Welcome to SELOC, The owners club for Lotus Enthusiasts. Founded in 2002, SELOC is one of the most active Lotus forums and clubs, both online and off, with a lively forum and regular events both in the UK and abroad.
Write up from the Tent Off weekend, from a Central Southern perspective.
We had been looking forward to this all year and finally it was time to squeeze everything into the Lotus and head off to France.
Idiot sign fitted ready
To make the most of the short break, Mrs FW and I left home straight after work on the Wednesday and headed in the general direction of Portsmouth to get the overnight to Caen. After a massive 9 mile journey, we stopped for food and drink in Fareham, the view from the pub window already making us feel like we were away somewhere nice (not saying Fareham isn’t nice.
After a walk along to Fareham creak, we jumped back in the Elise and drove the short distance to the Ferry.
In the carpark we met whizzee111s and Lisa Y who were heading out on a later ferry, soon after we were directed to the boat, unfortunately I was directed to the upper deck with the resulting bodywork modifications.
In the normal Womble tradition, we popped the cork of something fizzy, whilst relaxing in our luxury cabin.
An early wakeup call and we were back in the car and ready to hit the road. After some minor scraping, we left the boat and headed for our on route sight seeing stop of Mont Saint-Michel.
It was reasonably quiet at 9am, but already hot and the walk in was sweltering. It’s a beautiful quaint old place, totally spoilt by the tourist tat and the huge number of tourists. We bailed after a quick walk round and it was already busy, but there were hundreds walking and bussing in.
Next stop Camping de Gouarec (deeppurpleelise’s campsite)
burt and Julie had arrived a few days ago, but the rest of us arrived over the course of the day, most of us without the joy of air conditioning in the cars, therefore some of emerged looking a little lobster like.
Some arrived by more energetic forms of travel.
Lunch was bread and cheese, our staple diet when camping in France, although had I been a ham eater, I would have added this to the ingredients, as jambon seems to be a big part of life in Brittany, so much so that they had a whole isle dedicated to it’s sale in the supermarket.
Kate then dished the accommodation for those without their own tent. The Wombles got Blanche, a classic caravan which Mrs FW ended up falling in love with, we definingly want her again next year.
First evening meal was at a local restaurant, serving traditional French cuisine….pizza.
Fuelled by alcohol and the excitement of foreign travel our minds were open to trying new things.
More new experiences the next day. Mrs FW fancied paddle boarding and Juiliadream (Dudley and Julia), brought their board with them. After pumping it up, taking out the pump hose, having it deflate almost completely before we read the instructions on how the valve works, blowing it up again, this time keeping the air in the correct location, Tracy passed the board lesson over to me as there was quite an audience building.
Julia showed us how it was done.
I did manage to get to my feet, but didn’t feel like falling in the canal, so stayed kneeling mostly.
In the evening there was a crepe night and Geoff and Kate’s Son and friend entertained us with live music.
The crepes were great, but what ever you do, don’t try to queue up for a sweet one until everyone had been served a savoury one!
Then these arrived.
Having been taken out for a go and shown how to work it, I was then told to take anyone else out who wanted a go, making me chief VeloSolex tour guide Barbie.
I never did find out why someone made Kate and Geoff’s 2CV a coat, perhaps it gets cold
More aquatic adventures were had the next day, when we hit the water in a rowing boat.
I was sent to the Poop Deck
The evening saw children being placed in car boots
And more Yahzee (we know how to party)
On the Sunday, after a gentle drive in the country (Geoff’s description of gentle, being somewhat different to mine!), we met up with the Interesting Car Club, at the lake. The club is a mix of French and British car enthusiasts with an eclectic mix of cars.
Coffee by the lake
Then a picnic.
In the evening, Julia presided over the BBQ, whilst burt tortured innocent chickens and Niccii took on baby sitting duties
Despite the clouds, the sun always shines on the righteous
Alas it all had to end at some point and after photo opportunity on Monday morning, we all made our way back to Blighty (other than burt and Julie who were staying for a few more days and live in foreign parts)
A very brief stop in St. Malo, before heading on to Cherborg for the ferry
A fantastic weekend, thanks to burt, Julie, Kate, Geoff and all the other attendees, glad to hear we will be back next year.
This historic run, originally from Bournemouth to Swanage, can trace its roots back to the early part of the century, and was a ritual originally carried out by a group of Bournemouth Lotus Owners (BoLOCs). The route has been changed over time, this iteration being suggested by Ginnders, who suspiciously wasn’t joining us.
Keen to avoid as much of the Friday traffic chaos as possible, Mrs FW and I headed West at midday and spent the day mooching about the Hampshire Dorset border, before grabbing some pre burger nourishment as we wouldn’t be arriving in Swanage until around 9pm.
These days the start point is Ferndown Sainsbury’s. 12 cars were assembled ready to to leave and the briefing given.
Main points of the briefing were:
Don’t leave the car park ahead of the lead car (yes this has happened before, one person was a little too keen and everyone followed them, leaving me the last car left, when I was supposed to be leading).
Keep an eye on the car behind, slow down at junctions to ensure we don’t lose anyone.
Our / my track record isn’t good, for some reason (shear incompetence probably) either I will get lost and lead us all the wrong way (occasionally this will be someone’s driveway, I think they were quite surprised to see several Lotus arrive and turn around and promptly leave again) or I lose half the group. Alas today would turn out to be no better.
Philygumbo had some electrical problems on route to Sainsbury’s which turned into a flat battery. Delbert came prepared for all eventualities had some jump leads and Phil’s car was started (he also had a voltage meter and found the alternator to be kaput), he bailed out and headed home ahead of us, only to clap out on the second roundabout.
The main group went on and parked up in a safe point while Delbert and King SuPah stopped to try jump starting the car again. A new battery was procured from a conveniently placed Halfords,
Most of us parked up waiting, however Juliadream sailed by (pun intended) without spotting 7 brightly colored Lotus and the bald bloke frantically waving at them to stop.
davehope almost got to where we had parked, but thought he’d gone wrong and turned back to the main road and then vainly attempted to chase us down in the wrong direction.
Delbert and King SuPah found us again after seeing Phillygumbo on his way and we were back up to 9 cars (from an original 12).
We set off again and after a short distance we ended up with a couple of Euroboxes between me and Dobbin, therefore Dobbin didn’t see me turn in to Burt’s Lane (a road, not a euphemism) and we’d gone from 9 cars to 1 in the blink of an eye. Tuning round and chasing the 8 errant Lotus, I find them turning round and coming back in my direction. Another about turn for the Womblemobile and back up Burt’s Lane (snigger), this time followed by 6 Lotus, yes in the space of about 100 yards we’d lost Delbert and King SuPah.
With now only half the starting number of cars we set off again, running rather late and slightly concerned that all the food establishments would be shut for the night before we arrived. We agreed to to miss out the stop at the view point to give us the best chance of being fed..
Delbet messaged to say that they would meet us at the viewpoint (this was going to cause confusion and consternation as we couldn’t share this information with our group) so Mrs FW confirmed we would pick them up there, but not stop. On arrival the view point gate was shut, meaning 8 Lotus (yes, numbers were back on the rise) had to turn round and then squeeze passed each other on a very narrow road.
After this it was plain sailing, we headed down to Swanage and parked up, meeting the free roaming members of our original contingent, including Philygumbo, who’d changed into a working car and beaten us there.
Food was procured, eaten and we said our goodbyes to some whilst the diehard members then went on to the Scott Arms in Kingston, a great pub with fantastic views over Corfe Castle. I think there were 6 cars, so back to half again. A quick drink and we departed, most heading to their homes, Mrs FW and I to our luxury Airbnb garden shed, up the biggest Hill in Swanage.
This annual event is always organised on Ascension day and is definitely not to be missed. Seloc were well represented with approximately 10 cars travelling over from the UK to take part and thoroughly enjoy a great day out.
For some of us the journey commenced on the Wednesday catching the Eurotunnel train to Calais and a leisurely drive to the very nice Hotel Ariane in Ypres (Ieper) where we were greeted by the staff and provided with a complimentary drink.
The evening before the event we had a lovely meal at a local restaurant named Captain Cook where we caught up with a few other Seloc friends. An absolutely lovely and enjoyable time was had by all and finished in time for a walk to the Menin Gate to witness the daily service as a memorial to the fallen of the Great war. From 11th November 1929 the Last Post has been sounded at the Menin Gate Memorial site every night regardless of weather conditions. The only exception to this was during the four years of the German occupation of Ypres from 20th May 1940 to 6th September 1944.
After the service we were invited to a ‘meet and greet’ at a local bar (Café Troebadour) with Pascal (One of the YLD organisers) for a few infamous Belgian beers. Wow some these have a pretty strong ABV!! To finish the evening off it was back to the Hotel for a night cap.
The morning of the YLD event saw approximately 120 Lotus cars of all descriptions descend on the Grand Place Grote Markt and what a magnificent sight it was with all the Lotus cars parked up plus with the weather on our side it had the making of a brilliant day. With registration completed and armed with the map book of the morning route we all headed off around 10:00 a.m. It’s amazing how many cars leave the meeting point and become spread apart so quickly. The map book is straight forward to read (by the co-pilot) but woe betide should you miss a turning! Thank goodness for reverse gear which was well used.
Even straying off the route at times was all part of the fun and you soon spotted other Lotus cars roaring around so it was just a matter of catching up. I guess that’s the beauty of the landscape being so flat. The roads were predominantly farm roads and lanes, just over one car width, making a spirited drive possible.
Our first stop was for Lunch at a lovely venue Den Oesterput where a delicious meal was prepared and awaiting our arrival.
Once we had all been fed and watered it was off on the afternoon run. With the sun shining and a cloudless sky it was a warm pleasant drive through the countryside again. Now that everyone had made it through the morning run we knew what to expect for the afternoon and we weren’t disappointed, what a superb drive it was!
A mid-afternoon drink stop was arranged at Verzekeringen ERARD where we all parked up and enjoyed some welcome light refreshments and a quick catch up on the day’s event so far.
With no more a do it was off for the last stint to the final destination at the lovely Hotel complex Domein Vossengerg where we were greeted with a Champagne reception ready for the superb evening meal.
To sum up the event, it really must be on any Lotus owners ‘must do list’ as this is one event not to be missed.
The organisation of the whole day is second to none, with tremendous hard work by the organisers Pascal and Frederik; an achievement that deserves recognition. So add a note in your diary for next year’s event arranged for Thursday 21st May 2020.
LOTUS ELISE IS CROWNED “ICON OF ICONS” AT AUTOCAR AWARDS 2019
Elise named overall winner out of 17 automotive icons including Porsche 911, Land Rover, Ford Mustang, Mini and VW Beetle
Elise took more than a quarter of the total vote from tens of thousands of Autocar readers around the world
The Lotus Elise has been awarded the prestigious Readers’ Champion award at the Autocar Awards 2019.
In a recent poll, Autocar readers were invited to vote for their favourite icon from a list of 17 cars that are still in production and using the same name since launch. Each of the selected icons were championed by a different member of the Autocar editorial team.
Receiving the award were Lotus Cars’ Design Director, Russell Carr and Head of Concepts Richard Rackham.
Russell Carr said: “The Elise as a concept demonstrated the purity of Lotus design perfectly. As a design, it has developed and evolved over the years, but the essence of the Elise has always remained and that is one of the reasons why it has become such an icon. And of course, I greatly appreciate the support from the Autocar readership who clearly recognise this iconic status.”
Richard Rackham, previously the Vehicle Architect behind the Elise, added: “The Elise was a revolution, as not only did it demonstrate the benefits of lightweight to an industry that insisted on higher power and the increased mass that goes with it, but it also pioneered the use of extruded and bonded aluminium technology which is now so ubiquitous in global small volume vehicle manufacture.”
Mark Tisshaw, Editor of Autocar, said: “Displaying the appetite for pure driving machinery we’ve always been certain they had, our loyal readers have decided by an overwhelming margin that the Lotus Elise is this year’s 2019 Autocar Awards Readers’ Champion. Readers chose the Elise for its unwavering emphasis on driving factors: fine steering, handling and brakes made more effective by its compactness and light weight. For the record, we at Autocar enthusiastically applaud the decision.”
The bonded and extruded aluminium chassis technology that Lotus introduced first to the industry continues to evolve and improve. Future Lotus cars will incorporate this and new lightweight technologies, further strengthening Lotus’ position as a leader in agile, high performance and lightweight sports cars.
The Elise was not the only Lotus to have been included in the voting process, with the Lotus Seven as another of the 17 icons.
Historic Moment for a Historic Car Classic Team Lotus are proud to announce Classic Team Lotus’s Type 49 was selected to appear in China, in celebration of the 1000th GP. Our very own Chris Dinnage is also there, overseeing preparation of the car, for parade laps driven by Damon Hill.
When I arranged for a return visit to Classic Team Lotus at their new Workshop and storage facility for Saturday 23rd March I had no idea how popular this would prove. With 25 places on offer to attend, within two days of the event being posted it was fully subscribed plus an increasing reserve list.
The day of the tour commenced with the local Essex area meeting up for a run from Colchester to Hethel with a ten car convoy which made for a great sight on a lovely sunny Spring day. We duly arrived at the facility to meet with others who had traveled from different locations and awaited the arrival of birthday boy Michael Hipperson with his daughter Daisy driving his lovely red Elite type 14. Not to embarrass Michael we gave a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday as he walked across the car park to join us.
Our host for the afternoon was Richard Parramint who greeted us all as we congregated in the main entrance (Shop) area and gave us an insight of the new facility before we commenced our walkabout.
Starting on the ground floor it was evident that things have moved into the 21st Century for CTL from the original wooden huts adjacent to the new site. On entering the new workshop area we were among the cars currently undergoing restoration and preparation for this year’s racing events. It really was a case of a ‘child in a sweet shop’ moment as being able to get up so close to the iconic cars in various state of construction was simply amazing. Seeing my all-time favorite Type 25 in all its glory was the icing on the cake. Richard was on hand to answer any questions that were put to him regarding the cars and their past drivers plus with his wit and humorous banter it made for an interesting insight into the past within the team in its heyday. The workshop is a lovely clean working environment for the engineers and provides plenty of space for working on the individual cars which perhaps the old workshops couldn’t really offer.
Making our way up to the 1st floor level, and this really was another level (excuse the pun), the vast array of F1 cars was outstanding and once again we were free to walk around and drool over pretty much the range of ex Lotus F1 racers from type 72’s, 49 and 99T that had the revolutionary active suspension, and so many more which are too numerous to mention. Needless to say everyone felt privileged to be amongst such motor racing history.
As part of our visit we had the opportunity for those who wanted to have one of the F1 cars rolled out for a photo opportunity to include the owner’s cars etc. The black beauty we had was Ronnie Petersons Type 79 which made for great photos against the background of the wooded area as you can see from the picture.
After approximately a three hour tour coming to a conclusion we reconvened in the shop area to spend some cash and wrap up the afternoon with Richard.
After saying our goodbyes to those making their way homeward bound the rest of us headed off to the Breckland Lodge Hotel for a drink and lovely evening meal to finish off the day in style.
To sum up the event I hope that everyone felt it was a resounding success and on behalf of Seloc I would like to extend a big thank you to Richard Parramint and Classic Team Lotus for giving us this great opportunity to visit their new facility.
Out with the old and in with the new – with the Evora Sport 410 being replaced by the Evora GT410 Sport, featuring the revised look of the GT430 Sport moving the standard Ohlin and titanium exhaust to the option list.