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2007 Volvo C30
Manufacturer: Matchbox
Release dates: 2006 - 2009
Catalog number: K7454
Date Purchased: November 2007
Date Completed: June 2009
Number in collection: 16

The Volvo C30 is a small, 4-seat hatchback introduced in Europe in 2006, and in the USA two year after that. It's offered with several different powertrain and trim levels that aren't available here. We get one of the most powerful engines with a high level of trim. Unfortunately, this drives the price of the car to a higher level. Two door hatchbacks are not very popular in the US, and a premium price doesn't help. As a result, the C30 hasn't been all that successful. I've seen it in person at auto shows, and while it seems like it would be enjoyable to drive, even I thought it was kind of pricey.

Matchbox first issued their replica of the C30 before the actual car went on sale in the US. I believe this one was issued a year after that. It caught my eye because it was a nice looking car, even though I had no idea what it was until after I did some research. The early years of the actual car featured bumpers, wheel arch trim, and lower body mouldings a different color, usually dark gray, than the rest of the body. Matchbox chose to model this on the piece that includes the interior. This is a nice touch that allows the body to be painted a different color, as on the actual car.

I originally worked on this car long before I started photographing them. The 'before' pictures are not of my car, but ones I found on-line of cars that are in original condition, some in different colors. The 'after' pictures were of my car, but taken while I was originally writing this page.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.

Pictures of car before any changes were made (click to enlarge)
Disassembly was done by drilling out a single body-to-chassis rivet at the front of the car, then slipping the tab from the rear of the body through a hole in the base plate. The parts breakdown is as follows:
  • A black plastic chassis with decent engraving of engine, exhaust system, and suspension.
  • front and rear tire/wheel/axle assemblies. These fit loosely between the chassis and interior pieces. The wheels are a generic, chrome-plated, six-spoke design frequently used by Matchbox.
  • A gray plastic piece that contains all interior details, bumpers, and wheel arch trim.
  • The die-cast body, metallic gray with tampo-printed markings.
  • A single piece smoke-tinted clear window assembly.
  • A black plastic one piece interior with seat, shifter, and dashboard details molded to it.

The overall level of detail of this car is very good, so I limited my changes to details added or enhanced with paint and foil.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear.
  • Chassis: Painted entire piece Testors acrylic flat black. Engine, transmission, frame, suspension and exhaust system details were painted with Tamiya metallic gray, aluminum, and semi-gloss black.
  • Interior: Bumpers and wheel arch mouldings are a mixture of Tamiya metallic gray and black. Entire interior portion is a mix of Testors acrylic flat black and flat white to make dark gray. seat inserts are the same colors mixed to get a light gray. Remaining interior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, also using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
  • Windows: Panted center pillar, front and rear window frames and wipers Testors acrylic flat black.
  • Body: Covered tail lights and front grille with Bare-Metal foil. Painted tail lights and rear turn signals with Tamiya transparent red and orange. Painted back-up lights and signal repeaters on door mirrors with Testors flat white. Painted front grille center and window frames with Testors acrylic flat black. Drew in body panel seams with a metal tipped 'quill' pen and black ink. Remaining exterior details were painted with appropriate colors, also using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
Disassembled parts, before reassembly To the left is the car prior to re-assembly.

Assembly was completed by pressing the parts together, filling the old rivet hole with epoxy putty, and touching up the filled hole with paint to match the chassis plate.

Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)

The proportions of the completed car look very close to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 4252 / 167.4 71 / 2.78 4331 / 169.7 1:60
Wheelbase 2639 / 103.9 44 / 1.73 2684 / 105.5 1:60
Width 1783 / 70.2 30 / 1.18 1830 / 71.9 1:60
Height 1448 / 57.0 25 / .97 1525 / 59.4 1:59

Matchbox cars are generally assumed to be 1:64, unless otherwise specified on the base plate. This one has 1:61 moulded into it, but my calculations are closer to 1:60. This is probably so small as to not even be noticeable. At least all major dimensions are off by a similar amount.

This is one of the nicest Matchbox cars I currently have in my collection. If only they put this effort into other cars in their line. It's been a long time since I've seen their Volvo C30 in any store. My research said that most of its recent releases have been in multiple car sets. Probably not the featured car, but as one that was kind of 'thrown-in' with the more popular cars. It seems that replica has a lack on interest similar to the actual car, at least in the US. This is too bad, as I think it is a nice addition to any collection. even if the choice is made not to add any details or enhancements.

Liked what you saw? More cars can be found HERE .

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