• Introduction of Japanese die cast miniature car toy, Tomica

Lotus Europa is a two-seater sports car of MR-drive system which was manufactured and sold from 1966 to 1975.

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL

 

The above picture is Lotus Europa of die cast miniature car toy “Dream Tomica”, which was released by TOMY COMPANY,LTD on September 16, 2017 in Japan.

 

In Japan, “The wolf of circuit” serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump” in the late 1970s became popular and created the super car boom.

The car of Fubuki Yuya, the main character is Lotus Europa Special, and many other real sports cars such as Porsche 911 Carrera RS and Dino 246 GT have appeared in “The wolf of circuit”.

This die cast miniature car reproduces the Europa Special owned by Fubuki Yuya.

 

 

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL FRONT VIEW

The headlight of this miniature car toy is painted in silver.

Although clear resin is not used, it is finished in three dimensions by painting and the shape of die-casting.

 

Fubuki Yuya carved a star mark on the red stripe part on the hood every time he won by the public road battle.

Finally, 29 stars had been carved in his car and this die cast miniature car toy reproduces the number of stars precisely by printing.

The Lotus emblem on the hood is also expressed by printing.

Although not so precise, it is finished to the level that can be recognized as Lotus’ emblem by color and shape.

 

In Lotus Europa, the upper end part of the bumper was plated.

This miniature car expresses the plated part with silver paint.

However, since there is not much gloss, the finish level is not so high.

On the other hand, the air intake part in the center of the bumper is reproduced in mesh shape and painted in black precisely.

 

 

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL SIDE VIEW

The suggested retail price of Dream Tomica is from 600 yen, and the price is slightly higher than the ordinary Tomica of 450 yen.

For that reason, dedicated type wheels are sometimes used.

This die cast miniature car toy is equipped with the dedicated wheel of the 8 wheel spoke.

However, it is a little disappointing that all the tires have entered inside a little more than the body.

 

Behind the side glasse of Lotus Europa, there is the emblem that commemorated the aquisition of the world champion and car constructors at Formula 1.

Although each letter can not be recognized, this miniature car toy reproduces the special emblem well by printing.

Clear resin is used for the side glass, and the frontal triangular window part is reproduced by the press shape.

 

 

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL REAR VIEW

Another molded article made of PVC is used for the rear wing of this die cast miniature car toy.

Like the specification of “The wolf of circuit”, it is painted in silver, but it is slightly cheap-looking compared with the body made of zinc alloy.

 

The left and right air outlet parts of the engine hood are reproduced by the shape of die-casting and are painted exactly in black.

The protruding parts such as oil filler opening are also reproduced properly.

In addition, the LOTUS emblem behind the rear hatch is reproduced by printing.

It is a high precision finish, but it is small and silver letter, so it can only be recognized from the certain angle.

 

 

Unlike ordinary Tomica, the scale size is not written in the package of Dream Tomica.

The actual total length of Lotus Europa Special is 3980 mm, and the length of this miniature car toy is about 66 mm, so the scale size seems to be about 1/60.

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL SCALE

 

 

The white car on the right is Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 made in 1973.

LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL and Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

 

It is a car owned by Hayase Sakon who appears as a rival of Fubuki Yuya at “The wolf of circuit”.

 

 

Since Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is Tomica Premium, details are made more precisely than Lotus Europa Special of Dream Tomica.

Comparing the two miniature cars, you can see well that Lotus Europa Special adopts the body with a low overall height as if it crawls the ground.

 

 

 

【About actual LOTUS EUROPA】

 

Lotus Europa is a 2-seater sports car that Lotus, the British sports car maker, had been manufacturing until 1975.

Until then, Lotus’ sports cars such as “Seven”, “Elite” and “Elan” had adopted FR drive system, but Europa adopted MR drive system.

 

The first Lotus Europa, called “Series 1”, appeared in 1966.

The body of low overall height was very impressive and FRP material was used for the purpose of lightweight.

The frame was the reverse Y-shape backbone, and the rear suspension exclusive for Europa that combined radius arm and lower transverse link was adopted.

 

Lotus Europa was developed with the aim of being a sports car that even ordinary people could purchase.

Therefore, the seats and the side windows were fixed type, and sound insulation materials were also omitted.

In the powertrain, the 1.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder OHV engine and the 4-speed MT that had been installed in “Renault 16” were diverted.

The maximum output was only 82 horsepower.

However, with a body of light weight of 610 kg and excellent aerodynamic performance, the maximum speed reached 185 km / h.

In addition, Lotus Europa of Series 1 had been mainly exported to France.

Therefore, despite the British car, only the left-hand drive car had been produced.

 

Lotus Europa shifted to “Series 2” in 1968.

In addition to setting the righ-hand drive car, the high-holding bucket seat with adjust function and the power window were installed.

 

In 1971, Lotus Europa Twin Cam equipped with a twin cam engine appeared.

The engine that combined Ford Kent’s 1.6-liter in-line 4-cylinder OHV with Lotus’ DOHC head generated 105 ps / 5,500 rpm, 14.9 kg / 4,000 rpm.

 

In 1972, Lotus Europa Special, which aimed at further power up, appeared by increasing the compression ratio and enlarging the air intake valve etc.

The vehicle weight increased to 730 kg, but the max speed recorded the 210 km / h that was the fastest in the successive models.

 

Production of Europa ceased in 1975 when Lotus announced “Esprit” and changed their product direction from lightweight sports to super sports.

Later, about 30 years passed, Lotus Europa S was released in 2006.

Europa S was equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo engine generating 200 horsepower, and Lotus called it “Business class GT”.

 

 

■ Specifications of LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL

[Overall length] 3,980 mm

[Overall width] 1,650 mm

[Overall height] 1,090 mm

[Vehicle weight] 730 kg

[Driving method] MR

[Engine] 1.6-liter in-line 4-cylinder DOHC

[Maximum output] 126 ps / 6500 rpm

[Maximum torque] 15.6 kg / 5500 rpm

[Transmission] 5-speed MT