Lamley Daily: Matchbox Porsche 914 debut

Model: Matchbox MB785 ’71 VW-Porsche 914

Release: 2010 MB16 version 1 first run

eBay link: Matchbox Porsche 914

Why is it in the collection: I think I had a hand in its arrival?

I may not have, mind you. I never actually asked. Back in 2006, 30 people who were avid Matchbox collectors headed out to El Segundo in CA to attend the first of 3 line previews. In 2008 we had a second and in 2010 a third. However, after the 2008 line preview I took a trip out to visit with Felix Holst. At the time he was in charge of the Matchbox brand, and was a fellow Brit. We met up and spent some time chatting about various things. Side note, I still remember a lady walking by while we were outside the front of his house, stopping and coming up to ask us where we were from. You see, both Felix and I had very strong English accents. She could tell as she was also from England. She was shocked as there she was, walking along a suburban street in California in USA and seeing these 2 guys outside a house chatting with distinctly British accents. Almost second guessing where she was.

Later, we took a drive in his car, and obviously were chatting about Matchbox. We were discussing some of the models that were in the range, and I mentioned how there was one I would love to see, the Porsche 914. Being a huge Porsche fan, I had seen a few nice Porsche vehicles in the range, but I was actually offered a real Porsche 914 when I was younger. Or a Lotus Eclat. I even sat inside it. It was cool. But ever since then I thought I couldn’t afford a real one, but would love a model. So I mentioned it to Felix. I don’t think I told him the full story, just that it was a model I really wanted to see done by Matchbox.

Fast forward to the Matchbox Gathering in 2009 and as part of the preview of upcoming models in 2010 that Felix was presenting, there was the Porsche 914. I was stoked. My most anticipated new casting of the year.

I never did actually ask if I had any influence on it arriving. I prefer to just think of the possibility that it could have been. Every time I see my Porsche 914s I always sit there, stop for a second, and think was this because of me? It’s fun to ponder.

Plus it was such a fun debut. The model was due to be released in 2 different versions in its debut year in the basic range. But the first batch came out way too light. Now referred to as pastel green, with the corrected apple green swapped in as a running change fairly quickly. Not only was it a model I really wanted actually arriving, it brought with it instant variations.

How cool was that….

David Tilley

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