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