TLF member Rache from Norwich, UK recently took her Elise S2 on a wet handling course at Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire. We’ll let her take up the story and enjoy the video, it looks like awesome fun!
My first car was a custom VW Bug and I then graduated to a 1963 Morris pickup truck, which I still own. When I left home I had no garage so had to change to a Volvo, followed by a Golf then a Yaris. My dad owned a succession of sports cars in the 60s, including a Seven, a Morgan, a Sprite, and a Jaguar XK. How I wished he could have kept them but once he was married and me and my brother were born, they bought a 1935 Morris 8 for £20, and a 1950 Morris spilt screen low light convertible. Hence I grew up being driven around in vintage cars and going to traction engine rallies in them. To this day I still get high on the smell of a traction engine!
I much preferred hanging with my dad in the garage tinkering with the cars than learning to knit, sew or cook with my mum. She despaired of turning me into a “proper girl”. However thanks to my dad I can find my way around a car with no problems and can do most basic maintenance jobs. Several times now I’ve rescued girly friends who didn’t have a clue how to change a wheel. I read Custom Car magazine and VolksWorld instead of Smash Hits and fashion mags, took my Bug to Beetle Bash and Bug Jam at Santa Pod, and travelled the country going to Hot Rod shows.
I was part of an endurance prokart team from 1997 to 2000 and raced in 6 hour enduros at PF International. I also did a couple of Club 100 2 stroke races. In 2004 I won through to the elimination rounds of the Formula Woman competition, which saw me living in log cabins near Cadwell Park with a bunch of other girls, and driving a Mazda RX8 around Cadwell Park with instructors such as Tim Harvey. Sadly I was eliminated on the Thursday and didn’t make it to the final racing series.
I had obsessed about owning an Elise since I first rode in one in 1999 – at the time I was dating Lotus instructor Hyla Breese so I was thrown into the World Of Lotuses as Hyla started to race them and I did his website and PR. I did a driver training day at Hethel with Dave Minter as my instructor, and scored 80.5, not bad for a first attempt. The scoresheet is here – Dave Minter added it up incorrectly!
My next boyfriend had a 111s and I drove that quite a lot, but still wanted my own. FINALLY in 2009 a savings policy matured and I could either “spend it on the house” or buy an Elise. No contest really!
I love my car more than life itself and I have been known to hug it (yes, I hug my car!). I feel genetically bonded to it when I’m behind the wheel and I will die if anything happens to it. It must be in the blood thanks to my dad and his Seven! The ride and handling is superb, the road feel is awesome, the seats are bloody uncomfy, and the road tax is expensive but you’d have to prise it from my cold dead hands. The flowing lines and curves of its body are simply stunning. Due to the 666 number plate I call him “Damian”.
I had wanted to do a wet skid day for a while as I know how light the Elise is and I wanted to feel what it was like when it “lets go”, plus I think it’s important to learn how to recover from skids as it could save you, your car, or someone else! And it looked like a ton of fun too. I bought a GoPro camera last year when I took my dad over to Ypres to do the Belgian Lotus run. I was dead pleased with the footage, which was edited together with Windows MovieMaker 7. I hope it encourages others to go to Rockingham and have the same amount of fun PLUS learn some useful skills. When I found out it was #28 most viewed on YouTube Autos section I was dead chuffed!
I work a 4 day week at my local Uni and I have run a business on the side for 5 years now – www.fuzzbutt.co.uk. The money from this business pretty much pays for the running of the Elise and also pays for me to have cool holidays and do other epic things such as wingwalk on a Stearman and own a set of Star Wars Sandtrooper armour (www.tk2441.co.uk). Fuzzbutt takes up a lot of my time and I work hard at it, but I also like to play hard too. I am single, independent, and happily childfree and my motto is “The slower you live your life the faster you die”.
I hope to be driving the Elise until Arthritis stops me climbing in and out of it but should a lotto win ever come my way my dream garage would be an Audi R8, a ’67 Shelby GT500, a 1934 Ford 3 window coupe (rodded and fenderless) and a 5th generation Camaro. And that’s just for starters…