Lotus Tasmania Report: Longford Revival and Devonport Motor Show

Catch up on all the Lotus action down in Tasmania thanks to this excellent report on the Longford Revival and Devonport Motorshow by John Barrass.

The “Longford Revival” revival on March 21st saw four CLA members and two Lotus in the display area for a sunny but cool Saturday out.

New CLA members Mark and Hazel Wheatley were exhibiting their superb Aston Martin DBZ on this occasion and we had Paula’s Elan S3 Coupe and my own S2 Elise both proudly wearing the CLA windscreen banners for the first time. The banners attracted the attention of NSW member Peter Apple and a friend. The pair were holidaying in the state that weekend and stopped by for a pleasant chat.

The Elan attracted a good deal of favourable comment. A few people who had had Elans back when they were current particularly enjoyed them, including one gentleman who raced Elans and Elevens back in the early ’60s and drove the camera car for the promotional movie “A weekend in Longford”. For this he had to chase the Tasman cars at high speed while the camera man knelt in the passenger’s seat facing backwards working a camera on a tripod. The tripod had been hastily bolted to the rear suspension of the chase car (an Eleven if I remember it right), which had the body work removed to allow this. Those were the days no OH&S red tape to get in the way! The movie has been transposed to DVD and is an extremely good watch.

Lotus Longford Revival

Paula with her 1967 Elan SE (First time Displaying her own car at a show) Mark’s Aston in the background)

Lotus Longford Revival

Peter Apple  visiting from Sydney – Elan, Aston and Elise

The next day was the Devonport Motor show and the Lotus rollout was even better! Paula and I were joined by AE member Stuart Thorpe and his son in his newly acquired S2 Elise for a 100 kilometer three-Lotus convoy to Devonport, where we met up with Aussie Elises member David Masterton in his S2 Elise.

Mark and Hazel were again showing their Aston and we met them there (must get them to take there Elan M100 next time). At the show were some spectacular cars including four more Lotus, a red Elan S3 DHC once owned by Alan Pate, a rather nice Metallic white late model Esprit Turbo and two superbly turned out Lotus Cortinas.

We chatted at length with the owner of the Esprit, who also has a substantial collection of other cars, as does the owner of the Elan who was not actually at the show. Again Paula’s Elan drew out ex owners including one, a lady called Jan (surname eludes me), who used to be the CLA rep in Tassie a long time ago and who raced her S4 Elan back in the early ’70s. She still has the car, it has been laid up on blocks for a very long time now but she says she will return it to the road one day.

We also met a couple from just up the river in Launceston who have an Elan Plus 2 under restoration and chatted with them for a while as well. From both a fun and a networking sense it was an extremely productive weekend. We now know of 17 Lotus in Tassie, so it’s about time for a bit of a get together I think!

Lotus Devonport Motor Show

Stu’s Elise, John’s Elise & Paula’s Elan

Lotus Devonport Motor Show

Davids Elise outshining the rest

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