Ashton’s President’s Prattle for April, 2018

President's Prattle

Grateful acknowledgements to Evan Jones for the photo of the Elite, and to Angryman Photography for the shot of the Eleven

Hello, and a belated Happy Easter!

If you are reading this before the HSRCA Autumn Festival, you are not too late to come and join the Jim Clarke Commemorative Weekend on 7-8 April at Wakefield Park. To date we have nine Lotus cars running, ranging from 18s and 22s, through a 23 and an Elite to a couple of Elises. Great showing, and thank you to everyone who has entered! I hope some of you might come along for one or other day to say hello!

Last weekend we had the first committee meeting of the year – full minutes will be published on the members’ area of the website for your reference, but overall, the club is in a healthy state financially (thank you Greg for keeping the numbers churning!), largely underwritten by two main drivers. Firstly we have seen a marked increase in membership numbers, which is great news (we now have almost 300 full members, and a further 60 or so associates), and secondly we had a very successful CSCA Sprint in March.

So a bigger than usual “Welcome!” to all of our new members, welcome back to all of you who have renewed this year, and congratulations again to the Motorsport Committee for running their first very successful event!

Other items for discussion included the Historic Plates scheme (for those not aware, your Historic car needs a pink slip in order to be Historic registered per the requirements on the Historic Declaration form), and some planning for events for this year. We are aiming to have a few more weekend runs, including at least one to hook up with the LOST fraternity around the Newcastle area. One of our number (Dario Valenza) has kindly invited us to his workplace (Carbonix) where they prototype in carbon fibre (and build cool stuff like drones), so we are working on that, and of course there will be the stalwart events – Shannons Day, Kings School All British Day, Eggs Benedict and before we know it, our Christmas Party.

Aside from all that important stuff, and the on-going saga of the build of Gidget, our Austin Healey 100/4 for Peking to Paris (which is now frighteningly close to being driven again for the first time in nearly a year!), my Eleven is also quite close to being back on the road following the failure of the radius arm on the way home from Eggs B last year.

Broken radius arm Sept 17

For those who didn’t see the results, this was what it looked like after I stopped suddenly.

Ashton in the Eleven thanks to Angryman Photography

Of course, finding a spare radius arm wasn’t exactly like falling off a log, but I have managed at last to get a pair fabricated to look the part, while avoiding the original issue (where a 43″ radius arm had been cut and shut to make a 23 inch one, and the resulting weld had failed – or more accurately, had never been any good to start with). So, the car is back in one piece and presently having a roll-hoop fabricated to placate the concerns of several of you who viewed the photos of me (and my passenger sometimes!) in the car with some concern for our welfare – thank you for that concern by the way!

And of course there has been a pressing need to get my (formerly Brian’s) Elite recommissioned in time for the aforementioned Autumn Festival next weekend, so I am hoping that with a flush of all the fluids, some fresh fuel and a jump start, all will be well for next Saturday! I think I will be taking it pretty steady, as I recall Brian mentioning that the tyres might have seen better days, and that’s one thing I am unlikely to get sorted in time (unless anyone happens to have a set of 15 inch 60 spoke splined wires with decent rubber I can borrow for the weekend?!!)

Right, I’d better get this to Tom, so he can get it to you. I hope you have all had a fantastic Easter weekend, and I look forward to seeing you out and about soon.

In the meantime, keep safe, upright and on the blackstuff,

Pip pip,

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