Another little mystery now partially resolved by the LASCM research team. For many years, doubt was cast as if this model was ever issued. It is now almost certain that it was in very limited quantities. Models were shipped to various distributors and retailers, as well as to media.
Presented in multi-page stories in period magazines, this Chaparral model was shown with wing struts that simply could not be produced in such a manner.
The mystery remained for nearly 40 years, with no actual model in the hands of learned collectors, but in the past few years, a few examples of bodies and incomplete cars surfaced at auction and in trade shows, albeit with what appeared to be broken hand-made wing struts. The recent discovery of a small stack of original wing struts stampings, added to the surfacing of a few cars still bearing partial struts has now resolved the mystery and partially provided an explanation why the models may have never been issued in large numbers: the cost of assembly may have exceeded any potential profit on the model.
The LASCM was able to acquire not only a pair of original cars with broken struts, but by chance, a few original struts that were never previously identified as such were found. A near perfect model was assembled from the parts.
The kit of parts in the LASCM pictures clearly show the problem in assembling the wing of which the top profile has to be glued over the folded struts, making the removal of the body very difficult. Not mentioning that the Lancer supplied body, that receives special paint different from the Lancer model and has die-cut wing struts slots, is too short for the chassis, requiring further hand trimming of the front wheel well.
An actual box has now surfaced, closing forever a mystery that endured since the early days of collecting.