Model: Lesney Matchbox Series Morris J2
Line: Matchbox 1-75 series (No.60)
Ebay Link: Lesney Morris J2
A short but sweet Lamley Daily from me today. This is probably the oldest vehicle I’ve featured during my time at Lamley, but it’s as worthy of a place here as anything else. It’s a piece of diecast history, and ticks most of my boxes: vintage, European, a run of the mill working vehicle in its day but just obscure enough to be interesting. This is the Lesney Morris J2.
Made by Morris Commercial between 1957 and 1967, the J2 was BMC’s first unitary construction van. Powered by a 1489cc and later 1622cc versions of the popular BMC B-Series engine, the J2 was offered in 3 versions; van, pickup and minibus. The J2 became a popular vehicle for all sorts of jobs and companies and was also license built in Columbia.
Produced from 1958 to 1966 Lesney’s “Matchbox Series” diecast version was sold in a Builders Supply Company livery. My version was a gift from a very kind colleague, and even though the Builders Supply stickers have long since peeled off, I’m really rather fond of it.
It’s beautifully simple yet highly evocative of the real J2. I am of the opinion that sometimes less is more, and that these very early diecasts are proof of that. These early Lesney cars are also part of diecast history, being the predecessors to the modern Matchbox cars we all know and love. For that alone it deserves it’s place on the Lamley stage.