Model: MB780 1963 Cadillac Ambulance
Release: 2010 Lesney Edition batch C
eBay Link: Matchbox Cadillac Ambulance
Why is it in the collection: Eyjafjallajökull
Seriously, I didn’t lean on the keyboard for that reason for why it is in the collection. Eyjafjallajökull is a volcano in Iceland. In April 2010, it went a bit nuts. I remember I was staying at a friend’s house in San Leandro, just outside of San Fransisco at the time. I had been in USA for the 3rd and final Line Preview taking place in El Segundo CA, and a friend suggested I pop up to visit him, and I stayed with him for a week or so experiencing the local area, San Fransisco etc. I had driven up the I-5 from California and was planning out my time in the Bay area.
I had not long arrived and one of the first things I did, naturally, was hit a few stores to see if I could find any new Matchbox. I went into one of the Walmart stores in the area. It was getting late and they were just bringing out some pallets of new stuff to put out. I had been down the Matchbox section and had not seen anything, and was just about to leave when I saw a small box on the pallet with Matchbox written on it. I asked an employee if I could see them. He happily obliged and got the box out and opened it for me. He liked my accent (it is very British) and was happy I was not chasing down some other brand.
I knew it was the Lesney Edition stuff. The series had not long launched in 2010 and the first 2 batches were already out. I knew batch C was about due, but I didn’t know when exactly it would hit, or even what was in the batch. We only knew there were going to be 20 models in total released throughout the year in small batches. I still remember when he opened the box, the first thing he pulled out was this. He said “ooh that’s nice” and showed it to me. OMG! It was the Caddy. It was a new batch. I think I actually used the OMG expression. He laughed. There were only 8 models in the box, and he pulled them all out. There were 3 new releases, 2 of each, plus 1 each of the pair from the last batch.
I grabbed all the new ones, paid for them, and headed back to my friend’s house and showed him them. He also was into Matchbox, and had not heard anything about them being released. He said he would often visit that Walmart and never find anything. I pop in once and find something brand new.
The next day Eyjafjallajökull erupted. It didn’t dampen my trip too much. I admit I was a little worried whether my money would last. I only took so much with me and flights to the UK were canceled. I skimped a little on my trip to ensure I would eke my funds out if required, but the airports opened the day I was due to go home. I headed out from my friend’s house and took a beautiful trip down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Every time I see this model I am reminded of my time in USA in April 2010 and how a volcano in Iceland almost changed things. But also how there was such beauty and wonder out there too. It’s also a reminder that whenever times are tough, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and things will get better again.