On Friday, August 21, 2015, several hundred Lotus owners from all over the United States and Canada, as well as attendees from Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, converged on the Marriott Hotel in Colorado Springs for the 35th Annual Lotus Owners Gathering (aka LOG 35), hosted by Lotus Colorado under the auspices of the national body, Lotus, Ltd.
They were greeted by friendly and helpful volunteers to a hotel lobby transformed into a Lotus museum full of photographs and Lotus paraphernalia from the collection of William Taylor, Publisher of Coterie Press and principal in Auto Archives, and others. Photos of Jim Clark, Colin Chapman, and Ayrton Senna greeted people at registration, Lotus 7 scale models were found on fireplace mantles, and vintage racing and Lotus posters replaced hotel lobby artwork throughout. That evening, a welcome buffet was enjoyed by all followed by announcements of upcoming activities and a laser light show.
Early on Saturday morning, attendees brought over 120 Lotus cars to the Garden of the Gods Club for the traditional panoramic photo with the stunning backdrop of the rock formations of Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak as the stunning backdrop. After the photos were taken, everyone returned to the hotel for a concours and several technical sessions. Saturday evening was the banquet, with featured speaker Bobby Unser regaling the audience with tales of his exploits racing Lotus cars and winning the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
Another early morning on Sunday gave the participants an opportunity to ascend Pikes Peak themselves, led by Clive Chapman and William Taylor. Special arrangements were made to permit LOG participants to ascend before the Pikes Peak highway opened to the public. Over 100 Lotus cars made it to the top with only a couple of older cars experiencing adverse effects from the rarified air at 14,115 ft. in elevation. On a road that climbed 6,300 feet over 162 turns in 19 miles, Lotus cars and their drivers were very much in their element. Sunday afternoon activities offered three separate “scenic drives” and an autocross event at Pikes Peak International Raceway(PPIR). The day concluded with a Mexican buffet and a panel discussion including Clive Chapman, Arnie Johnson, Dave Bean, and Richard Parramint telling stories about their Lotus experiences.
The final day was a high performance driving experience, held in conjunction with the Mercedes Benz club which drew over 40 Lotus owners and a couple of Mercedes drivers. Drivers learned a great deal from their instructors and classrooms and had a blast on a track that provided both an infield road course and a partial lap on the banked oval track at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Many photos of these events supplied by organizers and attendees can be found at https://www.facebook.com/LOG35.
All in all, this 35th Gathering proved to be a great success, with lots of smiles on lots of faces each day. We would like to thank all of the volunteers from Lotus Colorado and elsewhere, as well as our generous sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible. Next year, LOG 36 will be at Princeton, New Jersey, which should be a terrific venue.
Respectfully submitted by Peter Monson, Pres., Lotus Colorado. Pictures courtesy of Peter Monson & Jason Walp (panorama).