Racing Then and Now by Matchbox
by Doug Breithaupt

In 1992, Matchbox offered an interesting theme in their 'Show Stoppers' packages. Each package came wit two cars and a plastic base identifying the featured manufacturer. The bases could be connected to form what matchbox called, "your own auto showroom." These 'Show Stopper' bases have continued to provide a delightful backdrop for different themes. The original packages contained two newer models from each car-maker. For example, the Ferrari package had an F40 and Testarossa and the Porsche set had a 911 and a 959.

I was recently looking at Porsche racing cars and realised that the 910 #68 and the new 911GT1 made a nice contrast of old and new GT racers. After a little thought, I realised that Ferrari also had old and new GT racres in the 1977 308GTB in correct Pioneer racing colors and the new F50. Jaguar offers an earlier sport/GT car in the XK120 of 1948, contrasted by the XJ220 of 1990. All of these cars ran at LeMans and other sports car events with great success. It is nice to see examples of these classic racers compared to their modern siblings.

Few other diecast manufcturers could offer a contrast of GT racing cars like this. Perhaps this is part of the reason why Matchbox cars continue to be favorites of so many collectors. Here's hoping that Mattel allows Matchbox to build on this great heritage.

As a foot-note on the Show Stoppers concept, I understand that Mercedes-Benz and BMW Show Stoppers were offered outside the USA. I have an extra Ferrari and Jaguar set, mint-in-package and would love to trade for the MB and BMW sets. The remaining sets are Lamborghini, Ford and Chevrolet.

1977 308GTB and 1997 F50 by Ferrari - 1948 XK120 Roadster and 1990 XJ220 by Jaguar - 1970 910 and 1998 911 GT1 by Porsche