It's strange how a collection can lead you astray. What appear to be rich seams of possibility sometimes turn out to be damp squibs. This is one such interesting misadventure. I spotted this Lunar Rover earlier in the Spring on Ebay. What caught my eye was the tantalising description "Radar Car Space Vehicle T.218 Hong Kong. The model is 4.1/2" long, and 2" wide. The base is metal, with plastic seats and figures". Well, the mere mention of "T" has my T-buds tingling so the little rover was purchased and it roved the long journey from California to Pontefract. Full of anticipation I unwrapped the little buggy and checked the makers' mark underneath hoping for a lost T in a Circle picasso! Sadly it was not to be. A beautiful little toy and T.218 is an interesting mark but not T in a Circle. However the toy's name was embossed on the undercarraige, 'Radar Car' as pictured below. So where was the radar?
As luck would have it the fully radar'd version appeared on Ebay in Eureka a short while later as you can see below. The two astronauts look pretty bewildered by the sheer size of it! I reckon the silvering has come off the front leaving that odd mottled green plastic visible [is it a plastic mix?]. The description appeared as follows:
"THIS IS A VINTAGE RADAR CAR MARKED T.218 MADE IN HONG KONG ON THE BOTTOM. THE CHASSIS IS WHITE DIE CAST METAL AND THE RADAR SUPPORT IS METAL, THE REST IS PLASTIC WITH A WONDERFUL SWIRLY GREEN/ YELLOW RADAR. THIS VEHICLE IS IN GREAT CONDITION FOR ITS' AGE. COMPLETE WITH CAMERAS, RADAR, RADAR ADJUSTMENT LEVER, AND CONTROL STICK FOR DRIVER. I BELIEVE THIS IS COMPLETE.IT IS ABOUT 4 1/2 INCHES LONG AND 2 1/4 INCHES WIDE ".
And just when I thought my radar love was requited a further twist appeared in the form of a carded version [currently available] in Pasadena. You can just see the radar tucked in beneath the rover! The card looks like the 1970's to me rather than the vintage years of early T and confirmed by the description, which runs thus "You are bidding on a unique vintage 1970s era diecast with plastic trim toy in the original package. It's called the NASA Lunar Rover from the Kennedy Space Center, Educational Model. A really cool, hard to find diecast vehcial that has never been reed. Package has some wear around the edges. The vehicle is about 1 3/4 inches tall and 4 1/2 long. Really unique." This put paid to any remaining notion I had that this was a T toy as it's clearly a Kennedy Space Centre special [no idea what the T means in the model number though?]. I roved. I radared. I ruminate.
Pictures: Woodsy and Ebay