Having been a reader of your excellent Magazine for sixteen years, I feel that this is a good time to write my first letter to you, and join in the correspondence concerning Messrs. Lotus Cars Ltd.
Motor Sport was, in a way, responsible for my joining the “Elan Clan” through D.S.J.’s article on his trip to Syracuse in one. This set me thinking, and a visit to the very well organised Lotus stand at the Motor Show did the rest.
I have owned my car since January 3rd and consider it to be quite the best car I have had to date. I consider that Lotus, as a small car manufacturers, are to be congratulated on turning out a product of such high quality. The finish and attention to detail is excellent in every way My only complaint is the ingress of water to the cockpit. The car has been back to the works for this, but the fault has not been entirely cured. I am quite prepared to put up with this, however, until I can find time to return to Lotus again, which is not easy from this part of England.
My wife and I have just returned from a 4,000-mile trip to Spain in the car, which was loaded to the gunwales with luggage. The car was driven hard, even over the very often appalling Spanish roads, and I have nothing but praise for the suspension, which ironed out all the bumps, and gave a most comfortable ride at all times. A day’s journey of 540 miles left us still very fresh, which speaks for itself.
A quite fantastic amount of luggage can be put in the car, if the system of limiting each person to one case and one soft bag each is applied, and packing other things loose in the boot and behind the seats.
Another great attribute of the car came to light when, stationary in a queue of traffic in Carcassonne, we were rammed up the back by a 2-cv Citroen, who appeared to be fresh out of brakes. Total damage to the Elan was a small split in the rear bumper and a broken lamp glass. The Citroen was undrivable. This illustrates, I think, the virtues of glass fibre construction, as I am convinced that had the car had a conventional steel body, the damage would have been considerable, perhaps even making the car unusable and ruining our holiday.
Finally, I must say a good word about Messrs. Lotus Cars themselves. I have always had a prompt reply to my letters, and, like Mr. R.P.W. Gunn, have found Mr. Sewter of the Service Department to be courteous and extremely helpful in every way.
Let’s face it, to set up from scratch as a car manufacturer must present enormous problems, and in my view Lotus are doing a grand job. Long may it continue.
St. Ives. H.J. Chalcraft.