As I lie in bed browsing through the “Ideal Pairs” correspondence, I am, for the first time in my life, tempted to put pen to paper and write “a letter” to “an editor”.
An ideal pair for a relatively impecunious enthusiast? Well, my pair are a 1962 Series II Lotus Elite and a 1964 overdrive Triumph 2000. The Triumph makes a very relaxed, over the speed limit, motorway cruiser with excellent fuel consumption. It has, unlike the Elite, proved to be exceptionally reliable.
And the other half of the pair, as any true Lotus enthusiast will gladly confirm, the Elite is perhaps the most beautiful and temperamental of all Colin Chapman creations. Where else, for a sum of £600 to £1,000, does one obtain a 119 m.p.h., 40 m.p.g. grand touring car which does not rust and is appreciating in value?
Provided you are a born mechanic with limitless patience, and prepared to rebuild the rear suspension in the centre of Kings Norton in the rain, or be towed 100 miles after stripping a timing gear and bending six out of eight valves, you need look no further for a truly stimulating motor car.
Just for fun I also have a 1931 Austin 7, but that is a thousand pieces, and by the time the restoration is complete, the correspondence will have got as far as the “Ideal Three”. Thank you for many evenings enjoyable reading.
Robin Longdon – Dunstable
[This correspondence is now closed—but see page 661.—Ed.]