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Mike Kimberley

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Everything posted by Mike Kimberley

  1. The bearded chap is one of our end of finals inspectors. There to look after the cars. Mike.
  2. That is life in the fast moving auto industry Bravo73 as you know. There is another ex-Lotus very professional top engineering gentlemen still very active who knows the story of how it was killed off.
  3. Yes jep. Many wanted a pure two seater but I was planning that as the new Esprit to follow the Evora. (Together with RGB I had already negotiated the V10 engine for N/S mid engined installation). Many tried to change my mind but we had the entry level Elise and a much more powerful Exige on the way and needed a more user friendly but high performance up-market sports car " stepping stone" to the Esprit to come. Russel and his team did a fabulous job. Glad that you enjoy it 62dave. It is a Colin Chapman DNA Lotus from an experienced team trained by Colin.
  4. I know that the whole Lotus Eagle team agreed with you C8RKH our great friend RGB was spitting bullets. Unfortunately, a new CEO after I retired actually talked down the car, even publicly on TV! That is not the first time that such has happened in the auto industry sadly. However, the Evora has shown its true pedigree since by its remarkable advance through new and higher performance variants with great success-apart from the lack of effective marketing until the Geely acquisition.
  5. Thank you for the memory Bibs. The launch of "The Eagle"- first all new car for 13 years at the time. So many great Evora iterations and developments from a standing start in 2008. A fantastic experienced team who built in ACBC's Lotus DNA. Looking forward to a great Lotus future now, kick-started with the Evija.
  6. Little did I think that by introducing Ollie to Colin Chapman for a job interview in October 1970 that our paths, families, careers and lives would be so intertwined and so full of challenge, achievement, fun and heartache. Always a totally dedicated and committed 'larger than life' Lotus character, he never stopped championing Colin Chapman and his 'efficiency in all things' DNA, together with promoting Lotus cars and its innovative engineering achievements. RIP my very good and true friend of 50 years from our first working together on a small Jaguar project after finishing our apprenticeships. Mike
  7. Great to see you again Yasuo and look forward to getting over to Denmark in the spring and visiting with you, Kim and a certain Hypercar builder. Happy Christmas and a Healthy prosperous New Year to all. Mike.
  8. Thanking all my Lotus friends from Saturday at the TLF Christmas dinner for a great evening and for coming along to share stories of our great cars and experiences with us all. I would like to personally thank everyone for being there and sharing with me your thoughts and comments on favourite Lotus models and their technical specs, together with talking about past adventures, significant events and watershed moments in Lotus history. A very big thank you to those who traveled from so far to be with us and be part of the TLF Lotus family ranging from Kim and Yasou from Copenhagen, Andy from Perthshire, Andrew and party from Edinburgh , Dave and Ann from Somerset and all who came to celebrate Lotus and the TLF Christmas. Our very big thank you to Bibs and Rachel for organising a really excellent dinner and for finding Anthony and I some nice lodgings at the Joiners Arms in West Malling at the very last minute! Looking forward to a very strong Lotus future now under Geely stewardship with Phil Popham as CEO and the much needed long term investment that the Company has always needed. Mike.
  9. Guess I am the senior here then with you young guys like Kim! Happy Birthday Kim-have a great day and don't get a headache again! MJK
  10. Hi Bibs. I understand that you interviewed Jean-Marc after his announced departure from Lotus as CEO. How can I access your interview please? Hope that you are well. MJK


  11. Hi Bibs, What is the guest list for the Christmas dinner? I know that Wes & Jeanne are coming over from the States-talked to them yesterday after their Thanksgiving celebrations. Am looking forward to seeing as many TLF members as possible and will join you early as noted. Am coming down with James in his Evora 400 and looking forward to a fast run! MJK
  12. A very big thank you To Andy/Bibs for all of his hard work that made the TLF Saturday dinner and Sunday International Lotus day at Brooklands so very successful and a most enjoyable occasion for all Lotus owners and enthusiasts. Many thanks also to Bell & Colvill who were pre-eminent as always. My personal thanks to all who attended and spent so much time & effort preparing, showing & displaying their great Lotus cars.Colin would have been proud. Thank you. MJK.
  13. Kind of you Bibs. Your figures are in the right ballpark. A missed opportunity but the car industry was ever thus sadly.
  14. They are unrelated JayEmm. The Evora concept came about when creating & determining the Product Planning for the 5 year Plan I introduced in 2006. It was essential to move up market from the base line Elise entry level models to a "flagship" Esprit replacement with supercar performance and viable margins. The Evora was the next step up market providing a stunning visual impact with high performance, exceptional dynamics and good ingress /egress/luggage space-seven future variants were planned at that time. The 2 seater Mid-engine Esprit was to follow the Evora using a very high performance highly rated engine/transmission package with packaging to suit a 95% ile US male.Certain areas of the Evora were designed and stressed for carryover to the forthcoming Esprit. Updated Business plans in 2008 added a very advanced EV Supercar using Lotus "in house" technology with a major global OEM strategic partner.
  15. Bibs DaveC72 Dave Excell Ann Excell Gert. V Alfa2Evora Mike Kimberley
  16. Hello Bibs, The editor of a very well known and respected auto magazine that is read very widely was kind enough to spend a day with me not long ago. We had a great chat, both being car guys, about events at some of the car Companies I have had the privilege of working with. This will be the article coming out. I can say no more at this time and am looking forward to the outcome very much myself. I have been incredibly lucky in having had the best mentors in the auto industry throughout my career, all starting with an apprenticeship. Glad to see that million's more are planned. Keep up the great Lotus Forum work Bibs-look forward to talking tomorrow re. your headline. Guess I ought to really get on with scribing!. MJK
  17. I think you guys have given me the incentive to continue writing the the real story/book. I am constantly amazed at the sometimes distorted and often inaccurate, so called history of Lotus. Especially the appalling one that I recently read on Wikipedia. It's strange but I didn't recognise that so called History between 1982 and 1991 !!. It is really sadly distorted and very inaccurate.
  18. Hello Bibs, Laura and all the great folk I met on Saturday night, Thank you both for all your hard work in arranging Saturday nights fabulous event and for your very kind hospitality. As my first night out in 12 months it was great for me to have the chance to chat to so many wonderful folk who all have the same interest and enthusiasm for our great "Lotus" Marque. The widely varied interests and other cars in their "stables" was a real eye opener, and made me feel very humble to be in such super company. I met so many really nice people on Saturday that I wondered whether you would consider letting me have their e-mail address's so that I could thank them for spending some time talking to me about our great cars and the Company as well as a wide range of other cars, fast Bikes and even possible trips to Denmark! Copenhagen in summer sounds great for a Lotus outing. However as you noted Bibs, it is possible to thank all Lotus Forum members personally through the forum-hence this note. Once again, thank you Bibs and Laura for all you do on behalf of Lotus owners and enthusiasts--you are "Star's". 70,000 visitors on the forum site in one month as you said, is stunning, and a tribute to the effort and dedication you have put in over the past few years. Wishing all Lotus Forum members a great Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
  19. Thanks guys for your kind wishes. 74 down another 26 to go! It always humbles me that you all remember me and I look forward to seeing you all again at some point in the near future. Your wishes and kind words are muchly appreciated. Tony and Bibs keep me appraised of what you are all up to and many of the kind words and mentions of me on the forum. I hope to see you all soon.
  20. Very Nice! The second one, not the first. Wrong makes for me.
  21. I would like to thank everyone for their kind birthday wishes. As you get older most people try and ignore birthdays, I love them because I get to see all the people I love most in the world, at my party. I must admit that several of the posts are far more attractive than Ant' that Bibs in there? Anyway, thanks to all my friends at TLF who have taken the time to wish me happy birthday and I hope, soon, to release something along the lines of a book, to thank you all. Regards Mike
  22. It's good to see Lotus re-establishing the great relationship that I developed for Lotus with McCann Erickson for the launch of the new upmarket Lotus Esprit, Elite and Excel Range worldwide. Steve Hurwitz was a great account Director for us and the board of McCann Erickson and Lotus had a close and mutually succesful relationship. Good luck guys.
  23. With the amount of travelling I have done over the years you can imagine I have a few stories of near misses. 1. You all know the Bond Bug incident. I don't think I need to re-iterate it. 2. I was leaving JFK Airport on 747 many years ago it was night and very dark. I had been over for a US Dealer conference. Shortly after taking off there was a massive "lurch" from the plane and immediately the seat belt sign came on. The engines started roaring and the plane banked round. The captain came over the speakers and said "I'm sorry we will be returning to JFK!". There was alot of worried faces, not least mine because sometimes I think I have flown more than I have driven and this wasn't normal. The plane made a rough landing and as we exited the plane I realised just how lucky we had been. Where the number 4 engine should have been was a mass of pipes and wires and twisted metal but no Engine whatsoever! It had fallen off! It was quite a major incident and grounded all 747's for days while the engine mounts were checked for stress fractures! Luckily, despite it being one of my closest near misses I didn't know anything about it at the time! I have had many frightening moments in cars (and yes I noticed Andy mentioned the time Tony spun his Esprit)but I may save those for another time
  24. Hi Guys The Black and Silver nose badge was first used, I was told by Colin himself, to respect the death of Jimmy Clark, I didn't join Lotus until September 1969 from Jaguar, so have to rely on what he told me. When Ronnie died in that Milano hospital, I got Colin's OK to use it again ,out of respect to Ronnie, for production-including clothing/Accessories/Lapel pins-out,etc. We then never stopped it as it made a good colour match for some shades of paint. It's not cheaper to make-and is not the official Corporate Lotus Colour. Hope this helps!! Mike
  25. Nice pics guys and I have to say that I didn't realise there were so many models of the Evora already. Bibs has asked me to judge the pictures and I have to say my favourite is Matts with the Lego.
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