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Everything posted by calvan

  1. Yes, that's my car in the side of the Packard. Here is another shot of the two cars side by side to get an idea of the relative size. Our involvement with the local hot rod scene is through a local shop that does high end restorations and builds - they have sent a car to Pebble Beach and fixed up my wife's car (not to that standard) a couple of years ago. Better yet, they organise three day tours for friends and customers twice a year with usually no more than 15 to 20 cars. These pics are from this year's spring tour. Great bunch of people, if a bit hard on the liver in the evenings. I am adding an extra shot of part of our contingent parked in the street outside our hotel in Port Townsend.
  2. These pics date back a week, from when my wife and I went with some friends from the hot rod/muscle car scene for a couple of days driving around the NE corner of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. When there we all joined two local hot rod clubs for their 6th annual Bertha Benz Memorial Drive. Bertha was the wife of Karl Benz, and an accomplished and formidable woman in her own right, and I guess that marking her birthday gives a good reason for a rod run. We took the Europa - it was a well received outlier among 40 or so examples of American muscle. it can be seen reflected in the side of a very large, and very shiny, 1937 Packard.
  3. I spent all day Sunday sitting around at the 14th annual St. George's Day British car show, put on by a car club I'm involved with over here 🇨🇦. Being Scottish-born, albeit raised in Canada from a young age, I had to find some way to deal with the rampant English chauvinism inherent in a St. George's Day event . So I made sure that my car was properly displayed:
  4. Let me express my pleasant surprise, as a retired lawyer, that you draw a distinction between the two.
  5. In a potentially misguided attempt to inject some levity to this debate, as an observer from afar it strikes me that the Brexit fiasco presents a marketing opportunity to KFC in the UK. KFC can now offer diners the choice of competing Corbyn buckets and May buckets. The Corbyn Bucket consists of 12 pieces, all left wings and assh*les. I will leave the constituent parts of the May bucket to your imagination.
  6. That ends the similarity.The Gremlin was one of the most truly awful cars known to mankind. Intended as American Motors' answer to import compacts it was essentially a Hornet (the barrel-roll car in The Man with the Golden Gun) with the back sawn off. Hers had a straight 6 engine that produced about 105 brake hamster power while putting, it seemed, 82% of the weight on the front wheels. Combined with a 3 on the floor transmission and four wheel drum brakes it understeered like a pig and stopped in slightly less space than the Queen Mary. The story was that she had just finished nurses training and her father was providing most of the money for a new car. We advocated for the them newly introduced Honda Civic but her dad invoked the golden rule of business (he who has the gold makes the rules) and went with the idea that there would never be parts available for one of those weird import cars. So the car of choice was the Gremlin. We should have viewed this as an omen, but the very first day she had the Gremlin she was driving over to show it to me when a crow flew into the partially open drivers side window, eviscerated itself on the glass and flopped dead onto her lap.
  7. I regularly frequent the hemmings .com site to see if they have any stories of interest, including their intermittent posting of archival photos of various places as kind of a "spot the cars" game. The other day they posted this picture of a parking lot on Richards St., in downtown Vancouver taken in 1974. Cars are a bit difficult to make out, but what will be of general interest is a Lotus Europa just to the right of the lot entrance. Of more direct interest to me is a bronze coloured AMC Gremlin behind the fence on the left side. Back in '74 my girlfriend (as she then was - now my wife) acquired a wonderful Gremlin of precisely that shade and as much of a dog as that car was we never saw another the same colour. I know it's not the Europa we subsequently bought (wrong colour) but there is a fairly good chance that it is the old Gremlin come back to haunt us.
  8. And one more to make it three. Have a great day, and try to carry it over for the rest of the year.
  9. calvan


    Looking forward to getting stuck into a couple of new ales my daughter gave me for Christmas as well as an old favourite that should perhaps be consumed in honour of Bibs.
  10. Like he said. For what help or comfort it might be worth, our thoughts are with you. The fortitude you are showing is quite literally unimaginable for me
  11. I suppose that puts me near the ends of the Earth, it being about 30 minutes past midnight as I post this. Merry Christmas to all! (and I'm off to bed)
  12. "Technology my arse..." Maybe that's the key to use for a biometric lock.
  13. A few days ago I was having coffee with some friends when, out of the blue, one of them asked me what I thought of the whole UK/EU/Brexit situation. My immediate reaction was to blurt out "It's a rolling [email protected]#k." I hope that I wasn't too far out of the bounds of accuracy and propriety with that assessment.
  14. calvan


    Yes, he will be missed. It seemed that his character, and obvious knowledge, came through in his posts. Like many here, I never met him in person but was impressed by his contributions. RIP.
  15. 1997 Esprit V8 SCCFE33C4VHF65199 Midnight Blue Metallic Orkney Fawn leather One of four imported to Canada that model year Engine replaced in 2004, courtesy of Lotus Cars USA
  16. Some ice hockey trivia for your edification. The earliest instance of a player wearing a protective testicular guard , i.e. a "cup", was in 1874. The earliest instance of a player wearing a protective helmet in a Stanley Cup playoff game was in 1974. You can't say that hockey players don't have their priorities right.
  17. Some of these low-lifes will take anything that can be turned into a bit of ready cash and the police seem to be able to do bugger all about it. Taking cats is common enough here but as the Vancouver area has about the highest gasoline prices in North America, a local variant of the trick is to go under a vehicle, drill a hole in the fuel tank and collect the liquid gold that runs out. It happens most often to SUVs and pickup trucks as they have the largest tanks. While I would never actively wish such a fate on anyone, I also wouldn't shed a tear if one of the bastards managed to strike a spark and immolate himself in the process.
  18. Just in case the new house is a bit much to swing for this year, I will be happy to offer storage space in my garage. Let me know when I need to start clearing out space for it.
  19. No, just your garden variety V8. Just by chance i came up behind a friend of my son who decided to capture the moment.
  20. The question is whether you wave with all fingers when you see the grumpy old git? I usually wave at interesting cars and generally get a wave back. Except of the fellow (another grumpy old git?) in a TR3 who studiously ignored me a couple of weeks ago.
  21. My story goes back to the spring of 1968. I was 14 years old and living in what was then a mainly rural backwater some 30 miles east of Vancouver. I knew about things like Lotus and Lambos from magazines but actual sightings were as rare as unicorns. American muscle was common but in those days an E-Type counted as exotica. Anyway, the school authorities decided that we young savages needed a bit of culture so a group of us were sent off on a trip to a nearby Junior High to a concert of proper, i.e. classical, music. As soon as I got off the bus I saw it – a lavender coloured Lotus Europa, presumably owned by one of the symphony musicians. I immediately decided that it was the coolest thing this side of a Miura and resolved that someday, somehow, I would get one. What I didn’t know at the time was that there was a girl attending the host school who had also seen the Europa and was similarly smitten by it. She also wanted to get one someday. Fast forward to 1977. Now in my early 20s I had met and married that girl and heard the story of the Europa we had both seen back in ‘68. I had just finished law school and was about to start my career when we saw an ad for a Europa Twin Cam for sale locally. With a bit of help from the Bank of Dad (repaid within months) we bought the Europa and still have it to this day.
  22. Paul, where in Canada are you? I will be back home in the Vancouver area next week (in London now) and if you are nearby would be happy to discuss Esprit models over a beer and show you my V8.
  23. Another one of those First World problems where if this is what makes me unhappy, then I don’t have much to complain about. But still, a bit of thinking to do in the next few weeks. As is not uncommon, I took a good tumble playing hockey this morning. The problem is that this time, try as I might, I couldn’t keep my head from bouncing off the ice. Not a severe blow but enough for me to recognize mild concussion symptoms after a couple of minutes. Not that big a deal in and of itself but this is the second time in the past two weeks and the third time in fourteen months that I’ve had my bell rung. Perhaps there really is some truth in the old saw that old men shouldn’t play young men’s games. I’m going to take a five week hiatus from playing – skip the next three games and them I’m off to the UK for three weeks anyway. Then will come the decision of whether to go back to the game or not. It might be easier if I were any bloody good at it, but I’m not. I used to comment that I skate with all the grace and beauty of a half-trained circus bear, but the bear heard it and was offended. I’m just good enough to enjoy the game with a bunch of old crocks even if I know that some of them are only going at half speed, e.g. my defense partner this morning played a year or so of professional hockey in his youth. Still, playing regularly has become a major part of my routine and I am loathe to quit even if I am a bit worried about cumulative damage to my noggin. A First World problem indeed.
  24. And don't forget the perils of returning to the slushbox. There have been a few occasions when coming to a stop in an automatic that I have absent mindedly stomped my foot down on a non-existent clutch pedal. Bad enough, but if the left foot catches the brake pedal it launches one's nose into the windshield.
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