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    tim wilkes
  • Car
    Lotus Elan Sprint
  • Location
    Great Dunmow

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  1. The Elan used by Tara Browne on the night he crashed was not his. He worked with Len Street, the Chelsea Lotus dealer, and the Elan was one they had in the garage at the time. I am unaware of any of the Beatles having owned an Elan. The Hon Tara Browne, whose father sat in the House of Lords (hence the refence in the song), had is girlfriend Suki Potier next to him in the crash. She survived and went on to become Brian Jones' long-term girlfriend. Its rather like everyone thinking that Jimi Hendricks had an Elan. He didn't, but Noel Redding did and it's his that Jimi is pictured sitting on. Noel was the bass player and occasional lead singer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The photo of EVX 972C above is of an Elan in the Len Street garage. It has nothing to do with the crashed one or with Paul McCartney. Tim
  2. Looks to be a +2 judging by the steering wheel and length of drive shafts. A fair bit looks salvageable but that’s only going on the photos, which as we know can deceive! Tim
  3. Great stuff. Cars like to be used. We should not forget that back in the 70s we used our Elans as daily drivers all the time. And they were up to it. My daily driver is an XK. No problems. But those on Jag forums who use them only in the summer for drive outs always seem to have issues, mostly electrical. Tim
  4. Known as Metallic Blue in the contemporary brochure. Also known as Scandinavian Blue - a Volvo colour; also Rolls Royce and Royal Enfield colours. The Nexa Code is 4339 and the PPG Code is LOT0225. Tim
  5. Thank you for the response, Bibs. I was wrong about 'this site'; I should have said that the 'perception' is that the live sale of tickets on the Lotus 70th site appeared to others to have been notified here first. You have clarified that that perception was wrong, for which many thanks. I know of one chap who is selling his Lotus, he says, as a result of the difficulty in obtaining a ticket. Perhaps in future Lotus could recognise that not every marque enthusiast is multi-media savvy and therefore, should they wish to be all-inclusive, it might be a good idea to use traditional communication channels as well. Thanks for the clarification. No, not a huge difference to those who attended. However, co-ordinated feedback has been asked for by OP chipp above to pass on to Lotus. If Lotus are to organise these events at Hethel in the future, where does that leave the excellent Festival? The trafficking was much better than the 60th, for sure. I guess the point I was making was that, if the traffic problems can be negated, by off-site parking and buses, by making car entry only open to Lotus cars and other measures, then it would be more inclusive to allow all who wish to attend to be able to do so. Bibs, I intend no criticism of you or anyone else. I merely wish to point out areas where it may be possible for a future event at Hethel to be even better than the excellent 70th was last month. Tim
  6. I enjoyed the day. It was well run, there was a good deal to see and do. Well done Geely for backing the day and appearing so enthusiastic. Well done Lotus at Hethel and Bibs for getting it all organised in such a short time. Quite a change from the 60th. However, there were some key points that I feel need to be addressed for the next meeting, whenever it is: 1. Adequate notice of the event - For a 70th celebration, planning should have been taking place at least 12 months out and publicity at least nine months out. 2. Ticketing - If the idea was to keep numbers down to a manageable quantity on the ground, this should have been made clearer. In addition to there being more time to apply for the tickets, their allocation needs looking at. There is considerable resentment in some Lotus quarters about the fact that tickets were 'on sale' first on this site and sold out so rapidly, mostly apparently to folk on here. If that was not the case, then some PR work needs to be done, because that is the perception. (And this is not a dig at TLF, Bibs or anyone else on here; I am attempting to be an inclusive Lotus enthusiast and reporting what others elsewhere are saying.) 3. Representation of Types - Related to point 2 above, it was noticeable that there were a very small number of cars from the Hornsey/Cheshunt era. As an example of where this tripped up, I know that the Historic Lotus Register had no correspondence from Lotus or any organisation about the 70th. There were precious few Twin Cam engine era cars either, Elans, Europas. I counted few 907 engine cars. The overriding mass of cars were Elite, Exige and Evora; nothing wrong with that and I know that many more of those have been produced by Lotus than the previously mentioned Types. 4. Identity - It was never clear to me, or others elsewhere, I suspect, whether the 70th was a Lotus organised day, or an alternate Bibs TLF Festival organised day, or a joint effort, or what? I quite understand that for most on here it might be clear that it was a combined effort, but my point is that greater clarity would have been helpful. 5. Club Divisiveness - This is more of a general observation, but one I hope that may give some food for thought. Over the years Lotus enthusiasts have spawned a large number of separate clubs. Some are general, like Club Lotus, others Type specific. However, there is no single cohesive umbrella organisation which any Lotus enthusiast can belong to. Contrast this with say, Porsche Club of GB or the Bugatti Owners Club. I know that folk are generally less 'clubable' these days and for many forums such as this are a better way to meet and chat with like-minded enthusiasts. Nothing wrong with that, but again, there are many such Lotus oriented forums so again a lack of an umbrella organisation is felt. Such an organisation would help in being inclusive to all Lotus enthusiasts, aid communication and act as a conduit for the factory to reach out to all its brand ambassadors. Suggestions - I would like there to be more notice for a future event, without ticketing and the celebration open to all. I'd like to see each event focus on say two race car Types and two road car Types, so that enthusiasts for those particular Types would be drawn to attending. Tim
  7. I did this years 10th Big Battlefield Bike Ride for Help for Heroes from France to Belgium, following the front. (I also did the first BBBR in 2008 with a fellow veteran; we had hoped to do it ten years on but sadly he suddenly died last year. His brilliant widow took his place.) There were three stand out places: The Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge - so hugely impressive, such an achievement to have taken the ridge The Ring of Remembrance at Notre Dame de Lorette (below) - this is a new memorial and staggeringly expressive. Please do go and see it, it is quite remarkable Symphorian Cemetery, just outside of Mons, where coincidentally the first and last shot of WWI were fired Tim
  8. Andrew, I am unable to find any evidence, after a quick look. He had three races in a Lotus 72, crashed twice and finished 13th in the other! He seemed to have more luck racing a Chevron or March. He didn't start racing F1 until 1975, though may have been on the club circuit before then. Elans in unmodified form were not really competitive by then, though they did well in Modsports, of course. If you can track down a copy of "Jim Crawford: The Life of a Modest Racing Hero" by Kevin Guthrie you may get more info. It was privately published a year or two ago. Guthrie himself may be a good source for you to speak with. Tim
  9. Thanks Woody. What a great shot that is! Good luck. Tim
  10. Thanks Woody. Those numbers match the factory records for that Unit no. Furthermore it was invoiced by the factory on 13 Dec 64 and would have arrived in North America around Mar 65. Good luck with the restoration. Tim
  11. The A11 was almost as much fun as Hethel! We passed lots of machinery as the dawn came up and played with one or two. We were in a blue Elan +2 that was capable of keeping up with the moderns, due mostly to the Zetec engine under the bonnet! The sat nag, as owner Alan calls it, was indicating over 120 (kph your honour), whilst the original speedo needle bounced around between 120 and 130 + or - 5! We dully arrived at 0729hrs, only to be told to go up the road and turn around, as they couldn't let us in until 0730hrs. Doh! Tim
  12. Woody, well done on your acquisition. Susan Miller at Mick Miller Lotus (link as above) is a delight to deal with and she is very knowledgeable. If she doesn't have a part, she'll either obtain it for you or point you in the direction most likely to yield results. It is best to telephone her, as that is the quickest way to communicate. She works entirely on her own so is not always available. On your side of the water try Dave Bean, they too are a knowledgeable group and enthusiastic: There is a fellow on the Continent who has begun making seat frames. Seats are increasingly difficult to find, so if you come across an old pair, bent and rusted, do not dismiss them; they can be rebuilt! I have only ever seen him on the 'Classic Lotus Elan and Plus 2 Owners' Facebook group. Do come over and join and the FB group , as well as staying here! Hood frames are available for the Series 3 Elan onwards, though sadly not in the original D profile. I am not sure about the frames for Elan 1600 and Series 2s though. Dave Bean will be able to tell you. I know Susan Miller does the road wheels, though they are made up in small batches, so get your order in well before you need them. If you private message me with your cars VIN number I am able to give you some information on how it left the factory, as I have records for all Elans and Plus2s. Tim PS Woody, I'm sure you know this already, but don't throw anything away! Tim
  13. Period factory photos for you! The Sprint wheels are not well defined, but the matt black sets off the shiny wheel spinners and rimbellishers well. Tim
  14. John, the last recorded sighting I have of your car was at the 1986 Ketteringham Hall Lotus event. I have the VIN and engine number and shall happily share those with you by private message/email. You could then contact the DVLA and ask them to forward your contact details to the current owner. Bit of a long shot and I've no idea if they will be helpful, but worth a go. Tim
  15. Its actually semi-matt black. Lots of folk use gloss black and I don't blame them, since it looks better than matt black. The photos below of an original spec Sprint wheel show the correct shade black. Tim
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