively.

Incidentally, a friend of mine also wrote to the same seller asking about this model. He was told that the model was purchased 3 years ago from Vectis Auctions. Interesting, because when you read the description in the auction, the seller is trying to make it sound that the model is from an original collection dating back to the 1950's.

To save yourself from buying these fake models from fraudulent dealers, it is important to know what to look for and ask questions. Be wise and always do your homework!

Okay, just a follow up note. After this ebay auction finished, I emailed the buyer and indicated the model was a fake and suggested he write back to me if he wanted more information. He responded asking for more info. I sent him two links. One to this page and one to a page on a prominent Matchbox Toy forum where this model had been discussed. I never received any further correspondence from the buyer and have since noticed that he happily paid the seller $635 and left excellent feedback! Oh well, what is the saying - you can lead a horse to water but you can make him drink it! I also noticed that this buyer bought another "rare" Matchbox Toy. It was a #43 Horse Trailer being sold as a "Pre Production" model. It too was a fake! All up this buyer has given away over $800 to sellers of fake Matchbox Toys!


© 2008 Moko Lesney Matchbox