Differences Among NASCAR Lumina Models
Matchbox released 3 Chevrolet Lumina models. In 1990 NASCAR was suddenly popular with the success of the movie "Days of Thunder" and the diecast company Racing Champions got its start making models from the movie. Matchbox wanted to get into the game as well and initially used some of the Racing Champion models, released under the Matchbox name. These are not Matchbox models though (they say Racing Champions on the base) and are not listed in the database, though there is a note regarding them in the SF0362 model record.
The model is distinctive- actually a poor quality mold- and needs no detail listing to tell it apart:
MB224 / SF0360
The first Matchbox-made model to be called a Lumina was a modified version of the Buick LeSabre, used in lieu of the later MB221, which was not ready in time for release.
Differentiating points from later Luminas:
- On the front end, the grill space is very flat. Other models have a curved or triangular shape.
- Also on the front, Lumina is inscribed, as it is with MB221 (SF0360), but the groove directly above it is interrupted with 2 thin rectangular pockets.
- The side of the car is sculpted with a sleeker look than the later Luminas
- The side windows are shaped differently. The front window is narrower and the back is longer (left to right) than other models.
- The base is similar to MAN221, with 4 engine pipes and the Matchbox logo printed normally (not compressed as in MB267)
MB221 / SF0362
The First real Matchbox model was MB221 (SF0362). The first releases, in 1990, replaced MB224 as "DOT" cars, but later that year they also incorporated the Lumina stock car into the 1-75 series. This mold was adopted in 1991 for White Rose Collectibles NASCAR Chevy releases, and used by them through 1993. A white blank of the model was made and has been very popular for Code 2 models, even up to today. This model, and the one released in 1994, are similar and the hardest to tell apart.
- Lumina is inscribed in the front flange. As well, there are 2 rectangular indentations to either side, and one higher up, to the right of the grill
- This model has 3 distinct grooves in the front end, one large on bottom, and two thinner above
- The bottom of the rear spoiler has a triangular shape
- Base details are very different from MB267 (i.e. 4 pipes coming out of the engine base). Particularly- note that the Matchbox logo is a normal shape and is located mid-right of the base. This isn't the case, below with the later model. Note- this base is very similar to MB224 (SF0362)
- No Lumina inscribed in the front flange. The bottom flange is completely flat, with no rectangular indentations
- There is only one groove in the front
- The bottom of the rear spoiler has a more rounded contour
- Base details differ considerable. The Matchbox logo has a squashed (left to right) look, and is located in the upper left part of the base
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