Matt’s Models – April 2009

This month we look at a few models from across the globe…and one that’s probably in your back yard!

First up is the Hot Wheels “Clover Cars” release of the Lotus Esprit. This particular model has been through several variations through the years, and this is yet another repaint. This time around, it’s for a Wal Mart exclusive St. Patrick’s Day theme. The car is painted in an “interesting” green and yellow paint scheme…along with four leaf clovers! It’s a bit more money than your normal Hot Wheels release (around $2), but a nice addition to your collection if you are a completionist.

Next is this rarity from Japan. It’s a 1:72 scale Lotus Eleven (they call it a Club) from 1955. These cars were “blind boxed” in another convenience store promotion, and was part of the 1000 Miglia series. This model comes with a nice perspex display case, along with a plastic cover. Also a bonus is the information card…sadly, it’s in Japanese! Well worth picking up on Ebay (where my model, and this image came from – much better than what I could get with my camera), as Lotus Eleven models are few and far between. As a side note, I picked up a Quartzo Lotus Eleven in 1/43 scale many years ago, and it’s now selling for three times the original price on Ebay…so, get it while you can!!

Here’s a little gem all the way from Malaysia! Shell gas stations of Malaysia had a special promotion to promote the latest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. These were only available from Shell gas stations in Malaysia…or in my case, Ebay. The model is 1:72 scale, and comes with a nice display case and fact card. At first glance, I thought this was a rehash of the Corgi model, but it turns out that it is from a diecast manufacturer called Tic Tac (nope, nothing to do with the mints). Might be worth your while to pick it up!

This is one that I would strongly recommend that you pick up…it’s the Lotus Europa S in glorious 1:18 scale from Auto Art! Not actually being able to see a Europa S in person (unless someone wants to front the cost of a plane ticket to the UK), my only impressions are from this model. I have collected several Auto Art models through the years, and I believe that this one is one of the most detailed Lotus models that I have seen. What struck me first was the new packaging for these cars. Every side of the box is open, so you can view (aka drool) over it at any angle. The paint (on this one it is a black with metallic flake) is spot orange peel of any kind. Every grate on the car is done with a mesh material… certainly first class! Both the hood and the trunk open, and have carpet like material in the engine bay.

Here’s another shot of the inside. Note the carpet and pedal arrangement detail! Also the seatbelts (with photo etched buckles) are a nice touch…along with the Europa S kickplates!! The model is currently available in Grey, Black, and White. Jim at diecasm has these in stock, but probably not for long. Auto Art models from Lotus tend to sell out rather quick. Next month we will look at a few other Loti offerings from the same company. Happy Hunting!

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