The Chapman Report
Published by the Golden Gate Lotus Club
PO Box 117303 Burlingame, CA 94011
25 & 26 FIA Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca
20 - Friday GGLC Meeting/Party
6 - Sunday The Toddler Rallye, Fremont
12 - Sat GGLC Holiday party
October 16, 1998, 730 PM
The Toddler Rallye
Sunday, December 6
The GGLC and the Fremont Touring Club have been co-sponsoring this Rallye for nearly 25 years! Each year our members support this worthy event by participating or helping out. As in years past we are looking for 6 or volunteers to come out and help. Fun jobs like running a check point, or helping at registration or the finish. Please call/email Kiyoshi if you can help! Kiyoshi: (650) 424-0333; email firstname.lastname@example.org
The event will start at the Round Table pizza, 46600 Mission Blvd., between Freeways 680 and 880, in the Warm Springs District of South Fremont.. Sign up will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. First car departs at noon, last at 1 p.m. We rallye rain or shine, of course
Entry fee:; A brand: new, unwrapped toy worth at least $10.. plus $1. Optional poker hand, $0.50 or 3 for $1. Toys will be donated to the Washington Township volunteer Bureau's special holiday project benefiting needy families.
I had originally intended for this month's column to be a rich recounting of the two big September events; the 20th Annual Palo Alto All British Field Meet and LOG 18/Lotus 50th Celebration, but then I saw when the deadline was. I then rationalized that other people would be writing about LOG, so I could focus on Palo Alto. Then I broke my typing finger. Badly. Please don't ask. So dear reader, what you get is all I can write until the painkillers begin to wear off.
First off, for those who left Palo Alto early and have been holding your breath to find out if 53 Lotus' were enough to win the much-coveted Club Participation award (aka The Plate), the wait is over. Triumph Travelers beat us out by a scant 12 cars. Had there been an award for Best Hospitality Tent or Biggest Shade though, the GGLC would have won these hands-down. Many thanks go to Mike Schlict for allowing his BIG tent (aka the Un-EZ up) to go to Palo Alto while he & fiancée' Lynn were in Kansas for the Solo Nationals. While I'm sure Mike can put this tent up with his eyes closed, the scene in the center of the left field at 8 o'clock Sunday morning was one of utter confusion as John, Nancy & myself struggled to make sense of the yards of pipe & countless brackets. After a few false starts however we did manage to get it all set up just as the cars began trickling onto the field.
Since we had brought the tent up in the truck, at this point I headed back home with the truck so I could bring the Sprite back. Flashback 24 hrs prior; The most terrifying automotive experience I've had in a long time. Nancy & I were tooling down the El Camino in the Sprite so we could participate in Scott Fisher's Day Before Tour, when stopping for the red light at 237 & El Camino, the brake pedal offered slight resistance, then nothing, dropping uselessly to the firewall. Yanking the emergency brake slowed us enough that we coasted only part of the way into the intersection. My second thought (the first being death) was that I was very thankful this didn't happen about 20 stops from here as we'd have been in a caravan ripping along Skyline. Long story short (finger's throbbing now), we e-braked home, & found that one of the rear shoes had somehow stepped out of it's slot on the piston, allowing the piston to pop out of the cylinder, which in turn allowed about 19 gallons of Castrol brake fluid to run out & get slung *everywhere*. So, the day I was going to clean up Daisy was spent R & R-ing Sprite rear brakes, which thanks to the advantage of power brake bleeders are now on the verge of being confidence-inspiring.
Flash forward to Palo Alto: Nancy had told this tale of woe (whoa ?) to Rod Metz ("Re-Birth of a Europa", March '98 CR) that morning , who then greeted me with a question as I pulled in with the Sprite. "What was more scary: losing the brakes or when the steering column came out ?" (Some listers may recall that in the Europa I once pulled the steering column out while merging into rush hour traffic). While the answer to Rod's question was easy (brakes) at the time I couldn't explain why. Now I know. When the steering column came out, I felt there was a good chance that if I kept jabbing it back down, whatever disconnected would eventually reconnect, and hopefully before that tandem gravel truck flattens me. And it worked.
When the brakes failed, although I didn't know what went wrong, I did know that no amount of stomping on that pedal was going to bring them back.
I returned to the tent to find not only quite a few Loti flanking it, but the GGLC Automotive Oasis had sprung up while I was gone. The Hamai's had brought their EZ-up, so even *more* shade. Chairs & tables & food & drink, banners & flags & books, pictures, back copies of the Chapman Report, and PEOPLE. What had started out as an idea for shade had turned into the left field Hospitality tent. And then there were the cars. As I mentioned before we tallied 53 Lotus over the course of the day, including one gentleman who drove down from Oregon, and VP Scott Hogben driving the "Finally" 7 ! A wonderful time was had by all, even if we didn't get the plate.
White-hot needles of pain are now telling me that this typing business must end for the evening, and so I'll just remind you that the October meeting will be a good one to attend, not only to enjoy Victor's car collection but to defend yourself as we will be nominating the '99 officers. Unfortunately I missed last October's meeting, and look what happened to me.
Sorry about getting the CR out so late this month, but I’ve been traveling. The Ultimate Europa and myself left Menlo Park for LOG 18 on September 19 and returned home 2-1/2 weeks and 6,200 miles later.
No, of course I didn’t drive it. I trailered it behind my 92 Ford Econoline van. It was quite a vacation. I finally had a good excuse to go for a long drive and see a lot of my favorite country. Besides LOG 18 at Road Atlanta, I visited the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Graceland, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talledega Speedway, the Morman Tabernacle, the St. Louis Arch, and countless other sights and funky people along the way.
For myself, the highlight of LOG 18 was the track event at Road Atlanta. This was my first chance to test the UR’s new rear suspension and disk brakes on the track. The car handled extremely well – much better than I anticipated. I was able to get the car to its cornering limits in a few sections and found it to be very controllable and confidence inspiring. In particular, I noticed how well the rear end hooked-up under full power exiting turns. As hard as I drove the car, I never experienced any heavy understeer or oversteer. Turn 6 is the easiest turn on the track and is a slightly banked right hander taken in third gear. After the first couple sessions I could consistently 4-wheel drift the car all the way through the bend under complete control (big thrill factor here). The UR also seemed to be a big hit with the East Coasters as I spent much of the track day installing new suckers – uh I mean passengers.
The Flamer also gave me top score in the Europa division of the auto-X. This is the first time I’ve actually scored high in one of these events. The car worked so well, however, that I kinda felt like I was cheating.
We’ll see you at the meeting.
How I made it to the British Meet
By Scott Hogben
Well, for those of you who didn’t make it to the British Meet to see it happen, yes, I was there! Where do I start? I can honestly say that the month prior to the meet was pretty hectic. I left all of you off last month with my car unregistered and with those stupid Webers giving me troubles. Things went a little too slowly for comfort and I found myself trying to fit the new fenders on to the car the weekend before the meet. As soon as I found out that I overlooked the fact that the different fenders would require different fender stays, I literally threw in the towel. Yes, I bailed the weekend before the meet, which is why I just barely made it! It just seemed so overwhelming that I gave up and took my time, satisfied with having done as much as I did. But the more disappointed I got, the more I told myself that it wouldn’t be so bad if I brought the car down with the old white fenders on.
As you may know, I needed chassis verification at the DMV so I could get the year and chassis number corrected on the title. Well, in order to drive the car down it needs to be insured and registered. I wasn’t really concerned with the registration part but I wanted insurance on it just in case. Well, I can’t get insured unless the car is registered. So to "make things easier on myself", Friday morning I walked down to U-Haul and rented a truck with a 14 foot box. By the way, this turned out to be a box that extended OVER the cab and the 14 feet was from the back doors to the end of the box that extended over the cab. Thank god Lotuses are small!
I arrived at the DMV at 12:50 and stepped into line immediately. It didn’t look bad at all, I had come at a good time. It only took 30 minutes to reach the desk where they promptly told me I had to drive around to the side of the building and wait for someone to come help me. Gee, thanks. Who would have thought I was the only person there with a U-Haul truck with a car stuffed inside? A lady carrying a clipboard came out to help me and when she saw the truck she stopped, and with her eyebrows raised she said: "Is the car in there???" "Yes." I said. She looked inside and promptly said: "I’m not getting in there!" She told me that she didn’t think she could do that "because of the liability" and that she would have to check with her supervisor. At that point I thought it was all over and that I’d have to drive the car down at a later date but she came back out and said she had gotten one of the men inside to come out. YES! The guy turned out to be great too, and he even knew what Webers were! I got my paperwork filled out and I was back in line inside.
It seemed that while I was outside getting my car checked out, the population of Redwood City decided to come down to take care of every car that had registration problems. I spent another hour in that line until I reached the desk. I felt good. But I knew that this was the DMV and they could easily snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for me so I didn’t get my hopes too high. As fate would have it, I managed to get one of the DMV’s more decorated Nazis, and nothing got by her. After another painstaking 30 minutes I finally left with just what I needed to get to the British Meet- my temporary registration!
It was 3:40 by the time I left the DMV and I drove down to AAA to see if I could get some form of insurance. I was helped by a nice young lady who, to my surprise, was perfectly willing (maybe even eager) to climb up inside the truck to take pictures of the car. This was a little ironic considering this was an insurance company, but the lady at the DMV wouldn’t because of possible liability problems. It was so straight forward, simple, and fast that I was driving away in disbelief that I actually could drive the car on the road legally now.
I can’t begin to describe the relief and excitement I was experiencing when I got home. I had been fearing the worst and I had made it through all the obstacles and was on my way. At that point I had roughly 40 hours remaining to get the car to the meet and I really would have preferred if I could sleep for about 14 of those hours.
Friday night was entirely used up getting the car out of the U-Haul truck, getting the truck cleaned up and returned. Saturday morning I was out working on the car at 7:30. I still needed to do things like bleed the brakes and the clutch, hook up all the electric's, get a steering wheel on the car, run the fuel line, align the front end, torque all the suspension bolts, driveshaft bolts, lug-nuts, and all the other bolts that I had put on finger-tight. I had to get seatbelts installed, the muffler on, and whole host of other littler things that you absolutely have to do to get the car driveable. I had my brother and a friend (a fellow British car owner-MGZ) running down to Orchard Supply Hardware buying bolts for me as well taking care of some of the small things like bolting the alternator in.
All I can say is that my neighbors must really like me because I didn’t hear a word out of them, even with the die-grinder running at 11:00pm! With it being so late, I knew I couldn’t start the car up at that hour to see what it drove like. The $17 Cherrybomb muffler I threw on was a little too loud for that. I wanted to test the brakes to see if they would stop the car and my brother wanted to find out how the car felt as far as the steering and suspension went. At 12:15am my brother and I pushed the car up to the top of the street for a "coaster run". We got it up the street, and were just ready to make the run down when we saw lights coming. We waited until the car came to the stop sign where we flagged them to go by. It was a new Mercedes CLK and it just sat there. We waved him past again at which point he lowered his window and said: "When I see a Lotus 7 in the middle of the street I just have to stop and look!". After working all day on the car out in the hot sun, that guy made my day!
We made our successful test run and decided that it would be better to start again early in the morning on the "finishing touches" because it required operating a pneumatic drill and the die-grinder. I was in bed by 1:10am and outside again at 7:45 to begin working. My brother showed up around 9:30 with the Europa and I was still wrenching on all the little stuff. I wasn’t sure that the alternator was working since it never showed a charge when I was running the engine . When we were ready to leave I tried to start the car only to find the battery was not charged enough to run the starter at the speed required to start the engine. Fearing I wouldn’t be able to get the car started at the gas station on the way down, we opted to drive down and get gas while we charged Seven’s battery.
So, with 0 miles on the Seven, I drove off with my brother behind me in the Europa. My maiden drive was to the British Meet! I was listening to the rattling of aluminum panels that weren’t completely riveted while keeping my eye on the gauges. Not even 1 mile from the house a Belmont cop passed me going the other way. With no mirrors on the car, a gas tank that was bunjied in that morning, three lug nuts per wheel, and no emergency brake, I motored on by without him even noticing me! My only moment of concern on the drive was at a rather long stop signal where the car boiled over a bit. Since the alternator wasn’t charging, I couldn’t use the electric fan. After the signal turned I was on my way and the temperature was dropping. By the time I got to the meet the temp was beginning to rise, so I turned on the fan and drove onto the grass looking for the GGLC. I think I got most people’s attention because the fan belt was squealing due to the load of the electric fan.
As I motored in I saw Dave Anderson and a few others over by the tent. I had all my attention on the temperature and where I was going to park when I heard a loud "HOORAY!" from all the GGLCers. At that moment, all the lost sleep and hard work paid off! I want to thank every one of you that cheered me in to the British Meet that day, I am truly grateful! I parked the Seven and met a number of club members who came over to congratulate me and to look at this car that they’ve always heard about but have never seen before. Kiyoshi, I hope those pictures you took came out okay, I’d like to have a copy! This experience is burned into my memory and I’ll never forget it. And, for those who are asking: "Yeah, but would you do it again?", I say "YES!", at the drop of a hat! It made me think, you just don’t have moments like this in the Ferrari club or the Porsche club, I can guarantee it!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some key people for helping me get to the British Meet. I’d like to thank my parents and my brother for helping me load and unload the car in the U-Haul truck, not to mention the wrenching and errand running that my brother did the day before the meet. And, I’d also like to thank our newsletter editor John Zender for helping me out with the ramps and the come-along. Without these people, I wouldn’t have made it.
Finally, I hope this serves as some encouragement to those members out there who have a car that needs to be worked on before next year’s British Meet. Trust me, now is a great time to take that first step and start working on your car, you’ll be happy you did. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to tell us about it in the Chapman Report! See you at the next meeting, and enjoy your Lotus!
Goodbye Lotus and Hello to Maui
By Mike Foley
After owning 6 Lotuses in the past 10 years, it’s time to sell my black Esprit and say goodbye to Lotus ownership. We’re moving to Maui. The following saga indicates why I’m the wrong guy to have an old Lotus on a small island.
My first Lotus was a 1967 Elan that I bought from my mechanic in Napa., I knew it was a great car because he cried when he sold it to me and took off around the world on a sailboat., I commuted from Napa to San Francisco for a couple of years and put over 60,000 miles on it. Some of those miles were from vintage races at Sears Point, Laguna, and Portland. I towed the elan up I-5 with Grant Larson. Three things I’ll never forget from that weekend:
1. Next to turn 1 there’s a lake, next to the lake they stationed scuba divers, incase we sunk!
2. John Streets rebuilt his Lotus 18 engine in the pit right next to t and Myself!
3. I towed the Elan on a VERY wide trailer down VERY curvy Highway 1 from Portland to Sausalito.
My second Lotus was a 1960 Formula Junior Lotus 18 that I bought AFTER a GGLC meeting very late one night. It was incomplete and unrestored, and painted with multi-colored flames on the bonnet. I removed all the paint, but it stayed unrestored in my garage in Napa for too long. I fired it up just once, prior to the club starting a wine tour of the Napa Valley from my house. It made a lot of noise and I moved soon after to marvelous Marin. I sold the 18 to a vintage car collector in Los Altos Hills.
My third Lotus was a red 1977 Esprit. Many of you probably remember what happened to this car because I won a beautiful plaque at the 1992 Lotus Convention for best breakdown story: While driving in the Sierra foothills toward a conference in Yosemite, the Esprit began to overheat. The cooling fans were malfunctioning, but I thought I got them working. While driving on a windy road in Yosemite, between a river and a steep cliff, I heard a BIG nose in the engine . A guy came along who happened to have a Ferrari back home. His diagnosis was that the water and oil had boiled, cooking the engine. We left my wife with the Lotus and went to call for a tow truck.
He gave me a ride to the Mariposa airport, where I thought I could rent a car. There were no rentals, so he drove me many miles to Fresno, where he was going anyway. By the time I drove from Fresno to Mariposa, my Lotus and my wife were at a sleazy junkyard. My ex-wife, Stephanie, a sophisticated little blonde with a Ph.D. in psychology, was being "entertained" by several good ‘ol boys telling her about the gruesome wrecks around the junkyard. By the time we got to my conference in Yosemite, it was late evening, and I had missed a paid-for photo workshop. I arranged for the Esprit to be towed many miles to Barry Spencer’s shop. Just before arrival in Hayward, the towing "experience" broke the suspension on the car. I took the tow company to small claims court in Merced, where the "judge" said I lost because " they did the best they could".
My fourth Lotus was a 1962 Super 7 that drove in vintage races for about 7 years at Sears, Laguna and Palm Springs. My most memorable experience with this Lotus was towing it behind a very long and extremely wide rented Winnebago from Mill Valley to Palm Springs. The tow bar was attached to the 7’s frame, so it was being flat-towed without a trailer. I could only tell if the Lotus was behind me when I made a sharp turn! This Seven was yellow for a while, then black. I sold my very tired Super Seven to an architect in San Francisco.
I had sworn off buying another Esprit, but at Sears Pint I saw a beautiful green one with a sunroof parked up on the hill overlooking the track. Soon thereafter I saw the same green Esprit at a GGLC meeting at John Ridley’s home in Mill Valley. I decided that I did want an Esprit, so I put an ad in the CR saying I wanted a 1986 Esprit, (more cooling fans and the first year with a sunroof). I received a call from a guy who had just decided to sell his 1986 car. When we met I discovered that it was the green one I had seen at Sears Pint and at Ridley’s! I bought the car and drove it to work daily for several years. Then one evening as I was driving along, I heard some engine noise, noticed the oil pressure had disappeared, and the water temperature had peaked. I turned the car off and le tit cool down. It wouldn’t hold the oil that I added so off it went to Barry Spencer. The oil line from the cooler had split, and the engine was cooked. Rather than spend thousands for an engine rebuild, I traded the 1986 Esprit for the 1978 Esprit that Barry just happened to have for sale.
My black Esprit has been great, but you probably see why I’m not the right guy to have the only Lotus on Maui.
Submitted by Daren Stone
Monty Python alumnus John Cleese was recently asked why England is superior to America. He gave the following three
1. Because English people can speak English.
2. Because when England hosts a world championship in sports, they actually invite other countries to compete.
3. Because when you are introduced to the British head of state, you only have to go down on one knee.
Submitted by Mike Ostrov
On automotive engineering:
If a component requires four fasteners to hold it together:
The LOG Version
By Kiyoshi Hamai
Boy, it was a long way to LOG for me… but even longer for some of our fellow GGLC members. This year's LOG (Lotus Owners Gathering - presented by Lotus Ltd.) was hosted by the Southeast Lotus Ltd branch based in Atlanta Georgia. Dubbed the US 50th Anniversary celebration of Lotus, Lotus Cars USA, Dave Bean Engineering & JAE played major rolls in sponsoring the event and helping to make it into a Monterey EAST.
As I said, the GGLC was well represented by GGLC Prez, Daren Stone, Chapman Report Editor John Zender, Tom Railton and better half, Mike Ostrov, Tom Carney, Jerry Rude and wife, Jon Rosner, Harry & Adrian Trafford, Bob Wells and myself (I know I'm missing some folks here and I apologize for the omission). Tom Railton and John Zender towed their Lotuses across the country. Tom got to Atlanta, but the tranny in his motorhome died just as they reached their destination! (When I last saw Tom at Road Atlanta on Monday he was looking at a 2 grand bill and the shop had yet to find a tranny!).
FRIDAY - SEPT. 25, 1998
Tom Carney and I boarded the Delta airliner at San Jose and landed at Hartsfield Airfield in Atlanta about 7pm EST. Heading to the rental car agency was an exciting time, because until we arrived at the at the rental terminal, I would have no idea of what we would use to compete in the LOG AutoX. The car was in space 27 and we headed there to find a '98 Pontiac Grand Am. The red car was quickly dubbed Pontiac Grand POS (piece of sh*t). Good news was that it was a '98 instead of a '99 - the '99's have plastic body cladding that looks like the car is wearing Armco. Bad news is that it’s a Pontiac GPOS, with sloppy suspension, a gutless engine (V6!?!), a slush box that shifted hard and hunted for gears, plastic interior trim and seats that fit me like a washtub!
Anyway, 30 minutes later we’re in Duluth, Georgia at the Marriott Hotel, checking in and heading to what remained of LOG's opening reception. Registration was just closing, so badgeless, we crashed the party. The main ballroom was filled with about 300-400 Lotus nuts! One of the great things about going to these events is seeing old friends from around the country. This year Mark Markell created some very neat buttons for those folks who are apart of the Lotus Internet Mail List that’s hosted by Alan Perry and sponsored by the GGLC.
We stayed for about an hour, got hungry (by the time we had arrived most of the food was gone), and decided to head across the street TGI Fridays. Joining Tom and I were Bob Wells from Seattle and C/R editor John Zender. There we ran into Jon Rosner, a group from Portland, and Jeff from JAE.
SATURDAY - SEPT. 26, 1998
We awoke early, but not early enough to attend the 7:30 am tech seminar given by Roger Becker - VP Engineering Suspension, Lotus Cars. Our bodies were still on Pacific time and getting up at 8 am my head felt like it was full of cotton. The weather was hot and humid so we stopped at Walmart, for some awful coffee and bottles of water, then headed for Road Atlanta.
We arrived at Road Atlanta before most of the Lotus cars, which gave us an opportunity to wander around and check out the various vendors. By 10:30 most of the cars had arrived and were being shown where to park in the concours area. Some of the more interesting cars included a twin turbo Mazda rotary powered Europa with an RX7 dash, Lotus Ltd's prez Mk6, Ken Richie's Europa with original headlamp extensions (ugly!!! But, they allowed the cars to be imported and meet the headlamp height laws), and the Elise Sport S190.
ELISE SPORT S190
Elise Sport S190 are AVAILABLE and FOR SALE in the U.S.!!! Again, Elise Sport S190 are AVAILABLE and FOR SALE in the U.S.!!! Lotus Cars USA are now selling (taking deposits) for this incredible car, but here's the rub… The Elise S190 is NOT LEGAL for street use. These cars are coming in under waivers and designated ONLY FOR OFF ROAD USE. Yeah, right!
So, what exactly is an S190… Well, pretty much it's a standard Elise except it lacks a trunk (space is taken up by a large air box) and proper catalytic converter. There are other engine tweaks that raise the horsepower to, yup, 190 BHP. Added are roll bar brace, racing seats, delete the heater, radio, etc. The result is a car that is lighter, stiffer and has about 70 more horsepower.
LCU had one car flown in the week before LOG and then 3 more arrived by ship on Thursday just prior to LOG. All four cars were sold before LOG opened, and before LOG was over LCU had received deposits on 2 more cars. Interested? Call LCU at (770) 822-4566.
Okay, back to LOG… I played taxi and drove Kyle Kaulback (Lotus Ltd Prez) and Zack Z. (LOG chairman and VP of Lotus Ltd) back to the paddock By the time I returned to the LOG concours it was lunchtime and the panoramic photo had been taken. After lunch, Tom and I headed to the paddock to check out the vintage racers and some vintage racing. HSR was presenting the Atlanta Historic Races and Lotus was the honored marque. One race group was for Lotus racersonly. The lead was hotly contested between a 23B and the 69 F2 car driven by Jim Bennett (car was driven by Emmo with Moonraker sponsorship). It was very hot and humid and Tom and I headed back to the hotel around 4 pm and were pleased to spend a half hour in the air conditioned POS.
The LOG banquet began and Tom and I were seated next to BS (Burt) Levy, author and writer. Next to Levy was a young lady which we later learned was the 125cc AMA Champion in 1995! BS Levy kept us entertained the entire dinner with marvelous stories about his favorite drives and favorite tracks.
The LOG formalities began with announcements of LOG concours winners and other contest winners. Roger Becker then spoke and told many humorous stories of his 35+ years working for Lotus Cars. One that comes to mind is actually an Allistar McQueen story. Seems a year or so ago, as Roger told it, Performance Car magazine had a contest where high performance drivers (racers, stunt drivers, etc) were enlisted to see if they could take a BMW M3 and drive it sideways around a skidpad. The various drivers would get 1/4 to 1/2 way around and come off. Allistar went last, jumped in the M3, drove up to the skidpad, flicked it about, and promptly drove all the way around the circle (and then some) with the tail hanging out! He then pulled off the course and parked the M3, stepped out, leaned against the car, and lit up a cigarette while everyone's jaws were on the ground!
Following Roger was Pete Lovely. Pete has owned Lotus cars since the late 50's. He still vintage races his own 49B which he purchased from Lotus and then raced in a number of F1 races in North America. Pete drove for Lotus at LeMans and many other races in Europe as well. It was a close to a wonderfully entertaining evening. It was late!
SUNDAY - SEPT. 27, 1998
I'm not sure if it was just a way to get us West Coasters at a disadvantage, but Sunday was a busy morning… There was the LOG AutoX, which required cars to be in Tech by 7:30 am! There was a Road Atlanta track parade at 10am, and the Mountain Run to begin around 8:30 am. Although Roger and Allistar were going on the Mountain Run in the S190 and production Elises, Tom and I had signed up for the AutoX.
The Pontiac Grand POS passed tech easily although we had put an extra 10 psi of air in the fronts. Classes were created by model - Sevens, Elans-Elite-Eclats, Europas, Esprits and Mods-Racers. No class for rentals! The course can be described… from a standing start, through the timing lights into a 5 cone optional direction slalom. It was clear that you needed to end up on the right side of the last cone and they were tightly spaced. It would be easy to get too hot in this slalom and either knock over cones or loose time. Exiting the slalom you made a bend to the left and through 4 gates which if taken correctly were a straight line. From there the course bent sharply right and then into a right hand sweeper that led into a left hand kink. Turning back toward the starting area the course went right, a straight, then right again. A short straight followed by a very tight left hander into the finishing lights and a stop box.
We were broken into two groups. Tom and I worked first and it appeared as if most of the cars were running 33 seconds or more. A couple of the Sevens got down to the 30's, but most of the Esprits, M100 and Europas were well above that. It was our turn. I let Tom take his three runs first. He put in some pretty good times in a very sloppy car. I was next, the first run was a high 33 something with 3 cones. I yelled at Tom to jump in the back seat - human ballast. With Tom in the car I got a clean run and 33.4. As we came off the course the cockpit was filled with the strong odor of melting brakes. We waited about 5-10 minutes to let them cool. Another clean run, and trying to stop in the finish stop box, the Pontiac's brake pedal went really long and I swerved left to avoid hitting the cones at the end of the box. The time was announced at a 32.9. Good enough to beat all the times of the non-Lotus cars (Volvo and a Honda). There was time for fun runs and John Zender invited me to drive the flaming Europa. WOW! What an amazing Europa John has created! It was incredibly neutral, cornered as if on rails. I took two laps the first was like a 29 or something and the second run was a 27.4… a time which I believe would have been second to the Dmod Seven S4 of Larry Shauf (which he drove to 4th place at the Solo II nationals a week earlier).
It was noon and we were hungry… John Z. suggested Hooters, so about 8-10 of us dropped in there only to learn that laws prohibited beer from being served until 12:30pm on Sunday. Anyway, after lunch Tom and I were joined by Bob Wells, and Scott Mitchell (from VA) and we returned to Road Atlanta to watch some great vintage racing. It was still hot and humid but we got some relief in the Lotus museum tent where a 109 was being shown. The Formula car race was dominated by a Lotus 107B that absolutely scorched the track. The Ffords were doing 1:42-5's and the 107 was doing 1:22s or less! You can imagine the closing speeds!!! The Ffords doing 120-125 on the back straight while the 107 was doing over 180! In the Lotus only race Zack Z. was driving his Elan+2 and put on a show in the final 2 laps. Coming down the hill and through Turn 12 and onto the front straight he was dicing with a Seven. Exiting 12 the rear of the +2 came out and he proceeded to do a tank slapper with about 4-5 slides before catching the car! He did it again on the final lap, to the delight and gasping of the spectators! After the race Zack inspected the car to find that the diff seals had blown and he was greasing his rears! YIKES!!!
That evening was a buffet dinner and the AutoX awards were handed out. As expected Larry Shauf took the Seven class and TTOD. John Zender took the trophy in the Europa class and the twin turbo Europa won in the Mod/Other Class. To my surprise the AutoX chairman added a class at the last minute… "UNBELIEVABLE" Class… I won! According to Chairman Dan, he thought my run in the Pontiac Grand POS was F*cking Unbelievable as it was in the top ten (47 competitors all in Lotuses except for the Volvo, Honda and Tom and I).
After dinner there was tech inspection and driver's seminar. I had suggested to the Lotus Internet List that any one interested could go to Malibu Speedzone (about 30 minutes away). We arrived around 8 PM and stayed until the 11 PM closing! About 25-30 of us ended up there and had a ball! The most memorable moment was on the slick track when, as I was exiting a corner, I was punted from the rear which spun me around and Tom cruised by laughing so hard tears were rolling down his cheeks!
MONDAY - SEPT. 28, 1998
Tom and I opted for a leisurely departure. We had breakfast, packed and checked out. I wanted to stop at Lotus Cars USA. We hadn't much time to visit with the LCU folks and I really wanted to see them. We ended up staying for about 2 hours and then headed up to Road Atlanta for LOG Track Day. We stayed until about 4 PM getting rides around the track. What a wonderful race track. One that you need to respect and learn before going really fast and being comfortable. Tom got a ride with Steve Brightman in Steve's Esprit Turbo. Jon Rosner was seen jumping in and out of all sorts of cars. John Zender could be seen screaming down the front straight. It was all VERY fun, but it had to end and at 4pm Tom and I headed back toward Atlanta and the Delta flight that was awaiting to bring us back to San Jose.
The Southeast Lotus Ltd group did an amazing job presenting and hosting the LOG and the 50th celebration of Lotus. The chaps from Lotus Cars were impressed with the enthusiasm of the US Lotus owner and the interest and desire to see the Elise in the States. Will the Elise make it to the states… if I had to guess today, I'd say yes. When is another question. My guess is at least 18 - 24 months. The Lotus factory is interested and they'd like to see LCU commit to 1000 cars. Again, my opinion is that Lotus could sell 500 Elises in the states easily. It's the second 500 that would need plenty of marketing dollars, and Lotus Cars UK doesn't seem to be willing to commit those dollars. Personally, I'd love to see the Elise here! It's an exciting car that is true to the Lotus design philosophy.
Next year's LOG is in New York in the Watkins Glen area. Date is TBD. Both myself and Mike Ostrov were asked numerous times during the LOG weekend if the GGLC would be presenting a Convention next year. And, if you, the GGLC members are willing, we will!!!
1978 Esprit, Series 2, black/black, maintained by Barry Spencer, reliable daily driver, $10,000 no trades. Mike Foley (650) 654-1449
Wanted: Lotus 7 project car. Prefer Series II or III with Ford crossflow and axle. Will consider anything. David Mathison (310) 457-7328
1970 Europa S2 VIN 0203R, 54K miles, 600 mi on rebuilt motor. Oil cooler, adjustable lower links, Weber, Minilites. White. $6,500 OBO. Steve Snyder (209) 537-7038
1977 Elite, lots of recent work. New belts, hoses, water pump, rebuilt carbs, rebuilt 5 speed, new clutch, new alternator. No oil or water leaks! Nice original interior. $4,000 OBO. Steve Snyder (209) 537-7038
1984 Esprit Turbo parts for sale: Stock front rims with stock NCT’s, mounted, 6/32 tread, $150 each. NOS NCT’s 195-60x15, 50 miles, $150 each. Rear NCT’s 235-60x15, barely legal, $25 each. Rear Bumper, repairable, minor damage at exhaust area, $200. Prices include shipping. David Condrack email@example.com
For sale, 1978 Lotus Esprit S2, 29K miles, Yellow, very original condition. Alpine stereo. $13,500 tel (408) 427-2676. If no answer leave message. email firstname.lastname@example.org
1972 Lotus Elan (Sprint) convertible engine, top and bottom has been recently rebuilt; new clutch, shocks, etc. body is in good condition I am asking $14,500 James Nelsen 818-790-4625
1973 Merc Capri V6. White/Black. Good-looking. Many performance options: Bilstein shocks, nylon bushings, 1-inch front swaybar, custom Hurst-shifter,
dual-exhaust and headers. High mileage, excellent, stock motor uses no oil - 140 dynoed HP at 5000 rpm. Recent brakes and valve job. No smog inspection required (in CA.), but runs quite clean. Cheap/reliable transportation or possible autocrosser. Advertised at $2950 - $2500 to GGLCers/friends. Mel (925) 831-8834.
Full set of trim rings and hub caps for Europa/Elan, fresh chrome – $200, John (650) 368-9105 email@example.com
l967 Elan Coupe. White with black vinyl roof, Alfa 5 speed, non original rear tail lamps, KO alloy rims, Webber head, very clean inside and out. Asking $8600.00 Please contact: Jim Bove at
1977 Eclat, properly maintained, excellent condition 49K miles, engine with forged internals, Delorttos, 5-speed, Doug Bank (916) 771-4717 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1970 Europa S2, #0081R, not running, but mostly original, $3,000, Call Mike (408) 725-8893
For Sale: Europa Parts full set of Spax shocks w/adjustable perches, incl. springs for Europa – $150; adjustable lower links, w/heim joints, excellent cond. – $125; 7x13 Monocoque and 8x13 Revolution wheels, Brake booster, steering rack.
John (650) 368-9105 email@example.com
For sale: Esprit S2 Parts Complete front and rear brakes, radiator fans and shroud, John (650) 368-9105 firstname.lastname@example.org
1966 Lotus Elan S2 Roadster. Serial number 26/5611 - Engine LB 5625. Purchased from 3rd owner in 1979 (62,000 original miles). Car originally imported into Vancouver BC. Dismantled for chassis up body off conversion to racecar. All pieces inspected, rebuilt or replaced. Chassis gusted and strengthened. Raced in 1982 to 1996 ICSCC, SCCA, HMSA and CSRG. Car has ICSCC and SCCA Vintage Logbook. Won the 1982 to 1987 ICSCC C Production Championship in the Pacific Northwest. Car kept basically stock and can be converted to street legal car with work. Asking US $12,000 for complete car and single axle trailer ready to race. (510/943-6194) email@example.com
1957 Lotus Eleven (Westfield) Factory built, under 5,000 miles, 1275 BMC engine, Weber Carbs, wire wheels, head fairing, car has yellow exterior with black leather interior, registered as 1966 Lotus. $25,000 415-868-2940
1968 Lotus Elan S4SE Coupe. Good original condition, 74K miles $9900. U.S. DOLLARS. firstname.lastname@example.org or call (818) 609-2144.
1962 Lotus Super 7 1500 Cosworth SB1520 1500 pushrod motor, dual Weber, A-6 cam, twin-cam rods & crank, steel caps, wet sump (baffled), oil cooler, lightened flywheel, balanced, easy 7500 rpm. Truck bed load of other spare bits And I'll throw in a single axle trailer so you can take it home with you. $18,500. Phone 816-444-6589 Car is in Kansas City, Missouri
Car wanted Elan S 3 or S 4 (drop head preferred), but will consider coupe. Car to be in good mechanical condition, including water pump, free from chassis rust and/or damage. No major body damage. Paint, interior, cosmetics not that important. Finn Jorgensen 111 Allen court, Moraga, CA 94556. tel: 925-376-4361. Fax: 925-376-2530
1963 Lotus Super Seven, S2, 1500 Cosworth, Dual Weber 40 DCOE, Aeroquip lines 5 Minilites, Spax adjustable, roll bar, full weather equipment Brooklands windshield, BRG/yellow nose/red interior, original paperwork, registration, and manuals 12,163 mi, restored 1996/97, no expense spared!, second owner, video available. $26,500 (US), partial trades considered GordLeech, Canada (204) 256-3016
Lotus Elan sunroof coupe serial number 36/0028J, never registered-still on MSO, driven only 5800 miles, white/black, original and complete, all books, records, window sticker. This is the last Elan received from the Lotus importer by a dealer in Waterloo, and is still in their possession.
Pat lind W 319-354-2550, H 319-351-8033
1963 Mini MK 1, red w/ white roof (Cooper race colors) Very good body, paint a little tired. New interior (seats). 1380cc, 110hp Vizard engine, Jack Knight Torsen LTD-slip trans. Heim-jointed full race suspension w/adjustable Spax, new Yoko 008's. Much more. Built as an autocrosser, but never used as such. Over $13k invested, best offer.
Jack--- email@example.com 409-321-0022
1965 Mk1 Lotus Cortina. It is in pristine
condition. It has a fresh, 196+HP twin cam (stock stroke, original L block and head), straight cut gearbox, LSD, and is VERY FAST. It won the USRRC Seniors Tour Western Championship for under 2.0 liter GT cars in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and has won its class in numerous races. It has turned 2:01's at Sears. It took 3rd's in the race car classes at the 1993 Lafayette Concours, and the 1993 Hillsborough Concours. It took 2nd in race cars at the 1994 Lotus Convention (Portland) Concours. This car has been accepted and raced with CSRG, VARA, SOVREN, RMVR, and SCCA. Will consider offers in the $40's. Myles Kitchen at MHKitchen@aol.com.
For Sale: Caterham Super 7. Aluminum with red nose, clamshells and rear fenders. Long cockpit, live a axle, right hand drive, crossflow with Webers. '89 production vin #KLCO654R professionally completed in 94. Full new style top and doors and wind "wings", Caterham manual & heater. Bone stock with less than 1000 miles form new - not raced/modified. Texas tagged, titled and inspected. Reluctantly must sell $20,000 photos by serious request, Mark 512-371-0288 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chapman Report is published monthly by the Golden Gate Lotus Club, PO Box 117303, Burlingame, CA 94011. The GGLC is a non-profit incorporated car club and is not affiliated with Group Lotus, Team Lotus, or Lotus Cars USA. The GGLC's annual membership dues are $20.00
Opinions expressed in the Chapman Report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the gglc or its officers. Technical advise should be used at your own risk.
Submissions to the Chapman Report are accepted. Please E-mail them to email@example.com in ASCII DOS text. Submissions may also be mailed to The Chapman Report at 3507 Edison Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025-1815.
The 1998 GGLC officers are: Daren Stone, President; Scott Hogben, Vice President; Bruce Weinberg, Secretary Laura Hamai, Treasurer; David Anderson, Membership Chairman; and John Ridley, Social Director.
The Chapman Report Staff: John Zender, Editor; Tom Carney, Circulation Manager; Mel Boss, Advertising Manager.