Lotus Elites, Eclats and Excels amassed in Gateshead on 18-19 May to mark the birthday of company founder Colin Chapman.
Kicking off at Lotus Newcastle, 22 cars from the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden encountered torrential rain, floods (both inside and outside the cars) and landslides en route to lunch at Hawes in Wensleydale.
Nonetheless, everyone arrived in time for a demonstration of cheese making and a chat with guest of honour Oliver Winterbottom who designed the second-generation Lotus Elite, the Lotus Eclat and the Lotus M90 concept car. The latter having close ties to Toyota’s original MR2.
On returning to basecamp at the Croft Hotel, in North Yorkshire, participants were treated to a display of two Excel-chassised Sunbeam rally cars courtesy of event sponsor Lotusbits.
The 19th (Chapman’s birthday) brought with it a track session at Croft, while Lotus Newcastle laid on an Evora S complete with a company test driver to stretch its legs.
Even the first prototype Eclat Excel joined in for a last hurrah before being retired to a museum in Scotland.
Find out more at www.LotusExcel.net
Words: Angus Marshall
Pictures: various owners (thank you!)