A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Scale Cars

Sunday, 23 November 2014 | 1 Comment

Matchbox cars, specifically that brand, have a scale written underneath.

I've always wanted to do something with that.

[click to enlarge]

Here are some questions I might ask, before any calculations are done:

  • Which is longer in real life, the Honda or the Volkswagen?
  • Without calculating, estimate the real length of the fire truck.


  • Find the real length of all.
  Honda Insight 2010 Volkswagen Bus Lexus GS430 Fire truck
Scale 1:62 1:59 1:64 1:123
Model length (mm) 69 72 75 74
Calculated length (mm) 4 278 4 248 4 800 9 102
Real-life length 4 390 4 505 4 826  


[click to enlarge]

What about this Matchbox plane? It has no scale. I measure the model's length as 106 mm. The model is a Cessna Citation X with a length of 22.05 m.

Therefore, the scale should be 1:208.

Any other good questions? What else should I do?

Matchbox Cars ppt, 2.4 MB
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (?).

Posted in • Lesson IdeaScaleMediaPhoto | Short URL:



Simon Job on  23 November 14  at  11:42 AM #
One idea would be to create scale diagrams (e.g. simple rectangular representation) of the models using the same scale, e.g. 1:64 ([url=""]standard Matchbox scale[/url]). Another, would be to take a chosen real car and scale to 1:64, defining the dimensions of the model.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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