Saturday, September 18, 2010

$1.19 Car of the Week #8-Lotus Europa TCS

Imagine my surprise, once again, to find a rare British car rendered by Matchbox, the late '60s/early '70s Lotus Europa Twin-cam Special (TCS). This tiny mid-engined production car was one of the first cars to use that layout, coming out at a similar time as the MUCH more expensive Lamborghini Muira, 1966. The original S1 version had taller rear sail panels, more beautiful, and probably more aerodynamic, but they didn't help rear vision at all. For the last update, the Twincam series, Lotus cut them down a few inches, ruining the design purity, in my opinion, but better for, you know, driving. 

For the Wikipedia on this Europa, click here.

UPDATE—I first identified this little Matchbox as a Europa S2, thinking that was when they cut the rear sail panels down, but one of my fabulous, and erudite, readers corrected me, so I've updated the post above. Thank you dear Reader! I was going to do the fancy 'strikethrough' for S2 in the headline, and add TCS to the end, but I can't access that font form in headlines. Being a "type man" I get so frustrated with the rudimentary typesetting available on blogs! : )


  1. I was wondering if Matchbox has the Lotus Esprite from the late 70's-80's used in the Bond films, that way my dream car back in the day!

    Great post, Casey!

  2. Thanks, Woody. I haven't seen that white Esprit in tiny Matchbox size, but I've seen it larger, maybe 1:43 or 1:24. That was very cool when they drove off the pier and the car turned into a mini-sub. You know I love Bond films more than any other movie series! I wish the current makers would inject a bit of the tongue-in-cheek back into the movies, instead of just another bang 'em up crash 'em up fight movies they've become. I guess Daniel Craig may have thought himself too serious an actor to do Bond the REAL way.

  3. Casey, how did the little Matchbox car turn out that you repainted?

  4. This is actually a Europa Twin-cam or Europa TCS (Twin Cam SpecialS with some trim along the bottom between the wheels. You can tell by the cut down fenders in the back. The S2 still had the full height fenders.

  5. Thanks for the correction! I thought the Europa with the cut down fenders was the S2. I'll note it in the post. I hate to have the 'historical record' incorrect!

  6. Roger Moore was a class act as and all his films were terrific with great direction, storyline and theme songs.
    And all of this was done without CGi or fist fights. The currents ones have to rely on this because films like Mission Impossible or Borne Identity have tired to out match Bond.

    I think Hugh Jackman would make an excellent Bond, but he's an Aussie : (

  7. Woody, it's time they mix the formula up a little bit anyway. Hugh Jackman would be a great Bond.
    Who would have ever thought Judi Dench would master the "M" role she plays. I loved Roger Moore as Bond because he kept it lighthearted with some humor mixed in - they need to return to that style again.