Catch up on the Western Australian crew’s November early morning run thanks to Mike Hamilton, illustrated with photos by Elinor Hamilton.
By Mike Hamilton, photos by Elinor Hamilton
Sunday mornings are great, but the once a month Club Lotus WA early morning run is nothing less than fantastic and the EMR on Sunday 20th November was no exception!
As usual the rendezvous was at Guildford railway station carpark at 8:00am sharp… ish …give or take twenty minutes… but 8:30am is fine…8:45am if you have to nip over the road and grab a coffee for that much need pre-EMR caffeine boost.
So at 8:00am “sharp” we amassed in a Lotus cocktail of various models and colours, from a stunning 1985 Esprit, Elise S2 and S3 as well as Exige S2 and S3 gleaming in Aspen Whites, Chrome Orange, Graphite Grey, Canyon and Ardent Reds, Magnetic Blue and classy Metallic Black, all looking fine in the early morning sun.
The usual banter was aplenty between the club members and the various enthusiastic passers by that often make us all feel so proud and privileged to be Lotus owners. There was so much talk in fact that in the end Eddie and his co-driver for the day – Murphy the dog – had to go around and herd everyone like sheep back to their cars. Had this not been the case it is likely that many of us would still be stood there talking in the car park right now!
At precisely 8 o’something, with all bums on seats and with ignitions primed, our starter buttons were pressed and the sound of no less than eight of Hethel’s finest roared in to life and were soon rolling out on to James Street. What was about to follow was almost seven hours of some of the best driving I have enjoyed in as long as I can remember!
As usual Eddie (AKA “Google Maps”) had composed yet another superb route and it wasn’t long before we were climbing on to the hills towards Kalamunda. Some steady cruising later saw us all stop for an impromptu photoshoot at Maundering Weir before heading onwards to our destination of York, which at this point was still some 126km away.
A spirited drive followed as we wound our way through the beautiful WA countryside on a beautiful fresh picture perfect spring morning. With the possible exception of Wayne’s Exige doing its best to asphyxiate everything in his wake, it was perfect! That and the fact that just outside of York, as a few of the lead cars ducked past before the road narrowed, a number of us were caught (many with roofs off and windows down) by an oncoming road train which brought with it what can only be described as a road width, 6 metre high red dust wall that signalled an impending semi-permanent colour change for those unlucky enough to be caught coming the other way.
Having passed us the road train was gone (no doubt with the driver pee-ing his pants with laughter at what he had just witnessed) and for those left behind as the dust cleared, it was immediately obvious that the previously shining examples of Lotus paintwork were now somewhat dulled and looking more like a colour that I will attempt to describe for the those not present as ‘Matt Iron Ore Dust Non-Metallic’. A day later as I write this column it is still coming out of my nose!
Finally at 10:45am we arrived in York (some of us feeling fresher than others) and as we slowly cruised in to town we past two police traffic motorbikes coming the other way. Naturally we all smiled and nodded as they passed our train of British sports cars, and no doubt instantly reassured by our friendly actions they went on their way safe in the knowledge that we had driven to the letter of the law for the duration of our morning run. As always!
Having refreshed and eaten our own body weights in food at the Old Mill Cafe, we set up and prepared to depart for the return trip to Perth when Eddie offered to lead anyone who fancied making the return journey via the back roads away from the main highway. Understandably, some of the crew had to get back and so departed taking the faster route home. Les and Marilyn, David, Ellie and I remained and followed Eddie and his co-driver Murphy on what was to be another ninety minutes of driving on great roads, in great company, in some of the best handling cars in the world.
As I said at the beginning, Sunday mornings are great, but the once a month Club Lotus WA early morning run is nothing less than fantastic and the EMR on Sunday 20th November was no exception!
Photographs by, and thanks to, Elinor Hamilton