@ Stanton St John, Oxford
2nd May 2004
The first bi-annual LEW/Yahoo! Group Meet was again held at Stanton St John in Oxford. Arranged by Dermot, kato and Rob, we managed to easily beat the 23 Esprit that turned up in October and the record of 23 in April of 2002. 28 Esprit's turned up for our Sunday morning run. And that was managed without LEW's own Esprit!
An idle problem forced LEW's Esprit to miss the event. Nothing serious, but too long a journey to take the risk of breaking down. That did mean as a passenger, the pictures for this page are the best yet from our Oxford Meets.
LEW also arrange a Special Guest for the day. Esprit Platform Manager, Brian Angus from Lotus join us in Lotus's Federal Spec Esprit. Brian was on hand all day to answer questions and give owners the low down of what's happening at the factory. As you can guess, Brian had a busy day!
Once everyone was accounted for, Dermot got the run underway (middle picture) around 11am. With 28 Esprit to get out of one carpark, it was quite a job. Three groups were formed, fast, medium and slow, to try and keep everyone together.
As you can see, there was quite a shuffle going on!
But finally everyone got out onto the open road ready for the start of an enjoyable run. Covering many different kinds of road, making it much more than an Esprit procession.
LEW's cameraman hitched a ride in a white Sport 350 and managed to get some good shots of the Esprits snaking through Oxfordshire.
As you can see from the pic far right, it was impossible to stop the line of 28 Esprit being broken. Which FORCED some of the group to overtake! As you can see from the clear road and the back of a supercar, there was no danger involved and a lot of fun was had!
As in previous Oxford Runs, there were two plan stops on route to get everyone back together and give everyone a chance to chat. Seems impossible to get 28 Esprit in a line in one shot. It's an impressive site. As you can see from the pic above left, every year we manged to get a non-Esprit in the ranks! It's normally an Elise, but this year it was a BMW! Whatever next?
After another short run we reformed again at the next stop. We managed to pick up a few cars that had got lost and finally had everyone together for the return to the meeting point.
I know a few Esprit got lost on route, but it seems the Blue Esprit ended up in a field somewhere! LEW doesn't recommend 'Off-Roading' in an Esprit!
A spirited drive back to the Melting Pot Public House saw the group fragmented into many small groups. Above right, Rob E takes the racing line a little too far!
After taking a short cut back to the carpark, LEW caught the return of most of the Group.
The carpark soon filled up with Esprits again. After a run of around 90 minutes and with the weather holding off (which it didn't look like doing) everyone was ready for a drink in the pub. From what I heard, we did have one S4 breakdown, by that hasn't been confirmed as yet (one of the locals, so not a massive problem).
Yes...I can confirm that my Silk Red 93 S4 did breakdown just after the first stop. Brakedown would be more accurate a description, as whilst leading group 2 and trying to keep Group 1 in touch, I braked and the pedal went straight to the floor leaving me with virtually no brakes! I was forced to turn around and strangely enough the brake pressure restored itself, which allowed me to limp home, but its not going anywhere else until the fault is diagnosed. Probably the pump/accumulator but having it looked into before I shell out for that.
Richard Cambers (1993 S4)
It was then time for a Sunday Lunch at the pub with around 30 Esprit Enthusiast all gathered and all talking Esprits! After a short speech by LEW's kato, Brian Angus was introduced and gave a speech on what was happening at Hethel regarding the Esprit. Currently Giugiaro owners will be pleased to hear, Lotus are currently testing tyres for type-approval, as tyres sizes for early Esprit are now almost impossible to find. Hopefully we'll have news on that soon. Lotus are fully committed to keeping us all on the road and are currently investigating many options for parts that are now unavailable. Contact LEW if you are having trouble sourcing anything and we'll get onto the factory.
After lunch it was back to the carpark for those who didn't have a +2 hour trip home for some more chat. LEW took a ride in Karl's Nitrous GT3, which was very impressive.
LEW grabbed a ride home in Lotus's own Esprit, which is around 9 months old and is exactly the same spec as our US brothers have been getting and the same as the last Esprit off the production line. Including the steering wheel on the wrong side! So in the end, LEW's Esprit met Lotus's Esprit!
It seems a great day was had by all, and the plan is to do it all again in September/October. So if you missed this one, don't miss the next one.
TEAM ESPRIT OXFORD
Click on the picture above to take you to a larger numbered picture.
The idea is go get everyones name to a face, so email if your names missing!