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Posts posted by Kimbers

  1. Hi Mike/ Tony.. a few questions..

    Is this the new Esprit concept?


    Are there any renowned designers providing creative input. (eg:Giugiaro)

    I know these may be tough questions... if you cant elaborate, then yes or no answers are OK where applicable.

    Will the new Esprit have a carbon fibre body or parts thereof?

    Will the new Esprit be as well engineered and constructed as say a Porsche 996?

    Will the new Esprit be as visceral and fun to drive as say an F40?

    What will the new Esprit be powered by?

    Will it make all the right sounds?

    What transaxle will the new Esprit use?

    Will the new Esprit cost less than say a well prepared ERA GT40?

    If you can answer yes to all the applicable questions.. then you WILL have a winner!!

    appreciate your input...Jan

    Hi Jan

    sorry, but dad is not in a position to make any comment on current/future development projects.


  2. Greetings!

    It's very nice of you to share this time with us.

    My question is: does the Lotus factory keep records for each Esprit as to who the original owner was and where it was sent?

    The previous owner of my Esprit, a RoW car, told me an intriguing story as to which country it came from and who drove it there.  Tidbits of information I've discovered since seem to confirm his story, but information from the factory would be best.



    Quite possibly they do though it would only be the cars original owner. My recommendation is to contact the factory with your Chassis & Possibly Engine number and they should be able to help. There was a rumour a while back that much of the records were lost, but I hope it was incorrect.


  3. Anthony, even though I missed the question and answer session, many thanks to your dad for his time.  It's a good job he had to leave the country or he might have got stuck here for ever.

    I can think of hundreds of questions to ask like was the budget for the Europa twin cam development really only 10000 pounds?  If so, how did he do it for so little?  How did he keep the company going after Colin's death?  How did they get Toyota involved?  What was it like at Lamborghini?  What would he have done differently if he had the time over again? 

    And what about.....Delorean_07.jpg

    Hi and thanks for another picture I don't have............Ok will get to all the other questions when the old man lands and gets some kip. Don't know what you mean about the picture....Colin spooner was his friend and fellow worker???? :P

    Europa TC...will have to check......How did they keep it going after colin died? With great difficulty and making deals with the right partners, Toyota, GM and of Course the era all true Lotus fanatics hate The Wickens Era (that time when the ACBC Badge was changed and then lost all together) That was a bitter pill for dad to take and changed it back as soon as GM took over. Toyota got involved through a mutual aggreement to supply parts and then negotiaitions from my Dad to invest.

    Lamborghini was cool, though I was actually living with Dad I worked at Ducati Motorcycles in Bologna. But it was very hard work and dad had to retire from the job as the stress actually killed him when his heart stopped and was resuscitated by my mate Piero who still works there and was a steward at my wedding.

    If he could do things again I know his answer would be..Never have left Lotus to join GM.

    Does that help?

  4. wayne would disagree. he's graduated me from: a minor startrek character, to: king of the tossers.

    and that was after big brother bibs did some editing to clean up my public image.

    I gotta say Teigan that people really do know you well :P

    However I'm with evil, and agree with you twice...I better get my head checked.

    New & slight change in topic......I really hope (and this is MY opinion and has nothing to do with any family member) that the new Esprit isn't too similar to the new's in the new Autocar here in the UK and looks like a Ford Cougar from the front....not a Lotus if u ask me.....but then what do I know, I've only grown up with them since 3 yrs old.

  5. I think you'll find there is one more...but before making adolt of myself I'll check into it.

    Did you know that on the 70's and early 80's cars most parts belonged to Lotus and they even sold Engines etc to Jenson?

    Trouble is development costs are just too high these days if a customer engine is I agree but wish it wasn't so.

  6. if the car is mostly japanese, like current lotuses, then it'll further devalue the marque, which will ultimately devalue your late model car.

    For once (and this won't happen again) we agree. What ever happened to opening the bonnet/boot and seeing a Lotus Engine?

  7. Did your dad spend much time around the racing team at Kettringham Hall? :P

    Who was his favourite Lotus racing driver and why? :blink:

    Thanks Wayne :lol:



    Guess who's got original transparancies of launch shots.


  8. Did your dad spend much time around the racing team at Kettringham Hall? :P

    Who was his favourite Lotus racing driver and why? :blink:

    Thanks Wayne :lol:


    Hey again Wayne

    Funny you should use that picture. I was at Monzain 1978 when dad dragged me over to a driver who was getting into his car. "Can you sign my boys autograph book Ronnie?", "Of course I can".....he was in hospital a while later and dead shortly after. Not one of my best days ever.

    So, in answer to your question, a professional capacity dad didn't have an input to team Lotus but in a fans capacity we went everywhere following the team.

  9. Oh Man!!! I missed it.. That's what I get for living on the other side of the pond... If we have another Q&A session, I'd like to ask a question on Colin's view of the Esprit (and your fathers if that's okay).  I know he owned one (or more).  What was his overall take on the Esprit and its future?  Was he content with its performance, reliability, looks?  or was he more involved with the other models, racing, engineering, etc..?


    Hey mate

    From what I know, though Colin drove the odd Esprit they were never his "wheels of choice".He always drove a Merc 600 or an Elite and Hazel had an Eclat. Sorry to say that, but I know for a fact that he had a passion for the design and development of the Esprit.

    My fathers was simple. It was a great car but he could never fit in it (if you have read my previous posts you can see why) at 6'6" nearly he was just too tall. In 1986 Engineering designed him one where the seat was taken out, the mountig points dropped andthe seat bolted to the floor. Since then he always had one...unfortunately I couldn't drive them as I was only 6' and couldn't slide the seat forward cause it was bolted in. DOH!

    In regards to other models my dads list looks like this: Chief Engineer on E Type V12 Racer, Chassis design on many Jag models, Chief Engineer on Elite, Eclat, Esprit and Tech Director also on Esprit, Elan, Sunbeam Lotus, Lotus Carleton. So my dad was more involved on....well everything equaly. My dads area tended to be Engineering design and he was awarded a fellowship of the royal society of arts by the Duke of Kent for his services to automotive design in the early 90's.

    Colin was...well Colin and I can't answer as to what his thoughts were. But I can say that after nearly 30 years of production of, basically, the same's longevity speaks for itself.

  10. Ok

    Was thinking about things in general and wanted to ask what the Esprit meant to all of you? It's well documented what it means to me and dad had one from about 88 onwards, but maybe it means more. I mean, it's not just a car is it! It has personality and a definate sense of humour. I used to find myself talking to the car as I cheerfully bounced over a drunk who happened to fall infront of me..." Oh did the bad man hurt you (screams from outside)'s alright he won't do it again, where's reverse...clunk (screams stop)".

    But the car is not just a great lookin motor, or a technical marvel (well it was back in the 70's). You drive down the road thinking look at me, how cool am I? and that Turbo Lag in the older models just spins you around......or, you are telling everyone what great build quality it is in comparison to your old TVR and the door handle drops out (don't panic, only on the S1). The car is really a free spirited personality who bites you on the ass when it thinks you are cocky and gives you more gratification than a car load of drunk nyphets who "Just love that beer belly!" when you treat it right.

    I drove many of the Esprits and wish I had the money for one right now (when I can dispense with the wife and kids) but it is the essence of what a real sports car is for me.

    What about you?

  11. Hi all

    Ok Jagged Edge. What really happened?

    So my dad gets a call from the agent who set up the previous job and they have a part for a Black Esprit. Now this is gonna hurt guys cause I know how much you love em. They needed 2 one to drive around and one to drive over a cliff at the end....or was that into a pit? Well anyway it got totalled. Unfortunately it had to be a working vehicle and look good for the camera so 2 new ones were duly sent.

    So my dad gets a call (have you noticed that phrase happens alot) from the producers...."Ermm we destroyed one of the cars". "Great" says dad "Did it come out well?"......."Ermmmm no we destroyed it before the destroying bit. The female stunt driver only caught half the ramp and rolled it at 60 mph"....Dad flew out straight away and viewed the car before flying over yet another beautiful new Pearlescent Black Turbo which they duly destroyed properly and on film.

    Actually worked out well because it tied in nicely with the inaugral west coast Lotus meet...1986 in Cambria I think, where he was presented with a painting of a new Elan with Dad driving and the ghost of Colin in the seat next to him. This takes pride of place in dads house and can I please ask anyone here who was at the meet to let me know cause dad has always wanted to thank the artist.

  12. Is the development of the new Esprit still on track as I have heard a few rumours about finance and putting stuff on the back burner or even possibly stopping development.

    Havent really had my ear to the ground much lately so sorry if its a bit ill informed.



    Sorry but I have to refer you to my dads reply to Waynes question on the new Esprit.


  13. Realistically the intention was for it to be a clamshell however due to unforseen circumstances this was not possible due to various other overriding considerations.

    Dad asked me to elaborate as we felt this was a bit of a cop out answer. It was the intention for it to be a clamshell but by the time the prototype had been produced it still wasn't developed and it was too late to change the whole project.

    Hope thats better


  14. Just a note to say that he USED to be head of the company. Now he is a non exec Director of Lotus Working with Proton.

    He will be back in the new year and will give more time to historical and technical questions. Funny but many of the questions being asked in other areas that generate hundreds of messages he answered to me in 5 secs........don't wanna spoil everyones fun tho.... :blink:

  15. This is a once in a lifetime oppertunity to ask Mike Kimberley a question about his job at Lotus :P

    The thread is titled Questions for MJK

    Dont be shy! :P  :P

    Hes gone now :P

    Cant believe more of you didnt participate,I havent been so excited in a long time! :blink:


    Dad says he's impressed but he's just a normal bloka nad if you came down our pub he'd buy you a drink........and maybe a new pair of pants :lol::P

  16. One of the best ideas from the prototype in my eyes was the rear clamshell, would have saved thousands in maintenance costs during the cars life.  How come it was dropped? I assume it was nothing to do with stiffness when the car had a separate chassis, so was it complicated for tooling, hard to align, etc etc????

    Realistically the intention was for it to be a clamshell however due to unforseen circumstances this was not possible due to various other overriding considerations.

  17. Mr. Kimberley,

    I'd like to know which model year Esprit is your favorite and why? Thanks for the time!


    They were all my favourites as the S1 was my favourite till the S2 came out and so on. I know this is a strange answer but it's like asking which of my kids is favourite. Each was the best at the time.

  18. The Bond submarine car... did Lotus have much input into coming up with the idea, or was it the idea of the film's producers?

    The films producers Cubby Brocolli and our PR guru Don Mac worked hard on the project and we produced and supplied various different full scale models. It was a great win win for everyone, I'm sure you'll all agree.

  19. Hello Mr.Kimberley :P

    Will the new upcoming Esprit be as sensational as the S1 was when launched? :blink:

    Could you please send me an image of it , I wont show anyone else honest! :P  :P

    Regards, Wayne Barratt :P


    P.S. Did your friend Oliver Winterbottom design the "Turbo Esprit" graphic? :lol:

    Hi Wayne.

    I'm sure you will appreciate that I can't comment. Though i am sure you wouldn't show anyone at all........

    Knowing how creative Lotus have been, I'm sure anything they release will be exceptional and stunning.


  20. Tony,

    thank you so much, I'm really enjoying your stories. Please keep them coming. I look forward to the book!

    I have a question. (the answer may already be in the public domain): The Bond submarine car... did Lotus have much input into coming up with the idea, or was it the idea of the film's producers?


    Hi guys

    Will be on line in an hour or so with my dad, just before he goes to Malaysia tomorrow. However will answer this question and a few others then. If you have a question we will try and answer it, maybe someone should start a link in General topics titled Questions for MJK and we will try and answer as many as possible. Have to be quick tho as only have a hour or so to devote....

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