Monday, 22 November 2010

Elitist style

I have always liked to note similarities between two different products of one and the same designer, especially when they are of a very different kind but unmistakably use similar ideas.
So for me, it doesn't get much better then the Brian Luff designed and Mini powered Status 365. The styling of the car was carried out by John Frayling, like Luff an ex-Lotus man who'd been working on several Lotuses before he started off as a freelancer.
In fact, the Lotus Elite 'Type 75' that came out in 1974 and of which the wedgy hatchback styling was credited to Oliver Winterbottom was one of the projects Frayling had worked on, too.

And it shows. Like the Elite, the Status came out in 1974 and there was absolutely no doubt about its influence. In fact, it looked like a dwarfed Elite in just about anything. Just have a good look at the details, it's great fun. The Lotus was slightly more successful though as Luff sold just 38 Statuses 365 between 1974 and 1981 while Lotus built over 2,500 Elites. They are both unusual cars now that you do not see often. I photographed the Status 365 in Cornwall in 2007.

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