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Lotus 81 Mario Andretti





Essex Oil's distinctive Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II 3A-MSX landing at Bern Belpmoos Airport in Switzerland in 1980 (Photo: Anton Heumann) owned by Essex Oil founder David Thieme


Colin Chapman had his own helicopter G-AYTF " GAY DANCER" which appeared in both Essex and JPS liveries



Mario Andretti



gota love this pic = Lotus 88 Essex F1 car (Mansell - and the car was famously banned from competing, along with its 2-chassis construction!) in the reflection of a Lotus Essex Esprit (car no.100


Mario at Monacco 1980


apparently the photo of the helicopter on top on the team motor homes is outside the Albert hall,,, showy millionaire David Thieme - with a black hat and a goatlike beard - plastered his Essex logos all over Team Lotus. At the time Thieme's parties were stunning, simply because no-one had ever done such things before. For 2 years running he had a gala dinner in London's Albert Hall, with excellent food and gorgeous wines. The diners were then serenaded by singers Shirley Bassey in the first year and Ray Charles in the second.

The launch of Essex Team Lotus in December 1979 was at the Paradis du Latin cabaret in Paris, THE fashionable club of the era. The press were put up in a fancy hotel and ferried about in stretched limousines and then, after dinner and an exhibition of feathered ladies dancing around, a Lotus painted in Essex colors suddenly began to descend from the roof, with a terrified Mario Andretti, clad in a dinner jacket, clinging to the car as it floated gradually to earth. Those were the days before every F1 launch had dry ice and laser beams and people were rather stunned.

Edited by wolflyn

1981 Turbo Esprit


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Nice to see you've come over all 'Essex' now Wolflyn :smoke: I saw the white Essex years ago at a car bash at The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden. It came complete with Essex cam covers etc so was very much Essex old stock...

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Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130


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Looks like OPW674W

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Correct Mark - Thieme had LHD numbered 007 - rumoured to still have somewhere in Paris......

These were the two cars originally registered to the Essex Petroleum Company.

LHD 002 SCCFC20A0AHH10302 (OPW 674W)

LHD 007 SCCFC20A2AHH10303 (Mr Thiemes')

....on the subject of which:


Edited by nello
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lotus esprit essex model on ebay

WP%20104X.JPGanother ebay item


another ebay model


Edited by wolflyn

1981 Turbo Esprit


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  • 3 months later...

Andrew Mariot - Sponsorship and PR guru (CSS Promotions) recalls

Without any question the most spectacular Formula1 launches we were involved in were run for the eccentric boss of Essex Petroleum. David Thieme.The Zoro-hatted American had taken over primary sponsorship of Team Lotus back in 1980. Thieme was in the oil spot market business and was for a while spectacularly successful buying and selling tankerfuls of crude oil as they plied the high sea.

He wanted to impress his 30 or so big customers by not only sponsoring Lotus and but also putting on the biggest and most lavish launches ever. At CSS Promotions we came up with the concept of using the Albert Hall as the venue. In addition to the car launch we would put on an evening’s entertainment. Thieme liked the idea but had one worry: he didn’t want anyone to go hungry, and he wanted to feed them. The only problem – there aren’t any kitchens at the Albert Hall.

But with big bucks most problems can be solved and thus his guests , the media and a lot of hangers-on were treated to a lavish dinner cooked by legendary South of France Chef Roger Verge and brought in by heated wagons from the kitchens of the Dorchester. When the meal was over Shirley Bassey was the entertainment

A year later Thieme wanted it to be even bigger and it was probably our finest hour. Through Mark Thatcher, we managed to persuade his mother to turn up and press the flesh with all Mr Thieme’s key clients. Outside the Albert Hall we’d done a deal, via an ex-MI6 character we knew simply as, “Mac”. Mac oiled the wheels so we could park Mr Thieme’s double-decker hospitality bus in the bus lane opposite the Hall. Then we placed on top of the bus Mr Thieme’s helicopter and it looked pretty spectacular I can tell you. The helicopter, of course, didn’t actually land on this forerunner

to current uber-hospitality units, we craned it there. No-one was quite sure if the roof of the bus was strong enough to take the weight of the chopper – there were a few anxious moments – but sure enough the bus did not become a single-decker...

This time the entertainment was no less than the legendary blind R & B star Ray Charles with the Scottish singer Barbara Dickson as the warm-up act, Verge again provided the food, someone won an Essex-liveried Lotus Esprit in a free raffle, the Albert Hall was swathed in mimosa and quite a lot of people got drunk on Dom Perignon champagne. The only problem was that before he had settled a fairly substantial part of our bill Mr Thieme’s star had fallen to such a degree that he was sought by certain authorities – never to be seen at a race track again. Or wave a pen over a cheque book. Indeed everyone who had quaffed the champagne had actually done so at the expense of CSS Promotions rather than Essex Petroleum – and most of them weren’t even our friends

Extracts from the BRDC 2009 bulletin

Edited by wolflyn

1981 Turbo Esprit


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  • 6 months later...

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