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Lotus Elise Diary - September 2007

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1st September

At a time when I have started to post some of my own videosRemote site onto the Internet, a timely reminder of how it can all go so horrible wrong shocks the Lotus community. Three idiots decide to trash an Aqua S2 Elise somewhere in London and then have the nerve to post the video clip to YouTube:

I don't know which upsets me the most. Firstly, that anyone can have so little respect for another persons property is galling. Secondly, that they have the nerve to share it with the Internet community, actually thinking that it is something to be proud of. Thirdly, that they so obviously think they are above the law and any possible retribution. One thing is clear though. These three guys are quite remarkably stupid and equally nasty people. I'm hoping justice will be done one day.

2nd September

Perhaps one of the biggest and most active Lotus communities on the Internet, the SELOC communityRemote site is collectively incensed and spurred into a collaborative investigation, the like of which I have not witessed before. This is a good thing in my view. Perhaps some real justice will be seen to be done after all.

3rd September

Crikey! The 'Aqua S2' are identified, along with their home addresses and work sites. These guys appear to have left a very incriminating trail behind them and the police and press are getting involved.

4th September

The actions of 'Aqua S2' three result in a dedicated Facebook groupRemote site.

5th September

The 'Aqua S2' three make it into the MetroRemote site. The owner of the vandalised car has been found.

6th September

Now reported in the Daily MailRemote site and This Is LondonRemote site.

23rd September

I decided to take my son up to Hethel today, as he's getting into cars in a big way. Today was the Lotus Open DayRemote site, to celebrate 40 years of manufacturing at Hethel. Out of respect for the marque, the Fury stayed in the garage. To be honest, my son struggles a bit with the noise and the 80 minutes there and back would be pushing it. A great day for it though. A quick whiz up the A14 and onto the B1088 to Thetford. I forgot how good this road was. The last time I was up this way, I was in the Elise. Onto the A11 and Elises were everywhere.

I managed to blag my way into the owners parking area at the end of Pot Ash Lane. Being a late arrival probably helped. Spot the odd one out?

Even this picture doesn't do it justice. There must have been close to five hundred owners cars in this car park.

Lotus had laid out lines with all the cars made at Hethel and this was the one that started it all. It is as tiny as it looks. Just how many cars can trace their roots back to this little car? My Fury for one.

My son was drawn to the Exige in Sussex Police livery. It is primarily used to Police car 'events'.

This was the one car I'd come to see though and I was really hoping for a lap in it around the test track. Alas, it was not one of the cars being used for passenger rides :-(. Another time.

In white, it looks awesome, as if carved from of a solid lump. This is THE Elise variant to buy right now, if you can afford it. Is it greedy to want two track-day cars?

There was also a 340R close by. It does look a little dated now but it still looks totally mad. It's one car that you can't ever ignore.

This is my kind of interior. What more do you need? Lotus have been a bit mean with the aeroscreen though :-) They should have left it off altogether, to save more weight!

For a small fee the over 16's could be entertained out on the track, whilst the children played on the bumper cars and bouncy castles. My son was particularly unhappy about this. He was really hoping for a ride in an Elise or Exige. I've promised to arrange it for him some time soon. Anyone in Ipswich with an Elise got few minutes spare? I've been out in cars with many of the Lotus test drivers and instructors before and it never dissapoints and it is worth every penny. A professional driver can do things that I'm still struggling to get to grips with and their lap times make me look like I've left the handbrake on.

They were not hanging around. Plenty of drifts and tyre smoke too. Lotus must have had a large budget set aside for tyres today :-)

Whilst looking around, I bumped into a few old friends from many years back. I didn't see anyone I recognised in the VIP tent but, half of the occupants looked like they were Proton employees over from Malaysia.

The factory was also open for people to wander through and look around. Lotus were very brave in giving the public such open and free access to the factory and the preparation areas. I don't think I've seen this much of the factory before. Again, I was drawn to a the 2-11 being prepared for its lucky new owner.

The paintshop. There seemed to be a lot of cars being painted in white! A good choice in my view :-)

There were quite a few cars that caught my eye in the car park. I'm sorry but, the new Europa isn't one of them. It just doesn't have the visual drama required of a Lotus in my view. The interior was a lot nicer than I had been led to beleive though. I was surprised that there were no VX220's in the car park, them having been built at Hethel. Ironically, my wife saw this picture and preferred it over the Elise, Exige and all of its variants.

Now this is a cool car. I'm not really in to classic cars but this is such a purposeful design.

And this is a wacky one. Not to everone's taste though.

All in all, an excellent day and well worth the trip.

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