Volume VII, Number7

Matchbox and the Red Corvette
by Doug Breithaupt

Red may be the favorite color of a well-known Italian sports car but it is also a favorite color for Corvettes made by Matchbox. All shades of red from fire engine to black cherry metallic can be found on the eleven different Corvette models produced by Matchbox over the years. Matchbox has been offering Corvette models for the past 30 years and their model of the new Corvette C6 of 2004 is the first in my collection. In what may be the twilight years for Matchbox, it is nice to see the continuation of the tradition of offering Corvette models.

Here are the eleven Corvette models in a variety of regular and premier line variations. My only criteria for selection was that the model be in a shade of red to match the new 2004 model.

1957 Corvette (C1)
A recent addition to the Matchbox line, this red and white version was a nice tampo-free example.

The 1962 Corvette (C1)
The last C1 Corvette has been done in almost every color. This candy-apple red Premier model is one of my favorite.

1962/63 Corvette Grand Sport
Only a handful of the real GS racers were ever produced. This is as close as Matchbox has come to doing a C2 (1963-97) Corvette.

1974 Corvette Coupe (C3)
Lesney offered this coupe model in the mid-70's. It appeared in both street and racing colors. This was the first Corvette done by Matchbox.

1975 Corvette T-Top (C3)
It proved an easy task to make the coupe into a t-top model. Incorrect and distracting wing-windows were added to support the windshield.

1984 Corvette targa (C4)
Matchbox was quick to offer the new Corvette C4, This model was short-lived.

1986 Corvette Convertible (C4)
The earlier C4 targa became a full convertible as Corvette offered this model again for the first time in over 10 years.

Corvette Stingray III concept
Many expected the new Corvette planned for 1997 to look much like the Stingray III. GM was more conservative.

1997 Corvette (C5)
Once again, Matchbox was quick to do the new C5 Corvette. The new style was a clear continuation of the earlier designs.

2000 Corvette Convertible (C5)
An all new casting of the C5 convertible was offered by Matchbox. Some think it looks more like a Hot Wheels model.

2004 Corvette (C6)
The new C6 Corvette also carries clear family lines. With this model, Matchbox continues a Corvette theme that started with the 1974 Corvette Coupe, 30 years ago. The quality of this new casting is quite good compared to other current Matchbox models. It has a 'Matchbox' feel and scale to it.

Will Matchbox survive to offer the Corvette C7? Unless Mattel decides to change their product and marketing strategy, it seems unlikely.