@ Stanton St John, Oxford
5th October 2003
The second 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 15 Esprit that turned up in April and the record of 23 in April of 2002. 25 Esprit's turned up for our Sunday morning run. A few missing and a few unexpectly turning up, but everyone welcome.
We had a great collection on Esprits (and one Elise again!), plenty of Giugiaro's and almost every stevens model including two V8 02 in the same colour! One couple turned up in a beautiful silver S3 with only 13,000 miles on it. He (sorry name escapes me) only found LEW on the Internet a few days before and decided to come along.
Kato was obviously over excited and turned up at 9.45am to find an empty car park (left). Other Esprits were on route and by about 10.15am the carpark began to fill up
Esprits started turning up at regular intervals with the carpark become more interesting by the minute. Rob C showed us how to fixed the split cable covers in our doors with aircraft strength material (left) (rob, send us some and I'll do a guide).
As you can see from the pictures the weather was perfect. Beautiful clear blue skies, dry roads and a nice chill in the air to help out those turbo's.
We had the usual turn out of the regulars from the Yahoo! meetings, and plenty of new faces. Some of them had only owned their Esprits a few weeks, Others a few years! It does seem the group is getting larger and more well known, which can only benefit everyone. We did get some very bad news. Robin was involved in an accident on the way to the meeting. Robin's only just got his car after it spent months being rebuild. A little too much turbo on a wet corner saw him spin and damage his Esprit. Luckily he and his passenger were OK. The Esprit is now back at Esprit Engineering and will hopefully be back on the road soon. Our best wishes go out to Robin.
A little more bad luck was to hit. Adam who was with Robin on the way down, turned up just as everyone was leaving. Unfortunately he picked up a puncture and had to limp home on his space saver. A small reminder not to let your tyres get into 'slick' condition. We also heard of a GT3 that lost boost on the way down and turned back.
As you can see we managed to have an Elise tag along (Centre), but as Iain owns a Giugiaro Esprit, which is off the road, we let him come along. Hopefully we've inspired him to get his Esprit back on the road a little bit quicker.
We decided to try and split the Esprit's into 3 groups for the run. A fast group at the front of known heavy right footers. A middle group of faster machines with unknown drivers and lastly a slower group of some of the older cars. Everyone was given a route and map, so anyone getting lost could catch up. Sorry to those who ended up in the wrong group, a bit of guess work was involved!
Dermot did a great job of getting everyone into the right groups and ready to hit the roads of Oxford. It was quite a sight, seeing 20+ Esprit all jockeying for position.
Rob E (left) seems to be enjoying the prospect of getting the run going. Rob was at the back of the April run to make sure nobody got too lost. Dermot thought although his driving wasn't up to the fast group, we'd let him join us (only joking Rob!). The fast group contain regular group members with heavy feet. Dermot, Rob E, Mark Sweetland, Bernard, Phil C and Kato.
The route around the Oxford country side was great and only spoiled by other traffic. I was at the back of the fast group, which managed to lose the second group within the first 200 yards. Luckily we'd arranged two stops to get everyone back together.
We stopped in a large lay-by to gather everyone up and recover from the shock of coming over a brow of a piece of dual carriageway and seeing a policeman pointing a laser gun at everyone. Luckily we turned around at the roundabout just a few hundred yards ahead, so any awaiting police couldn't stop us. Our first stop to gather everyone up was opposite the police car. So everyone climbed down the ditch and poked their heads over the fence to check him out.
He caught all three groups on Esprits, but no one was pulled over. Not sure if there'll be a ticket in the post or not. After about 5 minutes he left and everyone carried on the meeting in the fun spirit that it had started with.
After more great roads and one more stop we returned to the pub, where Howard Bartrop was waiting with his Esprit. Taking some nice pictures as we all came back in. It seems the first group were a little too fast for Howard's camera!
More chat about the run after everyone had returned safe and sound. Including Adam with a rear space saver in place of an S4s Split Rim.
A few left for other engagements, as the rest went for our pub lunch at the Talk House. An enjoyable meal in good company. An announcement was made about the up and coming Esprit TV Documentary (see news page). After a long lunch, the carpark was a little emptier than when we left it. A little more chat and some messing around with Freescan and the meeting was over. A great success in my opinion. Roll on April 2004 for the next Oxford run.
The next outing and last of the year is likely to be the parts fair at Stoneleigh on 16th November 2003.