Sunday, July 8, 2012

Matchbox Monday: He returns! "My Favorite Matchbox" by collecting legend David Tilley...

Now this is a post I have been excited to finally put up.  Tilley returns!

If you have collected Matchbox for any extended period of time, you will know who David Tilley is.

  • First off, he is a co-founder of the Lamley Group.  (If you can't figure it out, he is the "ley" in "Lamley".)
  • He is credited with establishing the term "DLM" (Diecast Liberation Movement), which we use often here.  He has, and will, opened everything, no matter its scarcity or value.  
  • He has collected Matchbox his whole life, and won't deviate.  It is Matchbox, then nothing.
  • He served as the Matchbox Ambassador several years ago.
  • He is nuts about shade variations.  Let me reiterate...NUTS!
  • He has always been a positive force in the Matchbox collecting community, and I don't know anyone who knows him who does not think the world of him.
DT, as I call him, took a bit of a leave of absence, and he has been greatly missed.  So I, as the other half of the Lamley Group, am more than thrilled to have him return here at the place he belongs.

Although he won't post daily like I do, look for DT to contribute often with his vast knowledge of Matchbox, and also enjoy the shock as he documents some of his famous DLMs.  I know of one coming that might cause a heart attack or two.

Alright, I have blabbed on enough.  Like Matchbox Design Manager Dave Weise last week, DT returns with a profile on his favorite Matchbox models from yesterday and today.  


My Favorite Matchbox, by David Tilley

My favorite model of all time is the MB3-C 1978 Porsche Turbo.  I was 6, maybe 7 years old when it first appeared near me, but for some reason I never saw the original brown version, and so I first gazed upon the silver version.  I was stunned.  This was the perfect model for me, and quickly became my favorite model.  As I was still young, most of what I got was through presents, although I did save up pocket money for a few weeks at a time to buy odd models.  I was already becoming somewhat of a toy car person, and it was only a few years later I became Matchbox exclusive.  I had been a huge car fan growing up, as I used to draw pictures of car badges on my school books, and was slowly covering my walls with pictures I cut out of magazines of the models I loved.  Porsches probably accounted for about 75% of my wall pictures, and the 911s were most of those.  This vehicle was, is and probably always will be, my dream car.  So having a model of this vehicle was the best I could do (unless I win the lottery).
My collection of Porsche Turbos numbers around 60.  It is by far the biggest collection of one casting I own, and I am still to really dig into some of the different variations I could get.  The Porsche Turbo was the first for me in a lot of variation categories.  I really wanted a green one when it appeared, so this was the first model I actively pursued getting a different version of.  Many had been happy coincidences.  I also worked hard to find a brown one, as I had never seen it appear near me.  But then I discovered the fact that even within one model there were variations to get.

The first variation I specifically picked up alongside duplicates of others was the baby blue “Boss” model.  I saw it in a 3-pack at my local Co-op alongside 2 other models I already owned.  But I had to get this model, and so purchased the set for this one model.  Later on I also found the alternate interior version too.

That got me addicted to interior variations, and the green one I had was good for these.  You could find a lemon interior, dark yellow interior or red interior on this model.

But the shades were really taking a foothold with me, and I was actively looking for shades, particularly on Porsche Turbos.  A shade that took a long time to obtain was a pale orangey-red “90” model.  I had heard it was available in the early 1990s, but did not get the pale version for about 10 years.  It was a model that had been on my wants list for a long time.

I also spent, at the time, probably a little too much on trying to obtain the 2 Brazilian made Porsche Turbos.  These were the first Brazilians I obtained and opened the door to many Manaus models in my collection.

But one of the craziest parts of this particular collection is the preproduction models.  I am now into double digits on prepros of this casting alone.  The 5 in the picture above range from a first shot casting in pale blue, to a cancelled Matchmates model in black, an initial planned tampo print model in silver, an early shot tampo print model in red with unissued red interior and a cancelled twin pack model from the late 1980s/early 1990s (it was eventually issued in blue with glider trailer).  The first of these were the white/orange/pale blue models which were initial castings before production began.

They do not have a license plate detailing which was added when production began. 
But the model that still leads my list as my favorite single model of all time is the Japanese issue from the mid-late 1980s.

As I had already said, the Porsche 911 Turbo was the biggest addition to my walls at home growing up, and red was my favorite color, and I had many pictures of red 911 Turbos on my walls.  The red “90” Porsche Turbo had been my favorite, but then I discovered a little late that there had been a Japanese exclusive model in a realistic red with simple black trim on it.  I had to have it.  I got in touch with Paul Carr, who then got in touch with Everett Marshall in New Jersey.  He thought he had a spare somewhere and eventually found it (about a year later).  He sent it over to Paul in the UK for me.  This was before the internet and email had taken off, and I was on Paul’s mailing list.  He sent out his latest list to me and on the back was a hand-written note that Everett had sent him the Japanese Porsche.  That was it, I was straight out the door and heading on a 2-hour trip to Chipping Ongar.  Sadly, to my blunder, this was a Monday and Paul never opened his store on a Monday.  If I had read the top of the front page it had his opening hours on it.  So I headed back out Tuesday morning back down to Chipping Ongar again, and this time I left with my all-time favorite model.

I doubt I will ever have a model in my collection that means as much to me as this one.  It has been my prized possession since the mid 1990s. 
Now what about a modern favorite?  I am a huge Porsche lover, so many would think that a Porsche (most likely the 911 Turbo or 911GT3) would be top.  But no, I had a think about it, and there is something about the 1968 Ford Mustang GT CS that I just love.  Matchbox have done many Mustangs over the years, and I have always been a lover the the Mk 1 from the 1960s, and Matchbox first issued a model in the late 1960s.  Over the years, other Mustangs appeared, and as the 1990s drew to a close, classic Mustangs had started to filter back into the range alongside modern ones.  But for some reason, they never seemed to do a traditional hardtop version, which to me is the prettiest of the Mk 1 Mustangs.  In 2011, my prayers were finally answered when the GT CS was unveiled.

When I picked up my first example of this model I was over the moon.  It was gorgeous.  And straight off the bat, there was a variation to be found, as the only 2011 version could be found in either a blueish tinted silver or plain silver.  So a classic Mk 1 Mustang with a traditional hardtop finally is released, and the factory is on my side making variations for me.  I was sad to see that with most of the new castings of 2011 receiving 2 versions in their inaugural year, the Mustang was not one of them.  But I was not downbeat for long.  Jim Gallegos decided to make the Mustang the limited edition model for the 2011 Gathering.

And he had it available in 2 different versions, with either a plain blue roof or white tampo printed roof (depending on whether it is the dealer model or dinner model).

And then to make things even more intriguing, this model also could be found in variations of either a deep dark shiny blue, or a lighter shade.  I love it!

We have seen a blue 10-pack model late in 2011, and so far in 2012 we saw a green version appear.  Plus, this year we do get 2 versions of this model, so I am very eagerly awaiting the next one to appear.
So there you have it.  As a Porsche lover I am always going to be a huge fan of any Porsche being made, but occasionally a model comes along that could upset the applecart.  I will never have a model that means more to me than a 1978 Porsche Turbo, but I still have new additions that really give me cause for pure enjoyment.  This is why I collect Matchbox.


  1. Just for the record - the term DLM is totally flawed. It makes no sense - where do you store the models once opened - back in a box or container or some description - so how can your model be "liberated"?

    But good to have him back - looking forward to some sparring sessions on the MCF....

  2. Destroy Life's Memories....DLM

  3. Love the Mustang...if only the interior was not chrome. It just competes too much with the rest of the car.
    This practice has ruined so many of the recent classic cars both from Matchbox and Hotwheels.
    But, wanna know why I am really bitter? They put this horrid interior in the Alfa GT. I own a real '66 Alfa Giulia Sprint GT, and last I checked, the interior was not chrome.

  4. I never could find the brown variation as a kid either. This is my favorite Matchbox casting aswell.