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Everything posted by calvan

  1. May as well give this thread a bump - happy to be be back home after a ~1200 mile road trip. The excuse this time was the Calgary MG club putting on an annual British car show in the Village of Radium Hot Springs (I know, the very name is enough to give the health & safety types a fit). Anyway, Radium is about 600 miles from home on the more mountainous and scenic route, so off we went. The initial plan was to drive the Europa but as the date approached my wife and I decided it would be a bit daft to drive that car. We did the same route in the Europa when younger but who wants a few days of shake and bake now that we are comfortably into our 60s. Thus we succumbed to the creature comforts of 1200 miles in an Elise. We decided to split the journey and only went as far as Osoyoos the first day. Some mountain driving and on to semi-arid wine country for the stop. The second day took us across the Kootenays where there was still some snow at the roadside, although not on the road, at the summit of the Kootenay Pass (elev. 1775 m.) through the Selkirk Mountains. The last hour or so of the journey took us north up the Rocky Mountain Trench past Skookumchuk, seeing the headwaters of the Columbia River and on to Radium. We didn't encounter wildlife on the trip there, other than some interesting roadside statues of various creatures, including a sasquatch lurking in the woods. There was more on the return trip as we saw bighorn sheep and various deer on the roadside. The biggest excitement was just before the Kootenay summit on the way home when I had to do some heavy braking from 120 km/hr when a moose decided to trot across the highway just ahead of us. That was a bit of a dodgy situation as mama moose left her calf behind when she crossed and I am quite aware that moose are very large, very strong, generally ill-tempered and very protective of their young. As soon as I saw that junior had doubled back behind us and mama had gone into the trees it was down to second gear and get out of there. All in all a god trip but, as I said, happy to be home.
  2. It can pass anything except a gas station. (May as well use the North American terminology)
  3. There is certainly no shortage of stupid. Or of inattentiveness. I get a weekly dose of fright doing volunteer work with my local police detachment. Two of us will spend a couple of hours in busy traffic / busy pedestrian / low speed limit areas (typically along the beachfront as I live in a seaside community) clocking vehicle speeds. We are hardly inconspicuous in a white van with RCMP markings, high-vis vests and an illuminated board showing the radar read-out. Yet the number of sheer knucklehead moves we see each week can be astounding. Perhaps the worst are those who abruptly brake to walking speed when they finally spot us at a distance of 20 yards away. Or perhaps the drivers who spend the whole time staring at their crotch - they are either busy texting or playing with themselves but in either case they are too distracted to pay attention and drive safely.
  4. And it can make an attractive seasonal decoration (or flying car)
  5. That's a real beauty! I've always liked the late 60s Mustangs, in large part because I learned to drive on a relative of this car - a '67 Mustang with a 289 4bbl. That car is long gone but as I recall it went down the road, and around corners, with some alacrity. With the 351W mill, this one should really go. A great companion piece to your Esprit.
  6. Thanks, fellows, I wasn't expecting the number of "likes" or responses to the new arrival - I just put up the post because I was happy about it. And I don't want to turn into one of those annoying donkeys who has a child or grandchild and then carries on like he just invented the idea, so let's get back to talking about cars. Speaking of cars, the early arrival of the kid means that my wife and I should be able to carry on with our planned road trip at the end of the month. We'll be driving the Europa 600 miles down to the Oregon coast with a group of about 20 vehicles, mostly pre-1974 American muscle cars. A report will follow in due course.
  7. I am fully aware that this is not a unique or even uncommon experience, but I have been absolutely over the moon since the arrival of our first grandchild in the wee hours of Sunday morning, not quite 24 hours ago. A little baby girl who is, in my eyes at any rate, infinitely more beautiful and precious than any Lotus ever built or imagined. And, God, what an old softie I've suddenly become. Even though she's less than a day old I already know that girl will have me wrapped around her little finger for the rest of my days.
  8. Regarding the report of a public strategy session in Florida - there was a bad joke circulating a week or so back that the Pentagon has changed the nuclear launch codes to be more than 140 characters so it takes more than one tweet.
  9. Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a big, fat bank account and a slender body. And don't get them mixed up like you did last year.
  10. Very impressive. Now for the task of getting it out in the world; best of luck with that. After all the clever engine design, I'm a bit reluctant to throw in some trivial fun with numbers but this just occurred to me this evening so I'll go with it. I was half-listening to the TV news and heard someone prattle on about measuring employment in person years when it occurred to me that Lotus ownership could just as well be measured in Lotus-years. So I decided to do a quick and dirty calculation, i.e. with a bit of rounding, of where I am in total Lotus-years compared to my age. It's quite close. I've had my Europa since July 1977 so that rounds to 39.5 Lotus-years. The Esprit since October 2003, giving 13 Lotus-years and the Elise since March 2010 for 6.5 Lotus-years. That gives me a total of 59 Lotus-years. I will turn 63 in February so my current age of 62.75 is only 3.75 more than my Lotus-years. With three cars I'm accumulating Lotus-years at a 3:1 ratio to real I should catch up to my age in about 18 months. Something to look forward to and it will give me another flimsy excuse to crack open a good beer in mid-summer, as if I need one.
  11. Bear in mind that GPS/SAT Nav systems are like most politicians - they have to lie to you at least once a day in order to validate their programming.
  12. Apparently so. My memory is good - it's just really short.
  13. Too easy, No Lotus car stars yet? How about this:
  14. +1, what he just said (with a couple of comments) 8-track may be superfluous weight. My Europa functions perfectly well with its factory original blanking plate for a radio/stereo installation. Listen to the soundtrack of the engine or sing along. Of course, I have a voice that can shatter glass - if I sing in public people will throw bottles. Put some air in the tires; works better with higher pressures than specified in the owner's manual.
  15. Sounds like you have the planning well in hand. And my comments do have a Pacific Northwest bias because I'm familiar with that area. I think the real key is your calculation of 5 nights going to and from Vancouver. If the main highlights are in California and the Southwest, why waste precious vacation time ferrying an RV back and forth. Better to base out of Denver and spend one day trying to set a new record for taking an RV up Pikes Peak. And make sure that by Aug 20th you're not in an area where it rains a lot. Tour Canada on another trip and if you're around the Vancouver area I'll see if I can find a spare beer. Mike.
  16. Chris, That sounds like a spectacular, if somewhat ambitious, itinerary for a three week road trip. I'm on the west coast, about 30 miles SE of Vancouver, but have only done the Vancouver to San Francisco part of your trip. I can offer a few points of advice which seem so basic as to be trite, but still worth repeating. Make sure you have an idea of the distances involved. Almost all of my visitors from the UK have a hard time getting used to the scale of travel even if they've been here before. For instance the direct road distance from Vancouver to San Francisco is about the same as the road distance from London to Florence. Unless you are planning on just going like a mad bugger from Point A to Point B, allow yourself enough time to cover each leg at a reasonable pace with some spur of the moment stops. Personally, I would avoid the Interstates. The Interstate highway system is fine if you are in a rush or want to get into a major urban centre but otherwise you get an endless vista of multi-lane highway and fast food outlets. Seattle and Portland are great cities to visit but your list of places to visit doesn't sound like the hipster's guide to the West Coast. Traffic in the major centres is generally horrific and taken on its own merits I-5 has to be at least a quarter-finalist for the title of "World's Most Boring Highway". I took the coastal route the last time I drove to San Francisco. Very scenic but even with keeping up a steady pace with minimal stops (we had to get to a wedding on time) it still took 3 1/2 days driving each way. There is more to see when you take the secondary highways, e,g, pounding surf and the sea lion cave along Hwy 101 or a side trip Crater Lake when going through Oregon, but it does take more time. I guess I'm back to the basic point of not underestimating the time it can take to cover long distance drives at a reasonable pace.
  17. calvan


  18. Who's to say you're wrong? I was simply repeating what some fine young fellow said to his charming companion, not vouching for his veracity.
  19. A few observations from having my modest fleet of Lotus out in the public: - Positive comments are not universal but vastly greatly outnumber the negative ones - The older the Lotus, the more comments it gets i.e., the Europa gets more attention than the Esprit which gets more than the Elise - Conversely, the newer the Lotus the more often some knucklehead wants to race. An occasional, somewhat juvenile, pleasure is to park a Lotus in an area with a lot of foot traffic then loiter nearby to eavesdrop on the comments it generates. Some of the dumbest comments come from young guys trying to impress their girlfriends with their vast expertise even though they know nothing about the cars. For example, that's how I heard that the secret to the Europa's speed and handling is the special lightweight mahogany used for the dashboard and shift knob.
  20. The new "Air Force" thread made me think of this one - a shot of the Oregon coast I took from the improvised back seat of a P-51 Mustang.
  21. Apparently if the meter is smart, no-one else at the electric company has to be. It shows.
  22. No particular reason for it, but I was out on our deck around sunset and decided to take a picture of our neighbours to the south. Not the best light, nor the best lens, but here it is. The (slightly fuzzy looking) pyramidal object sticking up out of the water marks the Canada-US boundary.
  23. After reading some of the unfortunate accounts in the "Unhappy" thread, I am happy to report that I finished the annual hedge-trimming chore today without mishap. I didn't fall off the ladder, all limbs are intact and working (as best they do these days) and I can still order a round of drinks without resorting to the expedient of sending the barkeep four "thumbs up" signs in rapid succession. The only dodgy moment came when I was leaning into the boxwood hedge to reach the far side when I had the sudden realization that if I leaned farther or, worse, lost my balance I would get a DIY vasectomy from a protruding branch. That potential catastrophe was avoided and I remain non-vasectomised although I am given to understand that it is a relatively minor procedure that can make a vas deferens to your sex life.
  24. Reminds me of an incident that took place here back in the mid-80s. A person or persons unknown went up and down the hillside residential area with an icepick and took out the tires on a hundred or so parked cars (including both of mine at the time). The the tires they ruined included those on three or four cars parked outside the Hell's Angels clubhouse that was here then. It didn't happen again. Coincidence?
  25. Some second hand advice - I knew a fellow some years back who swore by this method but I never did use it for fear of destroying the garden. Anyway, his suggestion was to expose a mole tunnel and then attach a hose to a BBQ tank, or similar source, and introduce propane into the run. Give it a few seconds to settle as propane vapour is denser than air and drop in a source of ignition. Big boom, no more moles. Of course, if you put in too much gas there is also no more garden.
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