2004 LOG - Birmingham AL
Day 1 - Sept 10, 2004 - Arrival & Reception

Over 350 Lotus enthusiasts decended upon Birmingham Alabama from Sept 10-13, 2004 to celebrate Lotus.

This reporter arrived in Atlanta for a pre-LOG visit with Lotus Cars USA. By 2pm Chris Smith and a few other Atlanta based Lotus enthusiasts arrived to caravan to LOG.

LA Show cars at LCU

Michael follows

Red Lotus escort (L to R: M100, Elise, M100)

Arriving at LOG we were greeted by Esprits, Europas, Sevens, Elans, M100s, a Lotus 51, MkVI and a street driven Eleven!

John English was introduced and spoke briefly at the opening reception. He spoke about some of the accomplishments and objectives for Lotus in the States in the coming years. Lotus envisions more models being launched and eventually to get to an annual volume of 10,000 cars. Soon Lotus will be offering an extended 2 year, 24Kmile warranty on the Elise that includes roadside service.

Day 2 - Sept 11, 2004 - Arrival & Reception

Highlights from the LCU Tech & Info Session
Dave Simkin, Western Techincal Rep with LCU shared some interesting points:

  • Toyota performance parts will not work with the Elise engine. Lotus is working on performance parts especially designed for the Elise.
  • A/C Freezes up. The cause is that the evaporator core freezes up because the temperature sensor at the evaporator core is improperly located. LCU will be alerting dealers in the next week or so and will get the systems fixed. Temporary "fix" is to either turn the temperature control up slightly or manually cycle the system - when the core freezes up, turn off the A/C off (button) with the fan on. As the core thaws air will begin to flow and after a few minutes you can turn the A/C on again.
  • Normal cam lift is 7.0mm. At 6200 rpm the cam lift increases to 11.4mm IN & 10.0mm EX. Cam timing is advanced as well.
  • 90 dealer tech reps have been trained.
  • Avoid 2 post lifts. Due to the weight distribution of the Elise there is a greater chance that the Elise will be off balance on a 2 post lift and fall OFF!
  • 5W40 Texaco Havoline is currently the ONLY recommended oil. Change to this at 1K service.
  • Lotus has just finished developing a nose chip protector. These are poly-carbonate units that can be painted and slip over the air deflectors and protect them from curb marring. Should be at dealerships within 60 days.
  • Early Elises were not fitted with a wiring harness that will accomodate driving lights without modification to the harness.
  • A Lotus Driving Experience will be announced later this year and begin next year.
  • Dealers will be able to offer a 2 year, 24Kmi extended warranty. This warranty will come with and without roadside service.

    Photos from the LOG Concours

    A sea of Lotus

    Elise lineup

    Inside the Barber Museum - Nelson Piquet's Lotus 99T

    Day 3 - Sept 12, 2004 - AutoX & Tour

    Day 3 began with the LOG AutoX. Tony Shute from Lotus UK lined up a Storm Titanium Elise for his 1st ever AutoX experience. The result and good time, but even bigger smile! TTOD was set by one of the Sevens. The course was fun, tight but a bit slippery on the shopping mall parking lot with plenty of oil stains and dust.

    After a brief break about 40 cars lined up for the Mountain Tour that feature some wonderful narrow twisty roads that had everyone delighted. One of the highlights was stopping at the Interenational Racing Hall of Fame at Talladaga Raceway.

    Photos from the LOG Day 3

    Clyde of LCU giving rides!

    Tony's first AutoX

    LOG Tour - Simon of Lotus UK driving the Elise on the "wrong" side!

    More news and announcements:

  • LOG 25 will be in St Louis, Aug 26-28, 2005
  • Lotus built 100 US Elise last week and have built over 450 in total
  • Both Road & Track and Car & Driver have asked Lotus to supply test cars for consideration for their top 10 lists. Expect to see the Elise ranked in the top 10 in their upcoming issues.

    Day 4 - Sept 14, 2004 - Track Day

    Day 4 was the LOG Track Day at the Barber Motorsport Park.

    Drivers were split into 3 groups based upon experience and capability of the car. The Barber track is incredibly challenging with 14 corners all very different and technical. Get the entry wrong and you pay all the way around to the exit of the next corner.

    This reporter had the wonderful opportunity to get a ride with Tony Shute, who is not only the guy who has led the Elise development team from the very first car, but undoubtably has a had more hours behind the wheel of the Elise than nearly anyone on earth. Besides Tony is an EXCELLENT driver. It was a thrill to watch him on track up close. He made the track look easy, or was it the Elise? The entry to T13 is a cresting reducingin radius turn. You need to absolutely get this corner correct in order to position the car for a fast and clean entry onto the front straight. Most cars can not handle a cresting decreasing radius turn under brakes. It's too much to ask. You'll either spin off the circuit or understeer into the sand trap. The Elise defied physics, entering at speed, hard on the brakes as the car was leaning over into the turn and back on the throttle in PERFECT position for the entry onto the straight!

    At the end of the session I got out of the car (Elise with standard suspension) with ever more awe of what Lotus has created.

    Photos from the LOG Track Day

    Expert with the Elise - Tony Shute leads the way!

    Lotus on track

    A decade apart, the Champion World Challenge X180R & the Hypersport V8 Esprit

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