President’s Prattle: August

President's Prattle

Afternoon all!

Just when I thought I had everything organised, knew what was going where in the garage, what I was planning to do to the Elan, work needed on the Elise, and all the projects on the house under control, it all got thrown into a cocked hat! See the initial musings on my latest madness, the purchase of the Tuft Lotus Eleven, elsewhere … suffice to say, I have something of a project on my hands! Many, many thanks to Bruce Mansell and Warwick Bisley for entrusting the car to me, and I hope I will do them and the car proud.

Well, what’s a garage for in the middle of winter if not a project? So I can hardly complain, and it is a thing of almost unmatched beauty (particularly when finished), so this is the start of the journey – bear with me!

Elsewhere in the world of Lotus, planning is well underway for the next nationals, Lotus 2015 in the beautiful Barossa Valley in South Australia over the weekend of 2nd – 5th October next year; accommodation bookings are already open (full details at www.lotus2015.weebly.com) and filling up quite fast! Judging by the conversations I had with Ian and Andrew at the recent SSC day, it is setting up to be an outstanding event, so I look forward to seeing lots of you there!

And for those lucky enough to have been over in Europe for some of their summer, there has been plenty of interest – Goodwood Festival of Speed was on in late June, and Goodwood Revival is coming up on 12-14 September – if you’ve never been to one or the other (or ideally both!) make sure you put them on your bucket list.

July has been a cold one, at least here in NSW it has – which is good for clean running engines, but does require a bit more wrapping up of the extremities! As I was reminded on the way to Cars and Coffee a couple of weeks ago – the heater in the Elan is about as much use as the one in the Elise, so I found myself (carelessly gloveless) with my hands under the dash at any red lights! But the showing was outstanding – and not just Lotuses, but the increasingly wide array of unusual and interesting cars from the 40’s through to current models – if you haven’t been you should come along – it’s gazetted on the first Sunday of the month, so your Historic-plated car has a great excuse to come out to play!

August starts to get busy on the social and diary front, so make sure you have got all the dates in yours (and have applied for tickets where necessary), particularly as the date for the All British Day at Kings has changed from 31st to 24th August; the weekend before is the Shannons Classic on the Sunday (17th), preceded by the next round of the CSCA Supersprints on the Brabham Circuit at SMP on the Saturday (16th) – and all that starts off with our General Meeting, kindly hosted by Mike Basquil in his shed at 17 Booyong Avenue, Lugarno 2210.

Eggs Benedict bookings are now being taken by Anne, for Sunday 28th September – get your booking done now, as forgetting to do so will preclude involvement – need I say more? Anne is at anne-blackwood at hotmail.com

As our illustrious combined magazine continues to go from strength to strength, we need more CLA contributions! Please share your photos (as high a quality as you can manage so they print well!) and a few words describing what was happening, and get it to Tom by the middle of the month – it’s a shame if our friends north south and west read in here about nothing going on! So hands up who’s prepared to write up the events for August? And if you have a project, let’s hear about it – no matter how stagnant it has become – who knows, writing about it might inspire you to get it moving again!

As an aside, for anyone else who runs a Gen 1 Mini Cooper S as a daily driver, I cannot recommend highly enough a few little mods I undertook, with some kind help from Barry Mather and Paul Hardy, last weekend; we put a 15% undersized supercharger pulley on the Eaton MP45, installed a CAI, and undertook what is euphemistically referred to as the “one-ball mod” to the exhaust (the standard exhaust has two silencer boxes – you can by-pass one, and it frees up the exhaust without affecting noise levels) – these three little mods (and about 5 hours of work) have transformed the car – well worth it – let me know if you want to try it!

OK, enough from me, have a fun month, and enjoy the perfect winter weather we seem to be having. I look forward to seeing you out there at some point.

In the meantime, keep safe, upright and on the black stuff!

Pip pip,
Ashton

CLA Build Stories: Tuft’s Eleven July 2014

Picking up the Eleven

Club Lotus Australia is full of interesting people who are up to interesting things with interesting cars. We think that’s wonderful, so we’re going to share their stories with you here!

If you’d like to share your story on the club website, just send Seth a quick email at [email protected]

In this post, we catch up with Ashton to find out more about his journey with the Tuft’s Eleven. If you’d like to see the future, find part 2 here and part 3 here.

Read More

President’s Prattle: July

President's Prattle

Hello all, May/June has rather blurred together, largely as I spent two weeks of it in Spain and Portugal on the GOME Rally (more to come for those carrion eaters among you!) and then a week recovering from the by-now obligatory gastric flu you have to pick up when you visit Dubai Airport – fun it was not…

But I gather I missed out on the warmest two week stretch in May on record, only to come back to winter… which in my book gives some of the best opportunities for open top motoring, provided the rain holds off! I was reminded recently that the best way to warm the cabin of an S1 Elise is not the heater (which, in the words of one J Clarkson, is akin to an asthmatic blowing through a straw), but by removing the back window and allowing the backdraft in…. so it remains to be seen how the heating in the Elan will fare this winter.. I’ll let you know after the next Club Run, which will be on Sunday 27th July, with a trip (hopefully, and weather permitting) to either the Blue Mountains for some fresh mountain air and some fun and interesting roads over the other side of the black stump, or down south… or both.

So put the date in the diary, and more details elsewhere. Hopefully I’ll see you before then at the July GM, which will be at the Woolwich Pier Hotel on July 8th.

Looking slightly further head, August starts to get busier, with the next round of the CSCA sprints (AHOC round) on Saturday 16th and the Shannons Classic on Sunday 17th, both out at Sydney Motorsport Park (EC to you and me), followed the next weekend by the All British Day at Kings School on 24th.

Tickets for both events are paid for by the Club but restricted in number, so if you would like to come, please drop a line to Elliott and register your request for tickets. If you would like to enter the Concours at Shannons, notify Elliott of your intentions.

This year we will once again be holding our Concours d’Elegance at the All British Day, as well as the now-familiar Family Picnic, so please bring the family and persuade the cook in the family to prepare something to share! We will be taking photographs at the All British Day with a particular purpose (so top secret I can’t tell you) so make sure you give her an extra spit and polish.

Having recently decided to keep the Mini and spend some money getting her back up to speed (another money pit to park alongside the Elan and the Elise, yes), I have spent some entertaining hours reading about and researching the rebuild of an Eaton M45 supercharger; and while at it, apparently a 15% reduction in pulley size frees up 30 hp – sounds too good to be true; anyone fancy a working bee one weekend?

Looking slightly further afield, it was good to see Mark Webber’s return to motorsport get so close to nudging the Audi’s off top spot at Le Mans; sad to see that the transmission failure left them so close and yet so far… but as I can attest, endurance racing is as much about finishing as being the fastest!

Ah well, with winter upon us the garage heater is cranked up, and all those jobs that need sorting are on the list… including the relay; for those who came along to the Garagetek evening, you don’t need reminding that Mike Jefferies has offered a very generous 25% club discount off list price for floor tiles – contact Mike on [email protected] or 0411 955 173 and tell him I sent you.

See you soon I hope, and meantime, keep safe, right side up and on the blackstuff,

Ashton

President’s Prattle: June

President's Prattle

Welcome to June – already!

Well May has rushed past in a bit too much of a hurry, and I am writing this in Dubai Airport, en route to London, and thence by ferry to Santander for the start of the 2014 Guild of Motor Endurance Rally, which starts on Sunday (18th May). So please accept apologies for the brevity of this one – I will try and make up for it with a detailed report from the rally next month (assuming we don’t ignominiously depart the race like last time!)

May has been a lovely month, with several great events; we had the (now gazetted) Cars & Coffee event up at Terrey Hills on 4th, with a great turnout of cars, largely due to the fact that for only the second time this year on the first Sunday of the month, it wasn’t raining!

I hope someone got some shots, as I failed dismally to remember my camera.

Then I had to be over in Perth last week for work, so at the last minute managed to organise to catch up with a few of the WA crew for a pizza – thanks to Eddie and Vicky, Richard and Peter for organising it, and it was lovely to see you all, albeit so briefly. And it rained!

I gather the first ‘karts we have organised for some time was a huge success, and many thanks to James Chan for organising this in among all the work and domestic duties he has! It sounds as though fun was had by all, and relatively few injuries were sustained, which is always good to hear. My apologies I was AWOL – work has been a bit busy of late, which is great, just not ideal just before I leave the country for two weeks!

And of course Targa Tasmania has been and gone for another year – hoping for a report next month.

June looks to be a busy month; we have three rounds of the CSCA sprints, starting on the first weekend at SMP (Jags), then two weeks later at the South Circuit (MG), and two weeks after that at Wakefield; the last of these, the Healy Round on Saturday 28th, coincides with the next Simply Sports Cars LOTD at Wakefield on the Friday (27th), and the All British Day on the Sunday (29th), thus making up a fantastic weekend of racing/driving – I look forward to seeing lots of you there, and it sounds as though a few interstaters will probably be joining us! And I am pleased to report that the engine is back in the Elise, so I will be campaigning that this time, instead of the Elan!

Social events for the month include Cars and Coffee on Sunday 1st (when some of us will be at Eastern Creek), and a visit to Garagetek in Tempe for the General Meeting on 10th – these guys produce some fine garage accessories, and have been kind enough to offer some good discounts on the night (and subsequently), so come along and see what the garage could look like!

And they are calling my flight now, so better sign off and go. Have a great month, I look forward to seeing you out there one way or the other, and in the meantime keep safe, right side up and on the black stuff.

Pip pip,
Ashton