A Long Affair: The Story of a Long and Happy Relationship with a Lotus Elite

Brian Caldersmith and his Lotus Elite

Lead image by Brian Caldersmith, images with thanks to Brian Caldersmith

When Brian Caldersmith wrote to us to share his latest portrait work, completed during our nationwide nap time, and included some words on his time together with the lovely Elite featured in it, I asked if he’d be interested in sharing a couple stories. A few days later, I received the wonderful story which follows, chronicling a life of motoring, motor sport and mateship.

Read on and enjoy, with huge thanks to Brian Caldersmith.

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Calling all Canberrans!

Ellie Hamilton Photo

Trevor James of the Canberra Lotus Group is looking to bring together Canberra-based Lotus owners for Lotus adventures in the area once we enter the post-apocalypse.

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Ashton’s President’s Prattle for May, 2020

Land Rover Project

Hello fellow isolationists,

As we plough on into month three of the isolation process, there is all sorts of chatter about how and when the degree of separation might change.

I for one am no clearer as to what the next few weeks and months might include, but in the meantime, it has been an interesting exercise in social observation. Many of our neighbours have become much better known to us and the dog has never been so well known in the area. There has been a marked increase in the development of productive gardens. Standing desks have become more popular, inventive exercise routines have become more commonplace, and (ahem) alcohol consumption might have gone up. Or is that just our household?

What is in no doubt is that some things have changed forever, and some things will spring back largely to where they were. It’s just a case of which is which.

So, will Syd, Martin and all the others continue their newly found hobby of sim racing once the tracks are open again? Will I finish rebuilding the Land Rover? And will it ever get used?! What will happen to all those chickens that people have bought for their backyard farms? And will the seeds that were sown out of season ever emerge?

Never mind, we are continuing to plan for the Tour of Tasmania in February, assuming that things will start to return to normal in the next few months, and that by February Tasmania will need all the dollars we can take them. So, although we have not yet started to either pay for or ask for payment for the event, if you are interested in joining us, make sure you register your interest by emailing Anne at [email protected] or contact us via the website Lotus2021.com.au

We are all very much looking forward to seeing you once we get out the other side of this somewhat tiring and trying time.

In the meantime, please keep safe and well, keep your distance, and make sure the infirm and immuno-compromised are well looked after, and we’ll all come out the other side.

Pip pip,
Ashton

What Now? Sim Racing Through the Apocalypse

As we work our way through month two of the lockdown, we catch up with long-time Club Lotus Australia member and sprint competitor Syd Reinhardt to find out how he’s using his time away from the track to spend more time on the track.

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CLA Build Stories: TUFT’s Eleven April 2020 – The Rebuild

TUFTs Lotus Eleven Rebuild April 2020

Between 2014 and 2016 we followed the build of the TUFT’s Eleven from the birth of the idea through to the car hitting the road in spectacular fashion at the 2016 Targa High Country. Well, after three years of happy campaigning, the Eleven, or more specifically its trailer, hit a little bump in the road. So, we, with the help of Automotive Craftsmen and Alister Rees, are picking the story up again for the car’s return to glory.

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‘The Preserve’ April 2020 Available for Download

The Preserve April 2020

‘The Preserve’ is the newsletter of the Council of Motor Clubs. It’s made available to members of CMC-affiliated clubs, and that means you!

The April edition is the first since lockdowns began and brings news on that topic as well as helpful information about committee handover and conditional registration, historical photos and more.

You can grab it from the following link, and we’ll archive it on the members page here.

The Preserve April 2020 [PDF]

‘The Preserve’ is provided by the Council of Motor Clubs.

Ashton’s President’s Prattle for April, 2020

President's Prattle

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new ways of working and living (temporarily, we all hope). Where to begin?

The work side of things is pretty dull, so I’ll switch tack to the domestic and interests aspect of the COVID-19 debacle.

On the bright side, the opportunity presents itself to spend more time in new home (or garage!) based activities. So, what have you decided to use the enforced leisure time to do? Once the list of DIY chores you’ve been delaying in favour of taking the car out for a drive has been completed, of course (don’t pretend, we’re all in the same boat!)

On the list so far are:

  • Making models (not done this since school, which, I hardly need tell you, wasn’t yesterday)
  • Relearning the piano (which has sat untouched in our dining room for ten years – probably need to learn to tune it first)
  • Sorting out the garage and flogging all the junk on the mezzanine floor to make room for more junk
  • Get into the attic and turf out all the stuff we’ve accumulated
  • Set up the Scalectrix set that’s in the attic, and break out the Lotus models
  • Set up an eSports CSCA series perhaps

The problem is, what to do when the list runs out…

Sadly, the restrictions we have to endure will inevitably curtail not only the motorsport activities we all enjoy so much, but also the social side of things.

As you will possibly be aware, the second round of the CSCA series has been cancelled. We will keep you informed as we hear more about the rest of the season, but at this point, rounds three and four are also unlikely to progress.

For the moment, the monthly Tyre Kick and Coffee will be suspended as well, at least until we are allowed to resume normal contact with others. We will revisit this decision at the end of April.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to make a short video of something that they are working on – a project, an idea, please feel free to get in touch with Seth ([email protected]) and we will put it up on the website and Facebook, which naturally enough will become more central to the fabric of the club.

Anyway, enough about COVID-19.

I am pleased to report that last weekend we conducted the first virtual meeting of the Lotus 2021 Committee. With grateful thanks to Mel and Seth for setting us up with a Google Meet, and to all the committee for being game to try the new technology, we made good progress:

  • The team agreed that we should continue to progress the planning for the event
  • We also agreed we would not start to either pay deposits, nor ask for payments, until more certainty is established
  • We confirmed the key roles and responsibilities which will be fundamental to the success of this event, including reaching out to the Tasmanian contingent of CLA
  • We have agreed to increase the meeting frequency to once a month until further notice

So we are still, at this stage, planning to be in Tasmania in February 2021. We hope that will provide a suitable respite and holiday opportunity for everyone to look forward to, and we will of course keep you informed as we progress the planning.

Other than that, please do look after yourselves, and particularly those less secure near and dear to you – the old, the infirm, and those struggling with the emotional impact of current circumstances – please make sure to reach out regularly and frequently.

Pip pip,
Ashton