60 Years of The Classic Lotus Elan
Picnic at Hethel
Elan 60th Picnic at Hethel, written by Tim Wilkes
A most enjoyable day. Good weather, good folk and good cars! It was great to meet many of you, some for the first time. We ended up having a grand day with 60 Elans to celebrate the 60th.
Early arrivals helped erect the Classic Team Lotus (CTL) gazebos, kindly lent to us by the ever helpful CTL. William Taylor of Coteri Press and now full time at CTL very kindly donated four of his books as prizes for our raffle. CTL also gave us a £50 parts voucher as an additional prize. The money raised was used to offset the costs of insurance, signage and toilet hire for the event. The first Elans were there at 8.00am and the last left at 5.00pm.
Matt Windle, Lotus CEO and to whom we owe thanks for allowing us to use his site, was an early visitor. He had been showing the Geely head-shed around the ever-expanding production facility at Hethel. He spent a deal of time admiring cars, bringing along an Emira for us to look over and chatting to owners and enthusiasts. They included Ricard and his wife from Sweden, Phil Harrison from New York and Chris Howe, who drove 5 hours down from north Yorkshire and 5 hours back again in the day, in his evidently entirely reliable S3 DHC!
Around lunch time we re-arranged all the cars for a group photograph, one without folk, one with us all standing by our cars. They will be on view via CTL and Lotus multimedia and in a report in Absolute Lotus magazine.
The two CTL tours were well supported and appreciated, Richard Parramint's excellent running commentary adding much to everyone's enjoyment. The parts department at CTL was also open for us to walk around and drool over - far too many shiny sweets for us kids! It was very kind of the CTL staff involved to give up their Sunday for us.
Then the icing on the cake was the arrival early afternoon of a pretty and well-kept yellow S4 DHC, driven by Clive Chapman. It is his daughter Sophie's car. Clive then spent virtually the rest of the afternoon going around meeting cars and owners alike, making the draw for the raffle and having his photo taken. He seemed to enjoy himself with, as my wife puts it so bluntly, us little old men in our funny little cars.
Raffle winners included the above mentioned Chris Howe, some compensation for his arduous drive, Mr Couldrey, Richard Cox, Stephen Hall and Ian Featherstone.