South Australia’s Lotus Torque, March 2019

The cars gather for the February run under blue SA skies

Image: Chris Burton

Catch up with our friends in South Australia with this latest edition of Lotus Torque for March 2019, thanks to Andrew Stevens.

South Australia Lotus Torque, March 2019

An occasional contribution from our SA Correspondent – Andrew Stevens

Photos: Mark Tiddy, Chris Burton and Andrew Stevens

February kicked off with a bang, commencing with the monthly run, this time down to Meadows, and followed up a week later with the spectacular All British Day (ABD) at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills.

Of course, if you missed out you can join in on one of the monthly gatherings. We get together on the first Sunday of every month at 9am, meeting up at the back end of the Sikh Centre carpark at the bottom of the SE Freeway. It’s the first entrance on the left after the Glen Osmond Rd – Cross Rd – Portrush Rd traffic lights as you head towards the hills.

Two generations of performance Lotus

Image: Mark Tiddy

February Run

Fifteen cars and their owners rolled up on the third of February for our regular monthly Sunday morning run. The wonderful SA weather encouraged open air motoring, and after the usual socialising, car inspections, dispensing of advice and helpful suggestions, the gang headed off for a convoy run to Meadows for morning tea.

The route took in the Onkaparinga Scenic Drive through the eastern hills, which is a mix of twisty sections and smooth open sweeping bends where the joys of driving a Lotus in company can be fully appreciated.

The Evoras kept to their own corner of the All British Day Display

The Evoras kept to their own corner of the All British Day Display / Andrew Stevens

All British Day

With British Motorsport Heritage headlining this year’s All British Day (ABD), Lotus were always going to feature in the annual display at Echunga reserve in the Adelaide Hills. In keeping with the theme, the weather was suitably overcast, which meant that we didn’t all bake in the heat of an Adelaide summer.

Mike Bennett’s ex-Graham Hill Monaco GP Lotus 12 had pride of place on the motorsport display in the centre of the main oval and on the cover of the ABD program. The rasp of its Coventry Climax engine was a big attraction, and Mike was kept busy answering questions and discussing the merits of doing 200kmh with a prop-shaft running between your legs. As usual the car was immaculately prepared ahead of its trip to Phillip Island for the historic event.

The ex-Graham Hill Monaco GP Lotus 12 highlighted Lotus Motorsport heritage

The ex-Graham Hill Monaco GP Lotus 12 highlighted Lotus Motorsport heritage / Andrew Stevens

Graham Smith’s championship-winning 2ZZ-engined Elise S (yes you read that right) was showcased on the Sporting Car Club’s Collingrove Hillclimb display, along with Mark Forgie’s Lotus Cortina and Graham Jarrett’s JPS Lotus Esprit along with a couple of Elans.

Bob Jenneson and Mike Bacchia demonstrate that red ones look faster

Bob Jenneson and Mike Bacchia demonstrate that red ones look faster / Andrew Stevens

The Club Lotus Australia (SA) display was well attended all day with a great cross section of vehicles. The twin reds of Michael Bacchia’s immaculate Esprit SE turbo and Bob Jenneson’s concours-winning Elan Plus 2. The Kazis ‘twins’ had their Evoras on display, as did Michael Ford, while John Carter’s quick yellow Elise S1 with its “interesting” number plate was surprisingly the only Elise present after Lee Rolph had to drop out with her British Racing Green S2.

Graham Jarrett's Esprit

Graham Jarrett’s Esprit / Andrew Stevens

Chris Sofokleous had his James Bond inspired S1 Esprit gathering plenty of attention alongside Ash Bachelier’s silver Eclat. Les Partington didn’t get his S3 Seven finished in time, but Mike Bennett’s Seven represented the ’60s, alongside David and Edwina Baird’s Mk1 Lotus Cortina.

Graham Smith's S2 Elise

Graham Smith’s S2 Elise / Andrew Stevens

Of course the event also featured many other British marques, including Triumphs (two and four-wheeled), MGs, Land, Range and plain old Rovers, Rileys, Nortons, Healeys, Vauxhalls, Fords, Jaguars, Jensens, Austins, Singers, Rollers, Morgans and Astons (phew!).

During a chat with Peter Roberts from Finch Restorations, he revealed that one of his clients has acquired a Europa salvaged from the US that is being looked at to determine what’s required to bring it back to life. We’re planning a Lotus visit to Finch’s later in the year.

MSCA 6 Hour Regularity Relay

Our annual team motorsport participation occurs on May 5th with the MSCA 6 Hour regularity. This is a fantastic value event, and we can only improve on last year (ahem). If you’re not up for competing, come along and spectate or help out the team with sash changes or pit signalling. This will be just a week after the Lotus 2019 event in Queensland, so there may be an opening if you haven’t done the event before, or if you want to have another go.

Happy motoring,
Andrew Stevens

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