Returning to the United Kingdom earlier this year, our ever-intrepid club president Ashton Roskill took the opportunity to scout out some Lotus adventures in the homeland. Over the next few days, we’re going to share some of his stories here on the website.
Today, Ashton meets Eddie Hopkins – Man of Mystery and encyclopedia of Elevens.
By Ashton Roskill
As part of the research into the build for my Eleven, I was put in touch with Eddie Hopkins, who runs Riversdale Restorations from his farm in Dorset. While we were in the United Kingdom, I asked if he would be kind enough to let me pick his brains on his Eleven builds (he has rebuilt his own two cars, plus a host of original and replica cars for customers).
On turning up at his farm, we were welcomed with open arms, in spite of turning up in the Boxster! It turned out he had recently acquired a 911, and had been busy pondering how he was going to hide it from me – no need.
Eddie showed us around his wonderful barns, including this unusual Seven he is rebuilding – the only one to be built with an Eleven tail. Then there was his shed of cars he has himself..
And that doesn’t include all those under the covers – Elan Sprint, Seven, Elan +2, Eclat .. yes, well I won’t make you any greener.
In addition to the visual enjoyment, Eddie was also immensely helpful with the nitty gritty detail for the Eleven, showing me how to fabricate a gearbox mount.
Along with the size and specification of rivets, which have different sizes for the upper body and floorpan.
The correct fitment for the windscreen (Chicago fasteners which bookbinders use in case you were wondering.)
And how to secure the bottom of the front shock absorbers, which are currently swinging in the breeze!
So there you go – all you need to know to build an Eleven.. well, perhaps not! Eddie is certainly a wonderful man to have met, and has been a huge help in the progress made to date. If you are over in the UK, I would recommend a visit to say hello.
Thanks to Ashton Roskill. We’d love to hear about your Lotus adventures, so if you have a Lotus story that you would like to share with the club, we’d love to hear from you! Just send a quick email to Seth and say ‘Hi!’