Going back a few pages however in answer to some questions The Copper Deezer car 10930 real reg OPW654W (Not OPW678W as it appears in display) all info backed up by photographic evidence shows this car as the spare car on set in Cortina and as not really used in filming this became the main press car after filming probably partly because it was a proper production Turbo. Essex dev 10858 NCL458V is the actual car used on screen but was only fitted with a N/A engine for reliability on set.in snow.
Strangely Essex Dev 10858 NCL (Complete with its official plaque) was the car Lotus sold off first to an employee in the mid 80s while Lotus retained the Deezer car in their collection until the Lotus collection selling of the heritage auction in the late 90s at this point Peter Nelson bought the now Deezer car for his collection at Cars Of The Stars.He by this point was already the owner of NCL 10858 and had been for nearly a decade he bought it from a private owner in Leeds in the late 80s.
Please visit other posts regarding Roger Becker and Don Mac's comments about Lotus only ever recognising 1 car for each film as being the actual car used.
See my previous post below and please bare in mind I have been researching this since the early 90s when I owned MPW71V.
Here is the information I have uncovered which was too late to be included in the book. The info is a little different to Brian’s info but makes complete sense and also ties into Jeremy Walton’s info written around the time of Filming and includes the info Lotus employee’s told me first hand in the late 80s early 90s.
NCL458V Dev 1 Essex 10858 On Location Corfu
OPW654W Ex White Press Car 10930 On Location Corfu
Copper Fire Cars:-
NCL458V Dev 1 Essex 10858 On location Cortina
OPW654W Ex White Press Car repainted Copper Fire 10930 On location Cortina
MPW71V Dev 3 Essex 10960 Q’s Lab Pinewood Studio
Film Promo Car Only
OPW664W Ex White press Demo Car 10929 Film Launch Promo Tool
I also suspect this car only has a normally aspirated engine fitted and is the car known to be sold a few years after the film launch by an official Lotus dealer proclaiming its Bond film connection.
OPW654W 10930 is on the DVLA data base as Bronze coloured and photographed in Norwich in the 80s on the road using its correct actual road legal registration (as seen earlier on this thread in Copper Fire bronze SEE BELOW). This car can be clearly identified after the filming as the Copper Fire car that had the “For Your Eyes Only” decals applied to it. NCL458V 10858 never had these decals.
OPW654W 10930 is well known as a Lotus press demo car first then later used as the white car in the early part of the Bond film. Hence all this information ties in with Jeremy Walton’s book info of this period stating the 2 cars used being white then returned to the factory to be re-trimmed and re-painted Copper Fire for the second part of the film.
The White Car OPW664W 10929 Promo Tool
As both cars used in the on location filming ended their Bond careers painted Copper Fire there was no White car for post filming press engagements so enter OPW664W 10929. See the below early1980 period photograph with OPW654W 10930 covered in post filming decals and wearing false OPW678W plates this photo is also from earlier on this thread.
The DVLA data base has this car OPW664W 10929 last taxed April 1996 which ties into the time Peter Nelson “Cars of The Stars Keswick” purchased the car for his museum collection. He discovered the cars Bond film promotional use hence making it a minor display item connecting it to the Bond film and also why it is on display at the Dezer collection.
Peter Nelson (Cars of the Stars Keswick) only had NCL458V in his collection at the time we met and we compared our cars MPW71V 10860 and NCL458V 10858 back in the early 90s. He acquired OPW654W 10930 from the Lotus sell off in the late 90s. I am unaware of from where he bought OPW664W 10929.
NOTE Reg No. OPW678W was never a registration number registered to an actual car used in connection with the film.
MPW71V Dev 3 Essex
I have documentary proof from Lotus MPW71V was the first Esprit ever to be trimmed in Copper Fire / biscuit hide and to have Lotus embossed in the rear bumper. This was carried out to screen test the colour scheme to make the Esprit stand out against the snow in the second part of the film and maximise brand exposure. In my correspondence with Patrick Peal in the late 80s early 90s he stated the car was hauled out of the car park and repainted and then re-trimmed by Connelly during the summer shut down for screen testing for the Bond film.
The Bond cars have minimal screen time in the film which can be broken down to 3 distinct specifications.
1) Start of the film on location in Corfu white cars used with tobacco leather
2) First appearance of the Copper Fire paint scheme in “Qs” Lab note:- No ski racks fitted no “Styled by G” badges.
3) Copper Fire car with ski racks also has “Styled by G” badges on location in Cortina.
I believe MPW71V 10860 was the car in “Qs lab”. As it was the first car produced in this specification and would have been screen tested at Pinewood studios. After it passed the screen test it makes sense that this car would be used for the scene at Pinewood showing the car without ski racks and no styled by G badges. When I bought MPW71V 10860 fresh from Lotus it had no signs of any Ski racks ever being fitted and no sign of “styled by G” badges having been fitted.
I surmise MPW71V 10860 would have been used at Pinewood Studios while the two white cars were back at Lotus being re-trimmed to match MPW71V 10860 and having the ski racks produced and fitted. It also would explain why the car in the lab scene is only glimpsed fleetingly to help continuity just in case the 2 other cars being re trimmed and re painted differed slightly in detail from MPW71V 10860.
I believe I also can finally confirm OPW654W 10930 was also only the stand by car on set in Cortina as 10930 OPW654W has never been photographed with styled by G badges fitted when in Copper Fire trim. The car used for the moving shots of the Copper Fire Esprit doing the work in the film, clearly has the “Styled by G” badges fitted as per NCL458V 10958. This also explains OPW654W 10930’s far superior condition compared to 10858 NCL458V (when I inspected it) and hence after filming OPW654W 10930 was used as the Copper Fire press car and covered in Bond stickers. It is also interesting that I can only find confirmation that 10858 NCL458V has a plaque fitted by Lotus proclaiming its Bond use I cannot find any confirmation that OPW654W 10930 has such a plaque. This also leads me to suspect that even in white trim OPW654W 10930 was probably the stand by car to NCL458V 10858.
MPW71V 10860’s Use for filming in Q’s lab would also explain why Lotus went to the extra cost of re trimming both of the white cars to Copper Fire as the only other Copper Fire Esprit in existence 10960 MPW71V was already busy at Pinewood studios being used by the film company.
I am still trying to find filming dates and some further confirmation of parts of the information detailed above.
Perhaps Bibs can get confirmation of the chassis numbers to specs and registration numbers from the Lotus archives to back up my research as DVLA don’t want to help with any information unless you are a parking company chasing someone for money.