Childhood Classics: Corgi Jeep FC-150 and Lotus-Climax–“Safety Third!”


Like so many who never outgrow their fascination with cars, I owned too many toy cars long before I owned too many real cars.  Seldom were the trips to the store where I wouldn’t come home with a pint-sized car toy courtesy of my obliging parents.  My love of all things vehicular has made gift shopping a blessing and a curse for my family, as evidenced by my newest pair of toys, built for the long haul by Corgi in Great Britain.


My latest infatuation with FC Jeeps began innocently enough.  My lovely bride came home from work a few months ago after a country sojourn in which she noticed a beat-up old snowplow.  “I think it might be a Jeep,” she said.  We loaded into the Firebird and returned to the scene of the crime where, sure enough, someone had converted an old FC-150 into a snowplow, and I was smitten in a way in which I’ve been smitten countless times; it was love at first sight.  Disregarding the notion that an FC Jeep has to be among the most inherently unsafe and unsuitable cars for modern traffic outside of a Model T, my heart sang songs of innocent love.


My wife doesn’t particularly love being an enabler, but she does take advantage of gift ideas when they present themselves in so obvious a manner.  Therefore, she began her “Operation FC” onslaught with this advertisement she gave me for my birthday last month.


Then, for no particular reason, late last week she presented me with this far from perfect (which makes it perfect) FC-150.  It’s easier to store than a dedicated snowplow, it’s the perfect color, and it’s what we call an “Aaron Special,” which means that it exudes the perfect mixture of “used and useful” that I look for in any wheeled vehicle. I love it.


Less immediately enthralling but just as fun was the trailered “Cooper-Lotus” that came with the Jeep.  Judging by my quick research, it’s a Lotus 25 with a Coventry Climax 1.5-litre V8, which would have aligned nicely with the Formula One rules of the time.  It reminds me most of Jim Clark’s 1965 Indianapolis 500 winner, the same car that is now owned by The Henry Ford, although that car would have been somewhat different in design and general purpose.

One thing I do know: It seems unlikely that the factory Lotus F1 team used a Jeep FC as a tow vehicle.  No matter–in my life’s fantasy, we don’t worry about insignificant anachronisms such as those.


Someday, if my wife and I make it out of the city and into the “just rural enough” land of our dreams, maybe I’ll own my own full-size FC snowplow.  Until then, I’ll enjoy the fruits of what my coworker calls my “fantasy marriage,” and find a nice place to park my new toy.