It’s great to see the return of Convoy (originally no ‘s’) to the Matchbox lineup. I’d be even happier if I could buy them in Canada. But as the Matchbox team has said on several occasions, rebuilding distribution and extending the lineup will take time. I’m happy that things are on an upward curve, and to keep waiting and hoping that more product will continue to reach more collectors with each passing year.
In the meantime, these arrived recently as part of a large box of Matchbox that had endured a Covid-related, five-month layover at a friend’s house in the US.
I bought them through a Facebook auction at the start of the year and they represent Convoys #62-65 in my collection (I count any of this style of Matchbox truck as a Convoy, even if it wasn’t branded as such). There are many more out there, of course, but as usual I tend to just buy stuff when I see it for a good price. With a bunch of extra shipping to cover when my original plan to collect them in person changed because of lockdown, that strategy didn’t work out this time! C’est la vie!
All four models date from the early-1990s, when York, PA-based White Rose licensed and distributed a ton of Matchbox-made NASCAR race cars and trucks. I don’t have the information to go into incredible detail, but let’s take a look at them one by one.
The oldest release here is the ‘white Petty’ with a Macau-made, Kenworth Aerodyne cab. As you can see, the trailer has yellowed a bit with age. The box dates the truck as 1989 but I’m not sure that the model was issued that year – please let me know via the comments if you can confirm! White Rose/Matchbox made several different versions of the Petty rig over consecutive years with tweaks to the deco, but I believe this was the first.
Next up is the Goodyear Ford Aeromax from 1992. Goodyear has supplied tyres to NASCAR teams since the 50s ans has been the sole supplier to the top three series since 1997. Note that Matchbox production had by now switched to Thailand. I love the fact that the transporter’s ramp pops down, but loading would be a struggle with that gap to the ground!
The first of two Kenworth Cabover Racing Transporters is the 1992 #42 rig in the colours of Kyle Petty. Non-NASCAR fans might remember Mello Yello as one of Cole Trickle’s sponsors in Days of Thunder. The Racing Transporter is one of the best things Matchbox has ever made, in my opinion, and there are loads of different ones to collect.
The transporter comes in a nice Team Convoy set with a Pontiac Grand Prix and a matching Chevy Van. The Chevy Vans that often came with these NASCAR sets are nice to collect on their own.
Finally we have a Team Convoy trio featuring the #68 Country Time Lemonade-sponsored Ford Thunderbird that was driven by Bobby Hamilton at the 1993 Daytona 500.
I particularly like this set because it comes with the car in two colours – the pink, as used by Hamilton at Daytona (note his name on the roof), and the yellow, which was campaigned mostly by Hamilton and Greg Sacks for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, by ’93 the rubber tyres that we saw on the Pontiac earlier had been dropped in favour of cheaper and decidedly nastier plastic wheels with oversized Goodyear Eagle markings.
Hope you enjoyed this brief look at some NASCAR Convoys. There are stacks of different ones to collect and prices are pretty low, so it’s dangerously easy to build a big, colourful display of vintage NASCAR. Happy collecting!