Matchbox Mania: Meet My Fiat-Abarth 131

You all might have heard I’ve gotten a job working at a place full of car geeks. Not just car nuts, but geeks, in the most base sense of the word. Basically, it’s fantastic, although I’m busier than a Ritalin-abusing beaver. Anyways, a lot of these car geeks have decorated their workspaces with matchbox cars, and in the grand spirit of fitting in, I’ve dug about in the deepest recesses of my closet and liberated a few specimens of my suddenly quite ancient-seeming childhood. I figured as I get time, I’ll share them with you one by one. Not too much to say about this one other than OMG IT’S A FIAT-ABARTH 131 DECKED OUT IN FULL WRC LIVERY! I had such good taste as a child. Also, it has some sort of rudamentary suspension for semi-realistic minature sofa cusion rallying. I can’t believe I had this one. Anyways, I’ll share more as I get time, and feel free to use this opportunity to post up highlights of your own matchbox collection in the comments.


  1. Looks well abused and loved.
    My cars (Hot Wheels; Matchbox's are for toddlers), are all some 800 miles away in my dad's shop with all the other cool toys.

    1. Actually now the Matchbox car are the ones that are almost always based on a real car model. Hot Wheels are about half real cars and half wacko oddball stuff. They are now both owned by the same company too.

  2. Real Fiat 131s looked just as bad after a year or two, and they didn't need to be rallyed to get that way.

    1. My old man bought one new, kept it for a year. Among the many disappointments was the fact that the red paint would literally rub off on the towel when drying it after a wash – no polish or abrasives, just the friction of terrycloth.

  3. I have that exact same one sitting in a box somewhere at my folks house. I'll need to dig it and my Porsche 935 out of storage and make vroom vroom noises in the family car. I am sure my wife won't mind. 🙂

  4. Gotta agree on that one. Hot Wheels just don't have the accuracy and feel to them. Matchbox has REAL cars, Hot Wheels is like a miniaturized version of George Barris' shop. Look okay at first, but then feel really crappy after just a few minutes of looking at them.

    1. You had me until that last one. Only the Barbie Dream Car made that satisfying crunching noise as it hit the landing at the bottom of the stairs.

  5. Majorette > Matchbox at least back when I was a kid. So many of them had plastic lights, suspension, opening doors/hoods, and just felt heavy, I loved them.

  6. Looks like it's fresh from the Dakkar. Most of mine still have most of their paint. But not for lack of trying.

  7. I have a Matchbox 959 I bought in Belfast when I was ten. It's got treaded rubber tires and everything, very highly detailed but the usual 1/64th scale. The other day I noticed that the licence plate number is my birthday. /Twilightzone
    Also, Majorette limos did the best jumps.

  8. I think ALL the FIAT Matchbox rallycars came from the factory all chipped and dented. I have a 131 on my desk with red/green stripes on white with the Alitalia livery. I can't figure out the pic-posting, so you'll have to trust me.

    1. Can anyone help us technically challenged folk with details about how to attach a photo to a reply, it would be nice to see a few of these Matchbox and Hot Wheels treasures.

  9. Fingers crossed that this works… Some cars that this crowd would appreciate.
    The Abarth, a few quattros, Porsches, a MINT Poison Pinto, a Fox Mustang, Lotus and the SpiderMan minivan with a little pic inside… and the SUPERKING QUATTRO. And when was the last time you saw an old non-aero Audi 5000??
    <img src=""&gt;

        1. Nice spot. I got it in North Carolina in '89 while I was driving an '83 5000s in college.
          I got a few more Sikus when I visited Germany in 2000.

          1. I picked up quite a few of them when I lived in Dresden. The weekly flea market was a great place to pick up a lot of obscure models, much like the Audi you posted. I also have the wagon variant.

    1. Oh man, you have a couple ur-quattro variants I don't! And I would punch a baby for the superking!

      1. I have a white rally car SuperKing in a closet some where in the box. I remember buying them thinking I was the only jackass in the US who'd appreciate them. Circa 1989.
        The fat-tires quattro is Majorette, #88 is a McToy quattro, the Pirelli is a generic China-built car and the Duckhams-Pirelli is area Matchbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here