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LEW has just added the Historic Lotus Register to our Links page. Please have a look if you're interested in older Loti.
New Lotus will be produced abroad
27th May 2005 by Ben Kendall
Flagship car-maker Lotus moved to reassure Norfolk last night that its foreseeable future lay in the county after announcing that production of its new sports car is to be moved abroad.
Lotus confirmed that up to a third of its future car production would be carried out oversees. Until now the Hethel-based company, set up in 1966, has only built cars in the UK. And while the company reassured workers that no jobs would be lost as a result, the announcement provoked concern that Lotus's long term future in the region was under threat.
Chief executive officer Kim Oggaard-Nielsen said the company was committed to at least 10 more years at Hethel. But North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who is also the Liberal Democrat's spokesman on trade and industry, urged the company to offer a longer-term commitment to the county. Mr Lamb said: "More and more companies are choosing to move operations abroad.
" It is of course important for companies such as Lotus to take steps to remain competitive but the fear, as far as Norfolk and the UK as a whole is concerned, is that we could lose these industries completely.
" Lotus is an incredibly important part of the county's economy, both in terms of jobs, prestige and the skilled labour pool it has created.
" The firm has offered its reassurance it will be here for 10 years but it would be very disappointing if, after that time, they turn round and say they are leaving completely."
Yesterday's news is expected to mean the replacement for the Esprit will be built at an existing Proton plant in Malaysia. The last Esprit rolled of Hethel production lines last year and its replacement had widely been expected to be produced in Norfolk.
Mr Oggaard-Nielsen said: "This is about expansion and where that expanded capacity should be located. We, as with many other vehicle manufacturers, will pick the most suitable location for future capacity expansion.
" Financial considerations mean that this will most likely be in a facility that already exists within the Group Proton portfolio."
A spokesman added that expanding the Hethel plant was not financially viable. Mr Oggaard-Nielsen said the company's minimum 10-year commitment to manufacturing at Hethel may be extended. But he added: "From a business planning perspective it's just not possible to predict any further.
" There is no suggestion that current production would be relocated anywhere
" This is not the start of relocating the whole company; this is a very common occurrence in the auto industry. If anything, Lotus is one of the last companies to expand production beyond its established home."
He said no further details of the Esprit replacement could be disclosed but promised "the new supercar will be a fantastic product".
Production of the Lotus Elise will stay at Hethel and the factory is expected to from making 5000 to 8000 cars. Caroline Gumble, director of the East Anglia branch of EEF (formerly the Engineering Employers' Federation) said she could not comment on specific cases.
But she pointed to a recent survey which highlighted the rapidly increasing challenge posed by eastern economies.
The survey showed almost half of manufacturers said that more production would take place outside the UK over the next five years, with the primary reason being to achieve cost reduction.
She said expanding operations abroad was a useful strategy to complement existing UK business. But she added: "We must ensure that companies who go down this route are doing so as part of a long term business plan and not because they perceive the UK as a poor location for manufacturing."
19th June 2005 – Display Area Tickets
Supercar Sunday will again be held at the Gaydon Motor Museum on Sun 19th June. I have asked for display parking for approx 12+ Esprits as a recognised Club. If anyone wants one and also a passenger ticket let me know. You cannot show up on the day with your car and expect to get parked in the display area.
Surely no Esprit Owner will apply for this!
Road Rage School is a brand new BBC1 documentary series which will recruit a group of road ragers ready to start tackling their aggression. Over a two week period they will embark on an intensive counselling programme with a professional psychologist. Trying out a variety of therapies, together participants will work out the best way to reform and control their rage. Constant assessment and evaluation throughout the course will monitor progress, leading up to a final test at the end of the show.
So if you or someone you know has road rage then this new BBC series want to help. You can call HELEN, JULIA or TOM on 020 7751 7374 or email your name and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Lotus Track day at Castle Come this Saturday 28th....all the track passes are sold out at this time..but there is always a chance on the day...Helmets needed...
Win a Yellow Lotus Esprit V8
In Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
LEW's vacation in Las Vegas couldn't get us away from the Esprit. Exotic Cars has just opened up in Caesars Palace with over 50 cars currently being displayed, including Lambo's, Ferrari's, Bentley's and a beautiful Saleen S7. Also there is one of the last Lotus Esprit V8's in yellow. During our time there, Exotic Cars where waiting for there licence to come through to sell vehicles, once it's approved all the vehicle on display will be available for purchase, with new stock of Exotics coming in.
To help promote this new venture you can win selected Exotic Cars on the slot machines, with the yellow V8 being in Caesars Casino leading to the forum shops. At $1.25 a spin and needing a line of Exotic Cars symbols, it could take a while, we only saw the symbol once while spending $10 trying to win! The Esprit will be available for purchase (if it's not won first) for around $75,000. The V8 is yellow with a tan interior and has only 4,300 miles on the clock. We spoke to Laurent Crawford who can arrange a sale if you're interested.
Professional touch for 2006 Calendar
Get your Esprit in next years Calendar
LEW would like to thank all those who have volunteered their Esprits for a photo shoot. All the details have been passed on to the photographer, who will be contacting those he is interested in shooting. Further updates will be posted here on the news page as the calendar develops.
LEW is currently having a few problems sending emails out. We are receiving them ok, but replies are currently stacking up a little. We hope to resolve this problem with in a few days.
Top 10 used supercars for under £20,000!
By Richard Aucock, last updated May 13 2005
You know those dreams you had when you were younger about all the luscious cars you were going to buy the moment you could afford them? Unfortunately, reality usually bites and though you may have the money now, you spend it on boring things like houses, children, and more sensible cars. However, you do not have to spend the earth to get hold of the seriously desirable supercars which you used to desire so much, and here’s our choice of the ten best you could get for less than £20,000.
1. Lotus Esprit V8 - from around £20,000
It was not until 1996 that the Esprit became the car it always should have been. The installation of a race-bred 3.5-litre V8 turned it into a determined Porsche 911 rival, despite the basic design being 20 years old. The shape is definitive supercar, lean, low and angular, while the tight cabin makes you feel like an F1 driver. As will the performance, with 350bhp flinging the old wedge to 60mph in 4.8 seconds and on to 175mph. The gearbox is horrible and the clutch heavy, but handling is delectable and the steering is among the best ever. 10-year-old ones are just sneaking under £20k and will both shake and stir,
2. Maserati Ghibli - from around £10,000
3. Vauxhall Lotus Carlton - from around £15,000
4. Ford Escort Cosworth - from around £15,000
5. Nissan Skyline GT-R - from around £5,000
6. Renault Clio V6 - from around £13,000
7. Porsche 911 Turbo - from around £18,000
8. TVR Tuscan - from around £17,000
9. Bentley Turbo R - from around £8,000
10. Alfa Romeo SZ/RZ - from around £20,000
The seventh annual 'Gumball 3000' Rally sets off from Waterloo Place (between Picadilly Circus and Pall Mall) in London on Saturday 14th May 2005!
Stars include: Jackass and Dukes of Hazard film star Johnny Knoxville, Jamiroquai's Jay Kay, Supermodels Caprice and Jodie Kidd, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill's legendary director Quentin Tarantino with film star Daryl Hannah, Bez from 'The Happy Mondays' and DC Shoes skateboard legend Rob Dyrdek all driving everything from Ferrari Enzo's, Pagani Zonda's, Lamborghini's, Porsche GT's, to old Aston Martin's, Rolls Royce's, Bio-Diesel Hybrid's and even the General Lee!
11:00 - 18:00 - Cars will be on display all day on Waterloo Place (between Picadilly Circus and Pall Mall) and on Trafalgar Square!
18:00 - Jenson Button will waive the start flag at 6PM!!!!!!!! (Waterloo Place).
Professional touch for 2006 Calendar
Get your Esprit in next years Calendar
LEW has decided to get a more professional feel to next years calendar and has commissioned a young photographer to supply all the pictures for the Lotus Esprit World Official Calendar 2006. Matt Watkinson (www.mattwatkinson.com) has a passion for photographing performance cars and has already shot the cover of the 'soon to be released' DVD - Esprit: Addiction for Life.
Matt is keen to get started on shooting the different Esprits for the Calendar as deadline is September, which only gives us 3 or 4 months to get 12 Esprits shot.
So LEW is now looking for owners cars to appear in the 2006 Calendar. You'll be required to link up with Matt at a time suitable to both parties. Early start is almost certain for a car shoot (something about light and empty roads), as is plenty of polishing to get the best representation of your Esprit. Your reward for this effort will be timeless pictures of your pride and joy and international fame as part of the LEW Calendar. LEW will so try and make it worthwhile for those who take part.
We are currently after the following Esprits:
S2.2, JPS, Turbo Esprit, NA, SE, S4s, Sport 350, Sport 300 & 2002 V8.
If your Esprit isn't on the list, then don't panic, you can still apply. Final decisions on which Esprit make the photoshoots, will more likely revolve around sorting out a time and date for the Esprit to be shot.
If you are interested, email email@example.com with the following information:
Look forward to hearing from those who wish to take part.
Moonraker & JCL Marine Ltd
Colin Chapman's Boat Industry
Colin Chapman is best known for his role in founding and developing the Lotus car company and his contribution to motor racing. What is less well known is his significant contribution to the marine industry through the Moonraker and associated boat companies. Sarah O’Hara tells this story now, aided by the contributions of the Chapman family and those who lived through this very exciting stage in the development of the modern British motorboat industry.
As in everything he did, Colin Chapman innovated brilliantly and his contribution can be seen today in the best of British motorboat design. Sarah O’Hara grew up in the Moonraker story, hearing the ‘tales’ from the Moonraker employees. As an adult her interest continued and having found so little written about the marine side of Colin Chapman’s influence, she started collecting information. This information grew – and the result is this book.
Carbon Fibre Headlight Surrounds
LEW has been given one of the pre-production versions of the new carbon fibre headlight surrounds currently being put together by Esprit Engineering. Made from real carbon fibre and matching the old plastic one, they look great on the Esprit. As you can see, we have fitted them to our Esprit. Fitting was easy and the finish is pretty good for a pre-production version.
Once a few minor faults have been sorted, Esprit Engineering will be making them available for purchase for both Giugiaro and Stevens models. A fitting guide will appear shortly (early June) on the modifications page and we will be adding them to our E-Shop for purchasing.
Rear Brake Upgrade
LEW will be fitting PNM's Rear Brake Upgrade in early June to it's 92 SE. This kit is available to go with the front kit already being used on LEW's Esprit. The kit contains larger vented and slotted discs, pads, Brembo calipers and mounting brackets. We are looking forward to getting this kit on our Esprit.
Yesteryear Motorsports X180 Race Cars
supplied by Brian SkeochThese pictures were taken last weekend (1st May 2005) at the Walter Mitty Historic races at Road Atlanta race way, US.
The team drive is Ken Fitzgerald. The team is Yesteryear Motorsports out of Baltimore MD ( USA ) . The team currently owns 3 of the 5 X180 Race Cars built. The next race is Mid Ohio Race way in approx a month.
The team is campaigning the cars this entire season in the historic racing series and another sanctioning body here in the US.
Vanquish voted best car name
Tuesday, 3rd May 2005
James Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish has been voted the best car name in the world. The £170,000 supercar, made famous in Die Another Day as 007 tore around the Ice Castle in a striking silver version, beat off the intrepid Land Rover Discovery to carry off the award.
And it seems Britain leads the way when it comes to classic car names with the haunting Rolls Royce Phantom taking third place in the eBayMotors survey. Next came the Ford Mustang followed by the Ferrari Enzo, the Lamborghini Diablo, and the LOTUS ESPRIT. Eighth was the Pontiac Firebird ahead of the Corvette Stingray, and the Isuzu Trooper.
Clare Gilmartin, head of eBay Motors UK, said: "This survey proves British car names are top of the list when it comes to stirring the emotions." The Aston Martin Vanquish came first for both men and women, but the biggest difference in opinion was the inclusion of the iconic Ford Mustang in the men™s top three. Women voted the Vanquish, Discovery, Phantom, Esprit and Enzo ahead of the muscle car made famous by Steve McQueen in Bullitt.
Added Ms Gilmartin: "Although some of these cars are more common on the silver screen than on the road, a vehicle sells every two minutes on eBayMotors.co.uk so you are sure to see them on the site before too long!"
The six litre Vanquish has a top speed of 190 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in just four and a half seconds. It is so exclusive that Aston make just two hundred a year. A 2001 model attracted 41 bids last month before eventually selling for £85,000 and, last year, an ultra rare Ferrari Enzo achieved the highest price ever on eBay in Europe when it went for more than a million Euros.
LEW's laptop is due back this week, so hopefully things will return to normal.
Sportomotive have continued their sponsorship of the Used Car Centre for the rest of the year. Visit our sponsor and help support Lotus Esprit World.