What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

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What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby theelanman » Wed 23.08.2017, 12:48

I thought it about time I posed the question.......

What do people want to do in their Elans........

what we miss is the old days where we'd turn up in our hundreds to Donington or Hethel....all with the excuse of taking the Elan out for the weekend (and your significant other if they wanted to tag along)....having a good old chin wag with people who have a similar passion....all over a load of beers, a curry, fish and chips, a dodgey kebab....and in all probability, washed down with some more beers.......

since the demise of Donington and the lack of Hethel events we seem to have lost our way a little......there are the event like Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Castle Combe which get a few LEC attendees but mainly only those who live close......
there are events like the Gold Cup at Oulton Park, Charity runs like the Serpentine and LitP which again get only a few and generally local takers........

so I guess my question is....What do we want....what would make us turn up on mass again.

we miss the old days.....I miss seeing another Elan on the road........and honestly, other than mine I reckon its almost 2 years since Ive seen one on the road.....

any and all feedback gratefully received.......suggestions likewise.........

thanks
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Wed 23.08.2017, 13:06

Gareth - these days it seems a bit more like LAC rather than LEC (Lotus Apathy Central) :?

I've been trying to get more people interested in Silverstone Classics over the last 8 years but there aren't many newcomers, just the old faithfulls :?

I made the effort to go to Castle Combe last year and it was great. I made a w/e of it, as did Muley and Flasher man Phil, and we had a great campsite with a 3 day beer, cider, bangers and burgers festival a few hundred yards away in Malmesbury. We even had a curry and beer night on the Sat for about 15 of us and it was like the old Donny days

So, I'm hoping to go again next year and perhaps even more will actually get out in their M100s and enjoy a bit of chin wagging, tyre kicking, curry and beers

Distance isn't a problem to me. Let's face it, if you live up here you have to travel long distances to get to anything half decent :burnout:
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby muley » Wed 23.08.2017, 13:44

Happy with Silverstone Classic and Castle Combe was excellent this year (with Malmesbury and the curry!)

Planning to do same in 2018..


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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby theelanman » Wed 23.08.2017, 14:04

muley wrote:Happy with Silverstone Classic and Castle Combe was excellent this year (with Malmesbury and the curry!)

Planning to do same in 2018..


Jim


nothing then........ :roll:
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby rip » Wed 23.08.2017, 20:24

I guess a reply of some sort would be nice, wouldn't it, Gareth?

I am trying to think of what would draw me to a meet-up.
It would have to be in the warmer months because few of us want to take the Elan out when it will probably be wet & cold when the roofs leak & the tyres don't grip so well.

It is not a matter of not wanting to go out in the Elan, it is that I want to do other things too & I do drive the Elan as much as possible in warm. dry weather anyway.

I don't like race track events very much. I find them rather dull to be honest & by their nature, they seem to be windy locations.
I remember doing Snetterton weekend a couple of times & we just hung around on the Saturday. A trip out in our Elans would have been much better (although it was a bit boggy the last time & I don't think we would all have made it out).
Castle Combe is ok, partly becase the lunchtime parade breaks it up.
Donington was good because, being in Spring, it was the first chance for several months to have a good drive & meet up with others. I enjoyed the Agust one when several of us camped together nearby.
The last one would have been rubbish but for Enright & Pinky arranging a drive out to Melton Mowbray.

Several of us went to a beer fest near Colchester a while back. Nice location & plenty of beers so we mentioned it the following year. It didn't generate any extra interest though. Colchester is hardly central UK or England, so that would have been a turn-off for many.

LEC was always re-structured with a section for Donington. This may have made a difference.
Facebook & Twitter have also hurt forums badly.

Some sort of event with a drive to somewhere. (I know you are going to mention Serpentine & it is something I want to do but never get around to it). :-D

There are some very good memories though:
The convoys from Donington services to the track,
The M1 convoy to Donington services beforehand - crawling along at 50 after I join the road, knowing that several Elans are catching then seeing 10 cruise past at 70 before I join them was an amazing feeling.
The Dunwich trip during the Hethel 40th weekend - About 20 Elans sprawled across the front of a filling station for about 4 to get fuel, then after some took the wrong turns, getting to a crossroads & seeing Elans head in each direction.

Looking at that, my best memories are from made up Elan road trips.
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Fredjohn » Thu 24.08.2017, 10:30

Gareth
An interesting question and one that could elicit as many responses as people.

My main preferences are weekend aways and touring. I have been a long standing attendee at the Club Lotus in the Lakes event (NW organised) and will likely continue to do this event even though it will probably be in Yorkshire in 2018. This involved good evening meals and entertainment on Sat eve, drives out on the Saturday and Sunday and a non-serious concours Sunday pm. Sadly numbers have dropped off in recent years from 50+ cars in 1985 to about 12 or so this year. But this is all Lotus not just M100s.

I will also be trying to go to the Cheshire CL do in North Wales next year. Similar style event in lovely surroundings and good food (there's a theme here!)

Castle Coombe is also a favourite as was Donington (when it was decent) with the associated meals and chats afterwards, meeting old friends and getting to know new ones.

However touring is high on my Lotus use: Lake Como, the Camargue and several trips to the Perigord area of France have been the highlights. And I am off on another Lotus jaunt in September to the Rhine and Blackforest. But these are inevitably expensive trips and may not be on everyone's agenda.

Most of the above could be considered "national" (or international!) events, rather than locally organised. The Serpentine run is very enjoyable and I would do it more frequently, likewise your Peak Run and the Silvestone/Brands Hatch events, but to date these have often clashed with existing Lotus commitments.

Track days are a been there, done it, got the T shirt from my perspective except Castle Coombe where it's more about meeting people than tracking the car.

Also to take into account is the single or couple do: pretty much all of my preferences are couple events, even though I did a fair number as a singleton. So beer fests in Burton or Bavaria are not off the list, but aren't exactly couple orientated!

Also it seems to me the older you get (or the more people you get to know) the more the focus changes from being totally car orientated to being people orientated.

To summarise then: touring/driving on days, weekends or weeks, more geared towards couples, with the potential for good food and evening entertainment thrown in for good measure. Preferably in summer time for the same reasons as stated by Ian.

Like you though I have the 1st world issue of which car to use.........
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby daveiow » Thu 24.08.2017, 19:25

Hi Gareth
Although I've been here since 2011 I often feel I missed the "hay day" of LEC which seems to have been 2005 to 2008?
I got to the last Donington event and enjoyed the M1 convoy like Rip and also the Lotus Day at Brands especially the parade lap. :D
I have two, well maybe three problems with any event.
The first is we are at our busiest in the summer months so getting cover at work is always an issue.
Distance to travel,I would quite like to go to the Peak District LEC weekend but Buxton must be a 500 mile round trip plus the touring when you get there. Silverstone is the same.
I'm not a camper! See too much of it at home! Great in July when the weather is kind, not so good when it rains.
I have to agree with Fredjohn on most points, I also like touring not track days, exploring new towns, prefer a comfortable hotel, good food rather than a drinking session (however I think this is down to age as it was not always the case)
Ypres more or less ticks all the boxes for me :D
Ambitions with the Elan? Well I would love to put it on the train from Holland to Italy then visit Florence and the Amalfi Coast,drive over the Milau bridge in France and finally get to Hethel one day. But if the timing was right and the venue was not too far "up north" there's nothing more I would like than to meet up with you all.
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Fri 25.08.2017, 15:26

Anyone remember the military precision with which the colour coordinated parking was carried out at the Travelodge ? Note the largest area for all the Collapso Red's

Those were the days 8)
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Fri 25.08.2017, 15:31

A sea of red at the Travelodge
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Giniw » Fri 25.08.2017, 15:54

(SIL stands for Silver Frost?)
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Sat 26.08.2017, 10:05

Giniw wrote:(SIL stands for Silver Frost?)


Yes. Silver, black, custard, green etc from the LHS. The rarer colours ie white, silk red etc were lined up on the front RHS of the grid. The most common colours ie Pacific Blue and Collapso red were behind as there was more room for latecomers

We even had our very own LED marshals... ChrisT and Clemo from memory...... complete with megaphone

As I mentioned, an operation carried out with military precision. We even had colour coordinated name badges :D
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Sat 26.08.2017, 14:28

Gareth - I for one would love to turn the clock back and still have Donington in the LEC calendar. It's a pity that they knocked down the exhibition hall though :shock: I didn't go to the last one as I predicted, rightly in the end, that it would be a disaster having the touring car championships on the same w/e. I didn't want to drive 350 miles just to sit in a queue at the other end :?

Malvern the following year was good but entirely different. But better than nothing. And the campsite I booked next to the bar with good beers and live music was great. Bloody cold when you woke up though and had to scrape the ice off the flysheet !! But it was good for the G and T's

Donington for me epitomised the best years for LEC. Lots of fun, camaraderie, beers, curries, tyre kicking, convoys, generally farting about etc... We even had the LEC head honcho, Doug Abbott, come over from the States one year :bowdown: Remember that ? I would love it if something similar happened but I think the more realistic sort of thing now is Castle Combe, Silverstone, Brands ......
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby rip » Sun 27.08.2017, 07:06

I think there were 2 Donington's since Malvern.
The one in August. The exhibition hall had been rebuilt by this time.
Club Lotus felt that attendances were down because it was August. They decided to move it back to March/April, but it was too late to arrange for the following year, so we had another year off.
The final one was in March/April. Not only was the touring cars the same weekend but they had leased the overflow car park to a heavy plant auctioning company. The new overflow car park was a bit further away so we could not park our Elans in a nice line near the building.

I felt that the festival itself was tired for the last couple of years & have memories of a certain Mancunian :-D standing outside because he felt that the show no longer justified buying a ticket, asking if there were any bargains.
I went purely went to meet friends old & new, not to visit the show itself.
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Rambo » Sun 27.08.2017, 09:52

rip wrote:I think there were 2 Donington's since Malvern.
The one in August. The exhibition hall had been rebuilt by this time.
Club Lotus felt that attendances were down because it was August. They decided to move it back to March/April, but it was too late to arrange for the following year, so we had another year off.
The final one was in March/April. Not only was the touring cars the same weekend but they had leased the overflow car park to a heavy plant auctioning company. The new overflow car park was a bit further away so we could not park our Elans in a nice line near the building.

I felt that the festival itself was tired for the last couple of years & have memories of a certain Mancunian :-D standing outside because he felt that the show no longer justified buying a ticket, asking if there were any bargains.
I went purely went to meet friends old & new, not to visit the show itself.


I think you're right Rip - there were 2 Doningtons after Malvern

And in reference to that "certain Mancunian" here's something I posted on the Donington 2011 thread.......

Rambo wrote:No - but you do have entertainment. Monty and Dico - Manchester's answer to Ant and Dec :lol:


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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby simonbuk » Sun 27.08.2017, 17:20

I don't think people should feel too bad - sounds like you've had some great years as a club. Always difficult to keep up any momentum. I've been a member of car clubs/groups which pretty much die on their arse, committe members fall out, people caught lying, clubs pretty much folding. I think you are all doing quite well !! Ok, it sounds like the numbers aren't there anymore but as time goes on fewer are on the road and people use them less and less.

Personally - touring days out, stop for lunch, more driving, few beers in the evening, much of the same again. Difficult for me to commit as i go away quite a lot and can get called at the last moment to be whisked away to somewhere new.

People are spread across the country so finding somewhere convenient is always going to be tricky.

Maybe we don't promote things enough ? Are the regional monthly meetings promoted on the Facebook page ? Don't think i've ever seen them mentioned ?
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 27.08.2017, 21:17

Gareth,

Im going to try to keep it short, also keep in mind these are personal opinions, therefore i may be far from the general feeling of others mainly due to having a different background/view on life.

I felt that brands hatch 2 years ago was really good, with great attendance, last year... not so good, however i think the lack of feedback on the event was the reason and not necessarily lack of interest from LEC members (sorry to the powers above, but someone has to say it).

there is a very small chance i will be attending an event if there is an entry fee. the fuel for the traveling, food and possibly bed for the night costs accrue to my personal "enjoy yourself" allowance for a handfull of weekends easily with any event, therefore the "free entry" tag is one of the first things i look for.

what i enjoy mostly of the events i have been to was the chit chat going on between people, and learning about "how to" do a range of different jobs in the car. including maintenance and modifications or any kind.
the bigger the group, the more appealing the gathering is.

that's pretty much it. everything else is a bonus like.
camping/overnight staying
bbq drinks/beers (kind of a must in a social gathering anyway)
seeing other rare/funny/cool cars.
access to a track
some cool museum nearby (i have the feeling brits are rather keen on aviation from my experience?)

I hope those 2 cents help. although i dont think im telling you anything new..
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby theelanman » Tue 29.08.2017, 09:09

so it appears that to answer my own question the LEC days out are over.....
everyone is happy to roll along with the pre-organised lotus events like Brands/Castle Combe for the people who want to watch stuff.....and the Club Lotus trips out for those who wish to go driving round the country side.....

I had thought, as per Donington, something in the middle of the country might have appealed so a reasonable few but trying to get a date and time and venue is very difficult........

I was more than happy to organise a whole weekend and try to get the ethos of the driving around the country side...along with enjoying everyone's company over beer and food.

I am able to do these routes in my local area but further to previous comments couldn't do this for say Scotland or Wales etc.....or most of the UK as I don't know the areas well enough and this would mean getting someone in the area (which had been selected) to do a route for a drive out..........and on reflection of the current apathy would be a non starter......

I think were heading for just a technical forum....where we post questions about what we've broken........and thats about it.....
there will be those who meet up having say..struck up a conversation at a show they happened to be at......
but as for an LEC event......I think its dead.......

it might work again next year if the factory have a day to celebrate a 70th anniversary.....but since Danny Bahar and then the new boy JMG and then the Chinese buy out....Im not sure that they (unlike Mike Kimberley did)...have any interest at all in the owners anymore.........and therefore probably wont run an event at Hethel.......

my old theory was you got out what you put in.......we used to put a lot in....and used to put a lot into getting stuff out too.......i think its pretty much at the state of flogging a dead horse these days...........
Im happy to provide individuals and visitors with touring routes for the Peak District and areas I know, and have done planned routes for......but I think organising an LEC weekend and specific routes will never work.......

ah well........I thought Id try.........
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby dapinky » Tue 29.08.2017, 10:03

I think you're right, Gareth. :(

Although I'm moving to Wales soon, I will still be attending Castle Combe next year and will try and keep some momentum for the event amongst the forum...

... maybe as opposed to just a day at the track, we could try and get something organised for the Sunday if anyone is staying for the weekend (or local enough to want to come out again) and have a bit of a drive out??

I will also be looking at Silverstone Classics, maybe Brands Hatch (if it is going ahead), and if there is something at Hethel, count me in.
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby clemo » Tue 29.08.2017, 10:44

Will be back with wheels and up for castle combe again .

Maybe we could get Lotus elan central on the gazebo so everyone has a focus point to aim for ?
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Re: What do people want in a Lotus Elan Event?

Postby Steve A » Tue 29.08.2017, 13:53

Silverstone classic: ticks quite a few of my boxes, brilliant racing, static cars to drool over, free stuff, and even some live music, this should be the new Donington meet 8)

Brands: is OK because it's fairly local

Donington: was too far to go for a curry(the best bit), a short drive in a big well organised convoy, followed by a none Elan related jumble sale with Elise shiny bits.

Duxford: cars and planes and local for me.

Castle Combe: Done it once and will return

Yepres:To date the best driving fun day in my Elan, well done to the Belgians :burnout:

All trips should be a good excuse to get your car out.
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