Monday, 19 October 2015

Lotus Elan S2

Not all Lotus Elans are the same. The model number may be 318 for all of the open top versions but you'll see that this green one with a yellow stripe has the detachable chassis that you may have been more familiar finding on 319, the hard top Coupé.

Although some may have found their way into individual model boxes, this was really intended to be issued only as part of Gift Set 37, the Lotus Racing set. The set included the open and hard top cars with interchangeable chasses and a white VW Rescue Truck with a red trailer and a third chassis, as well as the Lotus Climax racing car and some bollards.

I could never quite figure out what the attraction of the removable chassis was as they were identical so changing them over seemed a bit pointless!

In white, the Lotus lost its driver and sticker on the boot to become Emma Peel's car from the first TV series of The Avengers.

Occasionally you might find white ones with the I've Got A Tiger In My Tank sticker and a driver but most would be a silver-blue colour.

Racing Number decals were supplied - usually 2, 3 5 or 6 in white on black circles. I always thought the car looked so much better without them but they're only paper so can be easily removed or reapplied as you please.

For my alternative sets for The Avengers, I created a slightly darker shade of silver-blue to match better the car that Mrs Peel used in the colour TV series - the second series on.

A colour trial of a pea green version was produced but you'll not see this for sale anywhere!

Most 319s that came in boxes had larger, cast wheels and never really sat as they should, appearing too high off the ground. The Racing Set version, however, always in yellow with a green stripe had the smaller wheels and looked much better.

Remarkably, the interiors are the same across the range. So you have folding seats in the hard top even though you can barely get at them! There are three colours - cream for all the 319s, red for the Racing Set 318 and black for the white and silver-blue cars.

There is just one other variation I have encountered - small cast wheels on a white 318 that I think came from a late Avengers set. I have not seen either red or blue 319s with normal wheels. I suppose someone could switch the chassis over but I don't think they were sold in that format. I must try one day, just to see what the alternative versions look like.

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