This is Part 9 of our series on rare Matchbox models from the last few years. If you missed previous installments, they are here.
(As always, Matchbox Monday is sponsored by our good friends at MVE Collectibles. Be sure to check out their store for both the latest Matchbox, and those models you need to fill in your collection...)
Today we will look at a model that is in some ways very common, in others quite rare. You know I am a DLMer, meaning I open just about every model I acquire. There are some exceptions: rare variations, autographed cards, etc. But there is only one Matchbox model I have not opened.
And there is a good reason. If I did open it, the actual model inside the packaging would be just like its regular issue version. It is the packaging that makes it rare.
The model I am referring to is the first issue of the Lotus Evora in 2008. There have been times in the past that Mattel has worked with a carmaker to help promote a new car. Chrysler had Hot Wheels create a mini version of their new Viper to help promote its release, and if I remember correctly Ford did the same thing with the 2010 Mustang.
The same goes with Lotus in 2008. As they developed their first 2x2 sports car, they sent Matchbox all the specs and asked them to put together a mini version that they could use as a promotional tool. It was determined that the Evora would be unveiled at the 2008 London Motorshow, and Matchbox created a special promo model for the occasion.
The model itself is no different from the regular issue. Metalflake silver with 10sp. But there were two different versions given out at the event in different packaging. The most common was handed out as part of a press kit on the Evora. It was in a blister very similar to the basic blister, only without the barcode. The second is the one we are showing here. It came in a special plexiglass case with a simple black background, and was only given to attendees of a special Lotus dealer event.
The back of the case mentions that there were no more than 550 made. The number might be much smaller. I have not been able to confirm if that number includes the blisterpacks, but nonetheless finding the plexiglass version is quite difficult to do.
I acquired this version several years ago from Matchbox historian and supercollector Paul Carr, who was able to get his hands on a couple. I am glad I did, because I have not seen it since.
So yes, this one stays packaged, and it is lovingly displayed on my desk...
Matchbox Lotus Evora (2008 London Motorshow Exclusive):
With the regular 2008 issue:
And with my favorite version of the Evora, released last year: