Ashton’s President’s Prattle for February, 2024

Lotus Tyre Kick & Coffee November 2023

Well, may I start by wishing you all a very happy New Year, albeit slightly belatedly!

I don’t mind admitting that 2023 was not the most brilliant of years in some (mostly sad) ways, but 2024 has all the hallmarks of a good one.

Not least the fact that, with the exception of a gearbox seal having given up the ghost on the Elise, all of my cars have started the year in running order! I even have the Mini back with a fully refreshed cooling system, and serviced supercharger. Thanks Garth!

Of course the Range Rovers continue to be in bits, but that might yet change!

And having returned the Elite to fast road trim, I am hoping (once the weather cools off a bit) to get out to some of this year’s sprints, and much looking forward to seeing you there – sorry to miss the first of the season last weekend, but I gather the thundering bureaucracy of MA has finally come to its senses on seat belts, so any confusion caused at that event should not be repeated.

Fingers are firmly crossed that the Great Cape rally will take place in August (recent weather has put some of the route under threat) – Gidget needs a little remedial work to get her ready (having bent the rear chassis members on the Perth to Sydney rally, we had to hold the doors closed with zip ties!), but the route sounds fun, starting in Cairnes, heading up to Cape York via the Telegraph Road, then back down to Normanton, Birdsville, Flinders Ranges, Broken Hill and finishing in Mildura. Approx 9500 kms in 18 days, And I’ll have then covered both east to west and north to south in Australia!

In SA, Andrew is pursuing the opportunity to offer members historic registration which (slightly alarmingly) will enable early S1 Elises to have historic registration. I have to say, the scheme as it is described in SA is a much better one than those in NSW and Vic, so I hope that will enable more members to enjoy more of their cars more often! And thank you Andrew for pursuing that for our members, much appreciated.

In WA, John Edmonson (thanks John!) continues to run his early morning runs for all comers, and judging by the photos, they are well attended and much enjoyed!

The Sandy Bay gatherings in Hobart, TAS continue to attract a wide and ever increasing selection of cars, including some not seen out and about for some time, so thank you Rob (Verhey) for keeping us up to date with photos!

And here in NSW, we’ve got off to a good start with Tyre Kicks, with the second of the month settling into a good rhythm at Bourke St Bakery – originally meant to be a temporary home, it’s fast becoming slightly preferred. We’ll see whether it copes as numbers increase, but as our cars are small and unobtrusive, we should be OK for a while yet!

Upcoming on February 17th is the annual Gerringong MotorFest – for those who haven’t been, this is a lovely low key, family friendly event, with a wide and eclectic selection of cars – and their owners! Well worth the effort of getting out of bed early for! Evan will be circulating details of where we’ll meet on the way down there, or you can just make your own way there. There’s a $10 entry fee per car, but to be honest, you’ll spend more on coffee and a doughnut!! See you there I hope!

And finally, there is starting to be some noise regarding the next Lotus Biennial – LCV have stood up a committee and are organising for a long weekend possibly centred around the Alpine region again, sometime in 2025 – more details to follow in due course.

And on that happy note, I’ll leave you to your coffee and to gather your thoughts for the year ahead.

Take care, stay safe and mostly on the blackstuff,

Pip pip,

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