The Divo isn’t Matchbox’s first attempt at a Bugatti supercar

The Matchbox Bugatti Divo has disappeared from the pegs in Calgary faster than any Matchbox release in the five years I’ve lived here. It’s great to see some excitement around the brand, even if it does make it tougher for regular Matchbox collectors to find them! After a friend managed to track one down for me last week, I posted some Matchbox Bugattis on my Instagram feed (@diecast215).

I thought this was quite a nice picture, but it received an underwhelming response, leading me to do what seemingly everybody else is doing to generate diecast hype…

Joking aside, let’s take a closer look at this trio. The star of the show is a resin prototype of the Bugatti EB110 that was allocated a Matchbox manufacturing number (MB253) circa 1993 but never made it into production. I don’t know the exact reason why, but it was most likely a licensing issue, given that the Bugatti company of the time itself didn’t last too much longer.

It’s perhaps no bad thing that the Matchbox EB110 was never made. It’s not the truest replica you’ll see, and the spiral wheels of the time were pretty hideous!

I bought this rare preproduction example a few years ago from former Matchbox designer and well-known dealer, Paul Carr. I believe it may be the closest anyone’s come to producing an EB110 in 1:64 scale, although Glen Chou of Mini GT hinted in his recent IGTV interview with Lamley that an “older” Bugatti may be on the way from this upwardly mobile brand, so here’s hoping!

For what it’s worth, I think this second release of the Divo (I don’t have the first yet) looks amazing, despite the inconsistent tampo work around the front on this one. I especially like the way the interior part also creates the blue stripe on the side.

The third car in the background is a Models of Yesteryear 1932 Bugatti Type 51, one of several Bugattis released in this former range. The bottom fell out of the Yesteryears market a few years ago so this gorgeous model is not expensive to find.

That’s it for this brief post, hope you enjoyed these beautiful Bugattis. Hope you find a Divo!

(find Matchbox Bugatti on eBay)

7 Replies to “The Divo isn’t Matchbox’s first attempt at a Bugatti supercar”

    1. I guess it would technically be their first shot – Matchbox was still Tyco when they did the EB110 prototypes!

  1. I’ve been having a hell of a time trying to find new Matchbox these days, it seems it just gets worse and worse. I WAS, however, able to grab this black version of the Divo recently, along with a couple of the other nicer models from its case. I also was never able to find the debut grey one, but looking at pictures, I think I prefer the black, so I don’t think I’ll pursue the grey one on the secondary market.

    It’s been pretty dismal overall with Matchbox though. I was gobsmacked to see what was in my 2-year-old son’s Christmas stocking this year (that my mom had packed full of goodies). There were three Matchbox cars in there, one of which was the olive green debut of the Mercedes W123 Wagon that I had been absolutely bending over backwards to try to find. Here I am scouring every store in my area that carries 1/64, and my mom stumbles cluelessly across one at a dollar store. Needless to say I quietly switched that one out for a different carded Matchbox I had a duplicate of so that I could have the W123. Oh well, at least I eventually “found” one.

  2. I am with you it is probably better we never got this version. I think they would have improved over the resin, but who knows.

  3. If it was released, I wonder what wacky colours Tyco would put on this Bugatti?!///. That was a strange trip time .@@.

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