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rjwooll last won the day on May 16

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About rjwooll

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  • Name
    Richard Woollaston
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    Elite S2
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  1. Excellent point about the 2.2s in 2020 Mr Greenham! We must try to get as many 2.2s together as we can; I've already done some work on identifying Elite and Eclat owners posting on forums, so I'll continue that with an additional focus. Nice picture too, and the parade laps were great fun. Peter Lucas was in my car and managed to video the session from the passenger seat; he was good enough to say my apexes were improving on the second lap. He was recounting his days of motorcycle racing at Castle Combe while we were out - an activity he shared in his youth with Richard Morley, the Lotus MD at the time of the Elite launch. They were clearly quite accomplished as the race Peter was telling me about had Mike Hailwood on the front row. There is an amusing story about how he and Richard Morley came to be working at Lotus, when Colin Chapman had explicitly banned the employment of anyone who had been involved with motorbikes! Cheers, Richard
  2. I took pictures of each car individually and will post a collage later on once I've remembered how to do it. It was fantasic to see the Eclat Sprint yesterday; that is certainly the first one I've seen in the flesh, and is apparently the first ever Sprint as it has painted stripes and badges rather than vinyl - this is the car from which the vinyl decals were produced, apparently. The car also had a 'lightweight' boot lid which had started to crack around the latch, and unbelievably there was a replacement lid for sale in the autojumble next door to us which the owner bought! Peter Lucas, the former Lotus design engineer, was with us for the day - sadly not in his Elite which wasn't ready in time, but, to confirm his good taste, came in his Busso-engined Alfa GTV 3.0 - a glorious engine. He found a vacuum solenoid valve for his Elite headlights in the autojumble also. He is a very interesting guy who recently gave a talk at Club Lous South West about his career with Lotus - including developing the Lotus Seven series 4 in record time, more or less hidden from Colin Chapman. There was a very impressive display of M100s at Castle Combe, as this year is it's 30th anniversary. We went to listen to the talk on the M100 given by Mike Kimberley and Barrie Wills (Reliant, Lotus and DeLorean) wich contained interesting background not only on the M100 project itself, but also the car's premature termination, as well as some history of the development of Lotus's fibreglass capability. (Peter Stevens couldn't be there as he was unwell.) A particularly interesting insight was the impact of the launch of the Mazda Miata (MX5) on the M100, as it happened immediately before the M100 launch, at a much lower cost than the M100 and with the classic Lotus layout of 16v engine with rear wheel drive - unashamedly taking its inspiration from the earlier Lotus Elan. It made me think that if Lotus had adopted Oliver Winterbottom's M90/X100 RWD design, which was very aggressively costed, they would have been in a strong position to achieve greater market penetration against the MX5. The unnecessary demise of the Toyota relationship, amongst other things, meant this did not happen. That said, the M100 was a superb car dynamically, and allowed Lotus to sell its engineering expertise in developing FWD systems across the industry. In total, we had four Elites (including Leigh Greenham's superb Essex Elite, Paul's lovely period brown 1974 car, and a gold 1976 Elite that we managed to redirect from the car park), one Eclat (the Sprint), and a fabulous collection of seven Excels. Thanks to everyone for coming and making it such an enjoyable day. The next big day (anniversary wise) will be in 2022 when the Excel turns 40 - looking forward to that! We had lots of people stop by and look at the cars, confirming the feeling we've had for a while that this series of Lotuses is coming back into fashion. I noticed one young couple came by several times to look at the Elites - I didn't get to speak to them until the end of the day when a lovely red Ferrari F355 (I think) came past on its way home. It paused, and inside was this same couple who could not stop talking about how they loved the Elite. A great moment! Cheers, Richard
  3. Great to see you and your lovely Elite too, Paul. As far as I could see you kept up pretty well. It's a good job you weren't in the lead or we'd all have followed you home! Cheers, Richard
  4. Well done! So far we are plus one but minus two! See you tomorrow, Richard
  5. Thats a shame - we only have one (declared) Eclat at the moment. Anyway thanks for your wishes and you should see some pics on this thread next week. Cheers, Richard
  6. I'm very pleased to say that Peter Lucas, the Lotus design engineer heavily involved in the Lotus 7 - especially the series 4 - and the Europa, as well as being responsible for the Elite wheels, will be joining us at Castle Combe. He has an Elite which unfortunately has experienced last minute diff seal issues, so will be coming in alternative transport. He's a very interesting guy. Cheers, Richard
  7. rjwooll


    There's also a little party for Elites and Eclats...see you there!
  8. Confirmed with Club Lotus today that we'll have an area for 10 cars reserved for us, so that means 5 Elites/Eclats that I know about, plus any stragglers and a few Excels. I have agreed to marshal the area so plan to be there around 8.00am. Trackday proceedings start at 9.00. I'll contact those I know are coming with my contact number; if you want to come and haven't said yet, now is your chance! Looking forward to Saturday, Richard
  9. Congratulations - but can't you come and join us? Richard
  10. Today, 15 May 2019, is the 45th birthday of the Elite, launched on 15 May 1974 - also a Wednesday. Happy birthday Elite!
  11. At the moment, It looks like we'll have 4 Elites and Eclats at the Club Lotus trackday so there's still time to bring your car along! I'll be finalising space with Club Lotus at the weekend. Excels welcome to join the celebration as always! Looking forward to it - and the weather should be better than it was at Donington! Cheers, Richard
  12. Looks like it attaches to the intake manifold via the part marked 13 below:
  13. Spray some carb cleaner into the intakes while you're attempting to start it - if it fires up you have a fuel issue. Check fuel is getting to carbs - filter? Pump? Ignition timing? Plug leads? Coil? Get one of those spark testers you attach between the lead and the plug (Laser do them) and that will tell you if you have spark. Good luck, Richard
  14. Getting ready for Donington tomorrow - with a bootful of mugs and stickers! Cheers, Richard
  15. Cool - I didn't know that. It's also the 30th anniversary of the Elan M100!
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