President’s Prattle: June 2015

President's Prattle


We’re back from the Old Dart, to a general sense of chaos in the Roskill household. The cat died while we were gone, so several weeks of mourning are underway – please make sure to wear the black armband if you come visiting. We also lost a duck from the flock, possibly to a neighbour’s dog – which begs the question of what our fierce dog was doing not protecting the house?! And the garden generally (and the garage rather more specifically) were showing the signs of adverse weather that I gather you had while we were away. The garage needed the floor mopping and drying, and the garden looked as though a tornado had been through. Perhaps it had?

Anyway, the good news is that the Eleven is progressing well! Pete Eppel (the same as he with the misspelt name in last edition!) and I took the Elan for a spin up to Springwood at the weekend, and apart from almost getting taken out by a truck who changed lanes on top of us, and a similar incident with a coach on the way back (you’d think I’d learn), all is well in the world of the Eleven and Geoff is making significant and very beautiful headway with the bodywork.

While we were in the UK I managed to fit in visits to Eddie Hopkins, Mike Brotherwood, Vic Thomas, the factory at Hethel and Classic Team Lotus. Photos and some blurb to follow when I have five minutes to get the photos off the camera, but suffice to say I had a ball! Eddie, Mike and Vic were supremely helpful regarding the Eleven, and Neil Lovelock was kind enough to give me a personal guided tour of the factory. Russel Gibbons at the Motorsport facility let me out onto the test track in one of his Elise SCs, and I got to chat to Clive Chapman and Sapphire Whitbread about the success they are having in Historic GP wth the Type 91, the rebuild of Adrian Newey’s Type 49 – and the Elite they are going to campaign this year for the first time. All good!

The usual situation has occurred whenever one returns from holiday – all the stuff that didn’t get done while I was away was waiting to get done on my return. So apologies to all members that we had a somewhat lacklustre General Meeting this month. Next month’s is back on track at Lotus Australia, so I look forward to seeing lots of you there to gaze longingly at the cars we dream about! That’s on Tuesday June 9th, and their address in case you’ve not been there is on the corner of Elizabeth St and Bourke St in Waterloo.

By the time you read this, we will have (hopefully successfully) completed Round 2 of the CSCA Championships, under the ausprices of the Jaguar’s Drivers Club of Australia at SMP. The next round follows shortly behind, on Saturday 27th June at Wakefield; this is then followed the next day by The All British Day (not to be confused with the All British Day at Kings School, which is in August of course!), so anyone looking for a full weekend of motorsport, this is your chance.

From a social point of view, we will be running the second Brunch Run of the year on Sunday 21st June. We will be meeting at 7.30AM in the Sydney Park car park, which is accessed next to the chimneys at the bottom of King St on the Princes Highway in St Peters.

If you don’t know where I mean, call me! We will be heading south, ending up with brunch at Shimmer Restaurant and Bar in Gerrigong where one of our number (Simon Kalis) is the sous-chef. Start praying for fine weather so I can get the Elan out.

Shortly after that weekend, on Wednesday July 8th, we will have an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia, in their rooms on Macquarie Street. The speaker on the night will be Tony Caldersmith, who will regale us and the RACA members with tales of his time working at Lotus (and no doubt some other tales to boot!). Parking is free in their car park (off Alfred St at the bottom of Phillip St) if you bring the Lotus, or $25 if you don’t. Bar food and drinks will be available for purchase for between $15-$30 per head. Once parked, head for the 3rd floor, sign in in the lobby and head to the Members Bar, also on 3rd floor.

All these events are on the calendar on the club website – please make sure you let us know if you want any events adding to it.

Those of you who bought into the first new Club Lotus Australia apparel purchase (the very smart overalls!) will be happy to know they are now here in the country, and may even have found their way to you by the time you read this. I’d like to publicly thank James Chan and Evan Jones for making this happen – it was not easy, but I hope it marks the start of the new way in which we can manage merchandise, so we don’t end up trying (and often failing) to be a clothing retailer! This way we create something special each time, and hopefully start to get greater engagement with you, the members, around what you would like! So if you have a particular idea for the next run, please do drop me a line or collar me or one of the committee when you next see us.

Lotus 2015 looms ever closer (October 2nd-5th), so anyone still dithering about whether to come or not, all I’ll say is please don’t be one of those who says “I wish I’d got organised and come” – if I was paid a dollar for everyone that said that to me after Lotus 2013, I’d have paid for the Eleven by now. The website hasn’t changed – – go there, book your place, and then follow the directions to book your accomodation. Then start thinking about how you are going to get you and the family there.

A little further afield, there are plans afoot, co-ordinated by Brian Caldersmith, for the 60th (Diamond Jubilee) celebrations for the Lotus Elite in 2017; at this stage, all you need to do is contact Brian if you want to be kept involved. Drop Seth an email and he’ll put you in touch.

And on the subject of Diamond Jubilees, next year (2016) is that milestone for the Lotus Eleven. We have started planning, and are hoping to get all the Australian cars (12 at the last count) and possibly some from overseas together in one place – possibly Eastern Creek; watch this space, and if you’d like to be involved, let me or Ed Holly know and we will add you into the reckoning!

That’s probably enough from me – and I look forward to seeing you at one or more of the events we have planned. In the meantime, as ever, keep safe, upright, and on the black stuff!

Ashton Roskill

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