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Discussion Starter #1
I found this baby in the corner of the the parking lot of the Lotus Engineering plant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is covered from view by heavy plants from one side, warehouses from two other, and there's a fence on the one side that I took these pictures through. I got some really cool pictures of it though.





I googled and googled and found nothing about the car. It doesn't look drivable because the windows are solid black and you can't see through them.

It actually looks quite similar to the Tesla Roadster, could it have been a hardtop prototype for it?
 

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Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220



 

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I knew it looked familiar, thanks. The front end of the place was closed today, but I think tomorrow I'm going to go there and ask them. Probably won't get anything, but it's worth a try. One thing that intrigues me though is that the tail lights and headlights are black, do you think that is in place of real headlights or were they black out to make it unusable?

I'll inspect it more closely tomorrow.
 

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I knew it looked familiar, thanks. The front end of the place was closed today, but I think tomorrow I'm going to go there and ask them. Probably won't get anything, but it's worth a try. One thing that intrigues me though is that the tail lights and headlights are black, do you think that is in place of real headlights or were they black out to make it unusable?

I'll inspect it more closely tomorrow.
I don't think it is a real car.

I think it is just a big fiberglass mockup. It does not look like the doors open.

Think of it as a 1:1 scale model.
 

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You're right. Looking more closely at the picture, you can see where the fuel cap is supposed to go, right behind the window.
 

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You seem to have had a good look at it, what do you think?

Also I doubt they are looking to part with it...
 

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Looks like the rear wheel well had the federal reflectors on at one time, but the Speedster doesn't have them.

I wonder if they used that at the basis for the US needed reflectors???
 

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There was talk at one point that GM was seriously considering having this imported to the US for either Pontiac or Saturn (this is well before the Solstice and Sky were even conceived of).

The plan was to give Saturn the 2 seat sports car to boost its image and Pontiac would label their version as a new Fiero. Ultimately, some marketing people concluded there was too much baggage in the Fiero name. Then Camaro and Firebird got pulled and there seemed to be a reinvigorated emphasis on SUV's and Cadillac. Long story short...it never worked out and the plan was dropped.

Enter Robert Lutz into GM as some kind of product czar and he comes up with the Solstice concept.

I am wondering if this car or model photographed is tied into that early Saturn/Pontiac study?
 

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That is interesting. I checked the front and unfortunately there was no badge. The only thing identifying that it was a lotus was that yellow mat looking thing on the top of the back.
 

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I used to work for various model shops for a bunch of car manufactuers, we used to build full scale models of the cars from clay, then later from wood, from fiberglass. The models were used to help design, prototyping, most importantly for building tooling or just for show. We would leave the lights windows and other non body parts as black. It wouldnt surprise me if the car is one of the above.

Everyone would be working on their 'bit' of the car (say a front fender, or a roof) building the wooden (later plastic) part full scale with a supporting frame. The best part of the development was when we would asemble all the blocks together and see the car in a completed from.


Alas mostly these days it goes CAD to 5 axis CNC machine with far less model work involved.
 
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