By now you’ll have read fellow Lamley contributor Alex Winson’s take on the Matchbox 75a Ferrari Berlinetta. Alex showed his beautiful regular wheels version; here’s my Superfast one to complete the story.
I’ve had a Berlinetta in my collection since I was a kid. The first was a battered secondhand one that I repainted in green – one of my first customs! No photos I’m afraid, its slapdash paint finish is lost to history.
I picked up this red Superfast Berlinetta a few years ago as an upgrade to a playworn example. Even though the Superfast wheels are less accurate than the wire ones, it’s still a beautiful model, in my view, and I love the artwork on the B-type box.
The Berlinetta switched to red and onto the new wheels for the first full year of Superfast in 1970. But as often happened during this transitional period, a few of the old-colour models – in this case, green Ferraris – emerged on the new wheels. These are the rarest and most valuable of the Matchbox Berlinettas, and I’m indebted to a friend for allowing me to show an example from his amazing collection. There are even variations of this model: shades of green, and with or without a silver-sprayed grille.
The Berlinetta lasted only one year as a Superfast model and was replaced in the 1971 range by the Alfa Carabo. At least it wasn’t butchered to accommodate wider rims, a fate suffered by some other pre-Superfast designs. Matchbox later used No.75 for another iconic red Ferrari, the Testarossa, when it joined the range in 1986!
(find Matchbox Ferrari Berlinetta on eBay)