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MPx

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Everything posted by MPx

  1. I've been on loads of track days, though admittedly very few of them in recent years, and have never been refused in the Esprit due to no tow hook or for any other reason. There has consistently been advice in the briefing to fit tow hooks "if you have them". However, I take it as just another risk factor. Stuff can happen and loads of people wont track their car in case it does - thereby missing out on enormous fun. Of course mostly stuff doesn't happen. If something bad has happened and you have a towing eye then it will be used and probably less further damage will be inflicted. If you don't have one, a rope or chain will be put around anything that they can get at that's solid enough and the car dragged away - probably causing further damage. So that would be sad, but not the end of the world. The end of the world bit is the embarrassment at running out of talent - or being next to some one else who does but who you cant really sue.
  2. Odd isn't it. I guess the Turbos never had the wet nellie dust to elevate them. Back in 2012 when Beaulieu were hosting their Bond exhibition they held a big meet day for any car featured in a Bond film and an enormous number of different marques and models turned up. (Some of which it has to be said were just close relatives not the actual models featured). Anyway from a cast of literally hundreds and despite a choice of lovely Turbos to chose from I was extremely lucky to get the nod as one of just seven cars taken to the house and introduced to Lord Montagu. He was pretty frail and in a wheelchair by then, but still clearly a fan. So a turbo was featured ... but the 2CV still got the public vote as best Bond Car
  3. Enjoyed that. Great interview Bibbo, and totally agreed that Matt W came across very well. But still some disquiet from me. There was a very good question which started with a statement about just how good Evora is and was received by the press/etc yet didn't result in mega sales. How will Emira be different...? My hearing of the answer was "we've made the car better with a wider appeal". I'm confident that that will be the case but to me suggests that they haven't yet recognised the problem. Its not that Evora wasn't good enough, it was that very few people knew about it to consider it. Other than us fanboys/girls most people don't know what a Lotus is and a worrying number of those that think they do are still in the loads of trouble kit car mindset. Hard to understand how a fifty year old mindset still pervades amongst the under fifties, but its there. The bit still missing to me is primarily the marketing and then dealers/aftersales. I've seen the shop pop up proposals etc so at least awareness may improve once they get going...but a strong and widespread (Worldwide!) dealer network is needed and there's still much to do in that space. The retort from Matt about seeing the best sales in the US recently suggests at best an overly positive spin on dire numbers and at worst head, sand and burying.
  4. Hmmm - not sure about all this excitement about the car parks. I go early. Even then the queues around Chichester and near the Goodwood estate are horrendous. The prospect of keeping any sort of convoy together I would have thought would be zero. Many roads are closed and turned one way so people approaching from different directions get no choice about which car park entrances they use. The pleb car parks where I go turn into dust bowls if its dry. They are vast and at least a 20 min walk through the golf course from the Entrance. The start line entrance is a 20 min walk from the F1 paddock past the house and a further 20 mins or more if you want to get up the hill to the rally stage. I don't know anyone who spends any voluntary time in the car parks despite the distinctly average to stunning contents - its just head down and march on to get inside. I'm sure the paid for car parks will knock some walking time off, though not once inside the venue. Whatever you do don't leave a soft top down or window open or your car will be full of dust on your return - unless its raining in which case obviously sodden - there's always some to point at when returning late in the day. Expect an hour or so delay at the start of your journey home as you try to clear the area as the traffic will be awful - so don't take a car that's not happy in traffic queues. Other than getting there and out again...I've always had a great time!
  5. MPx

    Utility Bills

    I switched from Ovo to Octopus because I got totally fed up with Ovo's customer service and estimation approach. Went through formal complaint to the ombudsman and lost (with total incredulity). I was with Ovo for years. I am a big user as our heating is electric (GSHP). So despite having a consistent annual total, I was always way over their "estimate" in winter, and way under in summer. So I kept getting wild swings in demand for changes in my Direct debit. The last straw was when I was £500 in credit in May about to hit my low usage summer when I got a demand to increase my monthly DD by £130 - to £380/mth FFS!! I both phoned and wrote - and pointed out that I could stop paying at all and wouldn't use my credit by October based on all previous years history. The next month they took the money by DD anyway so I manually reduced my DD myself back to £250 and complained to the Ombudsman. Sure enough by the Oct I was over a grand in credit, but the ombudsman found for Ovo as they agreed they had made a reasonable estimation of my usage. I pointed out the errors in their arithmetic on appeal but to no avail so switched. Madness! Not been with Octopus a year yet but the one wobble they had with my usage pattern they backed off when I explained and left the DD at the level we first agreed. Looks like its going to work out about right so will be interesting if they stay calm next year.
  6. Interestingly nothing significant posted on it yet this year Ian, but looks like Rambo (Mark) and Muley (Jim) are expecting to go. Thread here.
  7. ....and me, though I'm not going this year as it clashes with the LandRover show at Gaydon which I fancied trying for a change. Also not been to LMC so I had always thought that the three separate fields plus showroom of Porsches at Silverstone was more than their fair share. Clearly the continentals don't agree. You'll have a great time Ian - the highlight for me is usually strolling around the pit complex. I only ever do one day so you'll get around it all a few times if you're staying - but as many like me only do one day the display cars must substantially change each day. LEC usually have a contingent camping over the weekend - the stories of the Saturday night suggest you'll be in good company!
  8. Yup they were the ones...but they were the only ones available throughout the site Having heard about the M5 we "nipped" down through Bristol onto the A37 and home that way. Inevevitably Bristol centre was gridlocked and overall it was a 40 min longer journey than going up via the M5 in the morning ...but maybe better than the M5 queue South?? who knows? ..and while I clearly missed you Barrie I did see your party sat around ESX1 which was looking as glorious as ever. I saw Peter M there with Jen and he'd tried to park in the usual spectators car park to get on the bank by Camp corner - Met with security people and told to move away. In 31 years I've never seen access so restricted, and again I cant really see what they are achieving covid wise by not letting us spread out and see the rest of the track. Some organisations do chose to interpret guidelines in weird and non-intuitive ways. Sounds like I'm moaning - don't mean to, had a great time. My mate Gary came with me this year and drove the Esprit up so that I could also take the M100. Was great to split the sessions between the cars - completely different experiences - the Esprit more demanding but ultimately faster, the M100 easier to drive and lovely to be topless in the heat.
  9. Another great day at Combe, with both weather and circuit in fine fettle. Sadly the catering was pretty dire as only a cafe take out service and the queue was mostly over 30 mins long. Loos almost as bad. I portaloo (2 urinal and one trap) for ~500 blokes. Not quite sure why covid prevents the normal loo blocks to be opened. Not many Esprit's there this year - maybe a dozen and I think only Lionel on track. Loads of M100s - great showing from LEC, and a fair cluster of Excel/Eclat/Elite. Drivers mostly very well behaved on track which made it a real pleasure - managed 4 sessions + parade! Great to catch up with a few old friends off here....
  10. Wow, that must have taken a pasting in its short life - always a possibility with hire cars I suppose. Possibly undisclosed incidents by the hirers when they ran out of talent, but very poor of the hire company to not notice/fix.
  11. I hope this goes well, but I'm intrigued. What opportunity is there for an S3 Elise to be "badly set up"? What adjustments can be made? My experience is limited to S1 Elise, but that was what it was like it or lump it (short of replacing stuff with aftermarket bits).
  12. Totally agree about the incredulity in how he got voted back in....but isn't this just rabble rousing? Most "classic" cars are not used for commuting or the daily school run - they sit parked under covers and come out a dozen times per year. Yes annoying to pay for the privilege on those 12 days, but its not a ruinous expense. Its all of the really useful non-classic older cars that should be up in arms. I still don't really understand the logic of the scheme - my 5 litre V8 Supercharged RangeRover is compliant...but neither of the Lotus are - hard to believe they put out more nasties than the FullFat Rangie.
  13. Ahhh yes, technically true Dave, but she's not driven it since 2008 and I did the mods when it was clear it had become my toy...
  14. No, very limited experience of MX5 just one mate who had one of the first folding metal tops - whichever generation that was. Was a nice enough "sports car" but didn't really float my boat, and although I sat in it for many miles, I never drove it myself. My M100 has had most of the popular mods that get done to these cars, so its a much better drive and much faster than standard - eg at Combe I outpaced an Exige 240 cup in damp conditions. But in some ways that defeats what you appear to be after - I've made it faster and better braked. If faster and better braked is what you wanted then there we are again back to the GT430. Standard M100 (well the SE/S2 anyway not sure about the NA) were widely reported in launch tests to be one of the fastest a-b cars through A and B roads. Handling excellent and actually very easy to drive fast - one of the advantages of the FWD that lost them so much acceptance. The standard brakes are pretty awful though - not least because they require constant maint to stop the pads sticking on the pins - so I'm not sure that would suit a no effort ownership. Brakes aside, they're very close to modern turn the key and it works type of motoring. My BiL had a +2 130 for a few years - lovey car in great condition, but never as well sorted as Dave's S2. Again only ever passengered in either. I preferred the extra room inside of the +2 but for everything else the modded S2 was better. What would I have thought of a std S2??? - no idea!
  15. Not sure what sort of special occasions would be better met by an Esprit or baby Elan than the GT430 Evora. Old stuff can be great for many things including all of the reasons you say aren't important to you. If you just want it to work and drive well/enjoyably then you've already got that with the Evora. The Turbo Esprit is a great drive on road or track - but much slower and less refined than a GT430. The Elan is properly old but if well sorted can be great fun - eg Dave Merlanes red S2 coupe is great to be in while he attacks Castle Combe - fully controlled 4 wheel drifts, amazing cornering, but slow on the straights. A well driven GT430 would leave it for dead. You could get a soft top I suppose which would at least offer something different. Classic cars are mostly about pootling about, going to shows/events and enjoying some nostalgia. For serious no effort daily transport and proper speed anything modern is better. Oh and having voted with my wallet, I think the M100 is a better car than the baby Elan and a perfect companion to a Turbo Esprit!
  16. I'm one of those impressed with the growth and ambition going on at Lotus, and totally underwhelmed by the hardcore corporate twaddle spouted today. Took me back to "away days" and "strategic reviews" from my days in management and almost made me laugh out loud at how impressive saying nothing is in consultant speak. But aside from the fluff, there was some real information and the odd fact. The one I cant get my head round came in the sustainability pitch where they claimed 70% of all Lotus cars ever made are still out there (indeed I think they implied still running). Now I know that lotus have only made surprisingly few cars in 73 years, but even so that stat doesn't seem to be backed up by what I've seen/heard/read. From the kit car days, many were poorly put together and would have died young. Many others were poorly driven and would have died younger! There's been serious attrition amongst the ranks of Sunbeams, Carltons and M100s during my period of ownership - maybe slightly less for Esprits. For years I've seen adverts along the lines of "becoming increasingly rare", "not many left on the road", "find me another...you can't". So all that's wrong? There's showrooms full of Lotus cars through the ages somewhere? I'm finding that hard to believe. Or maybe its just a statistical anomaly? Eg Perhaps the vast majority of Lotus cars ever made are less than 20 years old so nearly all of them do still exist? I'd love to see the evidence behind that statement. Thoughts?
  17. This is another factor to consider, but I see it from another angle. Pensions have changed significantly over our working lives. My parents generation had the (then derisery) State Pension and potentially a work pension which had defined benefits, typically final salary related. In the eternal moves to greater "efficiency" there have been many moves to cut the costs of pensions - not because they were unaffordable as is often portrayed but because you cant spend the money twice and more people prioritise wanting to spend today and not worry about tomorrow. Part of the reason I could afford to retire early was because I'd being paying an additional 15% of my gross salary in AVCs to my pension for well over a decade. Clearly that gave me less disposable income through my 30s and 40s. The issue for me is that despite "terms and conditions" signed up to that should have translated into benefits 40 years later, there have been a series of raids on pensions and "terms and conditions" changed on a totally unfair frequent basis and with too little time to adjust contributions to make up for new shortfalls. But my main point here is that the raids and changes are always done on future pensions. Once a pension is in payment, that's it, its fixed - its what you get. Even where pension schemes go bust, (as my Dad's did after it was in payment), my Mum still gets her full payment from it, she just had to sign up to acknowledge that she would never get a rise - which she should have got under the original scheme. Those women who got their state pension at 60 didn't have it stopped for a couple of years when it changed to 65. The waspi women had a very bad time of it. Mrs MPx had a couple of colleagues of a similar age, one 6 months older, one 6 months younger. The older one got hers at 60. The Mrs got hers at 62.3 and the younger got hers at 66! And they only knew of the changes a couple of years or so before they were subjected to it. So if you leave taking your pension as long as possible in order to maximise the eventual benefits, just remember that until you get it, the chancellor or pension fund trustees may decide that they have a higher priority claim on it and all your judicial planning will be wasted.
  18. To me its all about enjoying your life. Only you know what you enjoy. Maximise what you enjoy, minimise what you don't. If you're not enjoying more of your time than not then make changes until the balance is positive. Money is the killer for most, but the majority have no handle on how much is "enough". Once you have enough money to enjoy more of your life than you don't enjoy, then paid employment becomes irrelevant. Nearly everyone in the world could enjoy more money, but having money itself seems pointless to me, and the one's I know with the most seem pretty hopeless at spending it - and certainly haven't learnt to enjoy it. Its seems more of a destructive thing than the enabler it should be. Its essential to have interests and things to do that occupy your time. This can often look like (unpaid) work which might be a bit daft. If you enjoy your job then might as well stick with being paid. However, there can be the too much of a good thing issue. If to do the job you have to live it to the exclusion of other things you want to do in life then it would be good to at least explore how to find time for the other stuff. But no point in giving up 60hrs + / week doing stuff you like on the off chance you might be able to find something else to fill your time. I was always amazed by people at work who got "bored" over the weekend. I never had enough time to do much of the stuff I wanted outside work, was never bored and certainly have never been bored in 15 years of retirement. But its just what suits you and we're all different. We've got a decent plot of ground here and, in season, it takes me two days a week to cut the grass. To most that would seem (and would be!) ridiculous - but for me it means I can have machines, play, loose myself, have the satisfaction of the finished outlook - and those two days actually total less than 10 hours grafting activity so its not like the old 12 hour daily grind I used to work at work. My best mate at work retired a couple of years after me, but only stuck it for about a year. He didn't have other stuff he wanted to do. Soon got a new job back in the city. In fact he's just retired (again) today - some dozen or so years later - will be interesting if he sticks with it this time. Another mate and one time boss got a really senior position in Europe in the 90s - indeed a sequence of 3 really senior positions in Europe and was on several multiples of my very reasonable level of pay. So much much richer than me, but never felt he had "enough" and continued to work past potential retirement age until diagnosed with a rare terminal disease. By time he left work he was incapable of doing any of the things he was going to enjoy in his retirement and and suffered a cruel end to his life, dying this Christmas. He did leave a very wealthy widow, but I really cant see the point in that. So my advice is: Work out what you'd really like to do with your time. Work out how much money you need to do that. Once you've got enough, retire as soon as poss and get on with enjoying the rest of your life.
  19. I prefer the "none" on mine - which is actually as ordered and delivered from the factory.
  20. Errr, not all of them, my '86 doesn't have.
  21. Your height will make it a tight fit at best, but proportions will dictate if its doable. If you're all legs I suspect you'll have a problem getting far enough back from the pedals, but if just generally big then you may be OK. I'm 6ft and fit with the seat one click forward from max back. If I need to wear a crash helmet for track days then I'll be wedged hard up against the roof, but its fine with no headgear. Your best bet is to get to sit in one asap to see if the bubble gets burst. Where are you ? We may know of a car local to you.
  22. MPx

    Drones...

    ...well right up until the sacrificial "landing" during the strike anyway.
  23. It does of course...but with 650 MPs vs 669,000 nurses, the actual costs are incomparable. Any amount paid to MPs (while morally bankrupt) will not feature in any macro national cost analysis (eg 650 x£10,000 = £6.5m which is small change in the national accounts) whereas any amount paid to nurses will appear huge when multiplied by 2/3rds of a million - (eg just a £1500 rise = another £billion cost to the country) - and may well be simply unaffordable.
  24. I agree with Colin's posts - I don't see it as a compassion thing and don't think he posted anything about that. Level of pay should be about value we put on the job relative to the value we put on other jobs tempered by the availability/willingness of people to do it. That balance has currently been struck at wherever the payscales currently are. Having a hard year is, IMO, no reason to change a payscale. Reasons to change payscales are difficulties in recruitment/retention, additional demands meaning greater skills required which are harder to attain, and such like (many of which may well be the case for front line medical staff - but that's not what most are arguing). No, the hard year/exceptional effort reward should be a bonus not raised pay. It represents a one off cost to the public purse - like so many other one off costs that this pandemic has brought but does not put us in hock for ever more through inflationary higher annual wage bills and pensions - so in future years not paying the higher wage when they aren't having as exceptional a year. I say give them all a bonus (suggest maybe £5k or 4 after tax) as a meaningful thank you for above and beyond but address payscale reviews in the round not as a knee jerk.
  25. Beggars and choosers matey. If you were still on a 1mb link (on a good day) for £15/mth as we are then 6 times more money for 100 times speed seems not such a bad deal. I paid my deposit yesterday - but they say maybe 6 months 'til I get it. On a related point I'm a bit concerned about the stats being used by the Gov (as ever!). I got my annual review with Zen last month and they class me as having a 10Mb service. If that's how its reported on up the line then no wonder so much of the country is claimed to have acceptable broadband. I got Zen to check and their tests showed that 1Mb was right - no apologies of course...not their fault I know, its the best you can get over 7 miles of copper. But I still pay for and am classed as having an average 10Mb service despite the change in the law about what they are supposed to be able to claim.
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