His wife Devina ordered a few Evora bits and pieces, it turns out he’s a big fan of the car and from the following conversation it appeared that they were for a treat for his 60th birthday where some of his family were to surprise him with a nice lunch to mark the day at the Canarvon Arms, Newbury (nice pub by the way, the food looked very good!). We suggested that perhaps that a few Lotus cars on his arrival at the pub would make his day as Nigel suffers from multiple sclerosis which confines him to his wheelchair, preventing him from enjoying his own 1971 Lotus Elite. Nigel has a long history of Lotus ownership having worked on the original Lotus Europa, he helped a friend look after his Esprit, re-built completely an original Lotus Elan in the 1970’s following an accident on the race track at a Lotus event (he was the passenger in a friend’s car when it rolled!), owned and worked on an original Lotus Elan 2+2 and replaced gearboxes and goodness knows what else on the Lotus Elite which he still has.
An appeal on our forums meant that ‘a few cars’ turned into more like 20 and at 11am on the day of his birthday the front area of the pub was taken over by us. A 4 metre banner was pinned to the front wall of the pub (recognise that font, anyone?) and Nigel turned up as planned at 11.30am to a complete surprise of Lotus everywhere! We had a good choice of Esprits from the dry sump S3 and Essex, through to Stevens cars and SE’s, GT3, S4s, Sport350 and more. There was also a A1 condition Excel, a stunning JPS Elan +2 and perfect and elegant Lotus Elite to give Nigel some really great cars to spend some time looking over and chatting with the owners who had travelled from locally and as far as Kent, the Midlands, Somerset and Wales to help him see off his 60th in Lotus style!
Those who couldn’t make the day sent gifts including signed car pictures from Norfolk and presents from as far afield as the USA. Clive Chapman even sent a birthday card too! From the smile on Nigels face it certainly seemed a day to remember and from us as enthusiasts we hope that we helped rekindle his love of Lotus and to remember that once in the Lotus fold, you’ve friends for life, even if you don’t know it!
Happy birthday Nigel and thanks to everyone who took the time to make it such a special day for all of us.