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Bye Mike, thanks for everything.

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Definately the end of an era. You will be sorely missed Mike and I'm glad I met you, albeit very briefly, at the 60th Birthday Bash. My car had the honour of being selected as Best In Show by you (with Martin Donnelly) - there aren't many owners out there who can say their car was handpicked by the CEO! I had my 15 minutes of fame and its something I'll always remember.

I hope the Proton Board give you a say on your replacement. The closest they are going to get to your commitment and enthusiasm for the brand is to promote from within IMHO. I would be very wary of bringing in someone from outside, if only from a selfish viewpoint - who will carry the Esprit torch forward and still look after the old one? Maybe Roger Becker would be interested in taking it on? Roger is someone else I've had the privilige of meeting and his passion for Lotus and the Esprit in particular knows no bounds. He is also one of the few remaining links to Colin Chapman having been there for over 30 years. I would hazard a guess he would be a popular choice on this Forum.

BTW, how about becoming 'Honorary Chairman' or 'Lifelong President'. You don't need to be actively involved but to know you are still there as a figurehead would help us all sleep at night!

Edited by hedgerley
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Sad to hear this, you always feel for someone who is so passionate about what they do and have to give it up before they feel they have achieved everything they set out to do.

Although I have never had the pleasure of meeting you personaly Mike (Something I hope to rectify at some point) I feel I know you through both my ownership of Britains finest sports car and also this forum.

Enjoy your retirement, and if you ever feel the need to get behind the wheel of an Esprit again my car is your car.

Kindest regards


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So many wonderful things have been said in this thread, all so very true. The results of Lotus under the stewardship of Mr. Kimberley proves that great leaders do not grow on trees. I am grateful that doctors orders are being heeded, and it is of course selfish that I am disappointed he is stepping down.

But, to Mr. Kimberley: congratulations on a most astonishing career. Thank you for so many wonderful products. Thank you for rekindling the proper Lotus culture and keeping it so alive. Thank you.

Now enjoy retirement! :)

"At home, I have a King Sized bed. Now, I don't know any Kings, but I would imagine if one were to come over, he would be comfortable." -Mitch Hedberg

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Sadly not everyone agrees that MJK has been a success :)

I have tried very hard not to bite back. Please feel free to go to the link and put you 2 cents worth in.

Anyway. Thought I'd put a few pics up. You will have seen some of these before:

Europa TC




Don Safety Trophy


Opening the China Engineering centre......Come on guys get the name right! :rolleyes:


Opening a Lotus Engineering centre in middle east


Testing the competition is always important.


The original wind tunnel test Esprit still has MJK's writing on it!


Possibly save your life. Check out this website.


Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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  • Gold FFM

Just caught this thread too.

Mike, I'm glad to see that finally the doctor's advice is being heeded; sounds like the "backbone" needs some extra engineering and medical input.

Shakespeare wrote "Our life, exempt from the public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones & good in everything." Whilst I'm more Cropley and Nye than Shakespeare, I think he's suggesting that you take time out to write your memoirs! I bet you have some fascinating insights and amusing recalls from all these years with the Green & Yellow.

Thankyou for your incredible contribution, for your efforts, vision, and for your leadership. For me, you remain an icon.

I'm sure the Old Man would pat you on the ba.....shake your hand warmly!!!

All the very best

Scott Walker

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Sadly not everyone agrees that MJK has been a success :)

I have tried very hard not to bite back. Please feel free to go to the link and put you 2 cents worth in.

I had meant to mention to commend you, Kimbers, on your extensive efforts to keep all the relevant forums informed and to pass on the well-wishes to your dad as well as his thanks in reverse. You've been an integral part in the link between the enthusiasts, the company, and the man. Thanks for that.:yes:

Then there's PH.... :rant:



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PH has a huge and diverse membership. As with all cross sections of the general public someone will always disagree (after all life would be boring if we were all the same) and no amount of arguing will change that so best to let them stay content and happy in their ignorance.

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Good luck with your retirement Mike. I hope the rest and lack of stress fixes your back in the not to distant future. We'll all miss you, but I'm sure your impact on Lotus will last forever :) .

Martyn :rolleyes:

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I have tried very hard not to bite back. Please feel free to go to the link and put you 2 cents worth in.

Don't be too fussed Kimbers, better still don't post there, i don't.


Posting on Seloc and pistonheads is like going outside to have

a moan at the kids kicking a football at the side of your house,

but then joining in until you get bored. Completely pointless.


There is a thread on Seloc at the moment about a crashed Evora, check

it out, check out the replies, see how a badly moderated forum operates,

(remember these quotes and replies are from a thread about a crashed

Evora someone spotted):

"a porsche would have crashed better"

"It may have sorted the styling points I don't like"

"The self absorbed nature is you had to respond"

"You put it down to arse licking which is a lame excuse"


"The Evora needs DRIVING aids"

"I tend not to comment on your stupidity"

"I think Lotus have rushed this car to sale"

"I think there will be some nasty Evora accidents from people misjudging their speeds

"Nothing in your post was a fact, just the usual crap"

"When has fact got in the way of B***S**T on Seloc"

"the total c**p written by an small number off people"

"What a complete [Censored] you are"

"Now how about going and [Censored] ing yourself?"

"what a cock you are"

"you sir are a fist class cock"

"What a complete cock you are"

"I think the admins need to step in more often and kill threads that are getting out of hand"

"...Threads just like this one"

"The beauty of a forum is you can ignore the bad threads"

"there are moderators for when it gets a little out of hand"

"are you offended on behalf of the homosexuals?"

"I thought Lotus drivers were meant to be driving enthusiasts"

"why let the facts get in the way of an Evora dig?"

"I'm ready to have it out with any poof that disagrees"

"dick swinging and bullshit"

Someone quite rightly asked 'Are the moderators on Holiday?'

and got two pages of piss taking as a reward.

I don't post on Seloc and pistonheads anymore as you get nowhere

with the 'back up anything my mate says' pack mentality that albeit

from a fairly small group, represents a huge amount of the daily posts

(as that group post a LOT). I'm against anything that makes ownership

look a bad idea or unfriendly, there is no need.

I post on UK Yahoo once a year for the same reason, to ask why it still

runs. It's had two posts in the last 90 days yet claims "Discussions, technical

exchanges, and general friendly chat on all as aspects of Lotus Esprit Ownership

in the UK" fact is, it makes the lotus community look dead, and there is nothing

good about that, so i post once a year asking 'why?' until someone turns it off.

Kimbers, take the people on this forum as the lotus community view of your dad,

there is a real love for your old man here by people that have met him and listened

to what he has to say, no need to stray to the dead fora full of the kinda folk we are

actually very lucky not to have on here.

Don't feed the animals.


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Succinct as ever PC. Nail, head, hit etc :)

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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Dont bite back. Rise above it all.

I suspect MJK has been, secretly, pulled away kicking and screaming from the job by the long arm of his doctors advice. Kimbers no doubt has seen the process first hand. Nonetheless, as has been said, he's leaving on a high in a career, that most of us in our respective professions cant hope to match.

Now's time to relax and enjoy what comes next.

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I wanted a Lotus as soon as I saw Jim Clark on TV in the Type 25. I was 8 years old.

My desire got stronger when I found out my grammar school teacher autocrossed his Europa.

In 2004, after 40 years of school, work, marriage and kids, I ran right out and bought my Esprit.

The wait was completely worthwhile!

Bon voyage, Cap'n!

With much appreciation and kindest regards,

Tom Elliott

San Francisco

PS: Lotus has shown us all the benefits of having a robust backbone; I hope your recovery is rapid and complete.

Edited by tje111

"If everything is under control, you're going too slow." - Mario Andretti

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Dear Mike,

If you are in my neck of the woods next year with the 2010 World Cup Soccer, please contact me if you wish, as it would be an honour to meet you. You may wish to see my Esprits, including an S1, which I have owned and mainained since 1986, (which Mark F from Lotus has seen), and talk about things Lotus.

Here's wishing you well in all aspects of life and enjoy !

Best wishes


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry only just caught up after hols - Pass on best wishes to your Dad Kimbers! Happy retirement and I hope his back gets better..........

I'm sure ACBC could rest easy knowing that MJK was back at the helm. A real gent.....................

Happy retirement from fellow Coventrians at the Coventry Esprit Group! Nello (G HC Turbo) and Paul (Essex No.17)

Can we get a petition for MBE going?!

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What a handsome guy - reminds me of the young Anthony Perkins :respect:

The original wind tunnel test Esprit still has MJK's writing on it!


The infamous 'Teigan' wind tunnel model :)

Mike, wish you all the best - try to enjoy your retirement. Now there is plenty of time to spend with us anoraks!

If you come to Germany - The Lotus Club Deutschland is very pleased to welcome you.




'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black


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I haven't added to this thread till now because I haven't known what to say.

I remember only too well, the great feeling of confidence in the community when you returned to Group Lotus.

The feeling that the company was in a safe pair of hands and that good, common sense would be applied. Since then, the results have spoken for themselves.

I'm really hoping that the Lotus management team has learnt from you in the time you've been there and they'll continue to apply your methods (which I'm sure are founded in Chapman principles).

Your health has to come first, we all know that - and we want you to enjoy many rich years of retirement.

For me personally, one of the best times in my life was when I filmed the interview with you for the 'Club Lotus- 50 Years in the Fast Lane' DVD. At the time, you'd just returned from a business trip to America and there were many calls on your time (and I could see how exhausted you were), but you still took time out to make yourself available for something that was for Lotus enthusiasts. I thought I would be lucky to film with you for 10 minutes. In fact, the interview lasted nearly an hour and I found it fascinating. It's something I'll never forget.

Good luck, good health and good fortune.

Best wishes


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From another one on the other side of the pond:

Mike, thank you for rescuing this legendary marque, and doing it the right way: with vision and exciting products.

It looks very strong now, you can kick back and watch your child head off into the millenia, knowing that you certainly did your part. It would be unpleasant to think of the world without Lotus. Thank heavens and thank Mike that we don't have to.

My history with Lotus goes way back to the Jim Clark and Mario Andretti days, when I was but a wee lad, drooling over the JPS F1 car. I still recall Mario's remark to Colin after one victory - "I tellya, a trained money coulda driven that car today" Never thought I'd get one. Two Europas and one Esprit later, I'm still delighted with the results. May not be everyone's vehicle, but it fits me perfectly, all of the precision without the pretension.

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I can only endorse all the tributes above and I've made my contrubution (any decisions on what to get yet Bibs?) I only hope Mike's successor can continue the excellent progress Lotus has made since 2006. Any rumours on who that might be Bibs? With Wiedeking now booted out of Porsche I really hope Proton aren't considering offering him the job. Yes he did a great job in turning Porsce around, but I doubt he is a good fit for Lotus. I still think they should promote from within - Roger Becker, Tony Shute etc. - and give MJK a say.

Edited by hedgerley
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I think we'll get a nice Guy Allen and start the bursary off :)

I've met and spoken with his successor who he chose but don't think I'm at liberty to say yet, sorry.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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