29th 30th March 2008, Donington Park
LEW attended Club Lotus, Lotus Festival for the 8th year in a row on both Saturday and Sunday 29-30th March 2008. The format of the show has remained unchanged, but remains a good day out for all Esprit Enthusiasts. The first big meeting of the year and nice to get out after a winter where most Esprits see little action. This year was different from the last seven, as LEW's Esprit didn't make it to the show. An alternator issue made it a little risky to make the journey, as we wanted to actually make the show!
Unfortunately this year, the LEW/LEF stand was split-up by two Essex Esprits, which meant one our show cars ended up in the middle of our marquee! It was BigSi's LEF rebuilt G-Car, but it did mean it didn't look like an actual stand and just some cars on show. Nevertheless we still saw plenty of action over the two days.
As ever all the biggest names in the Esprit care game were present. SWLC, PNM, Paul Matty, LotusBits, Christopher Neils, Esprit Performance all have stuff on offer.
There was plenty on display this year including a beautiful looking white S1, the afore mentioned Essex's, A JPS Stand, PNM Sponsored Esprit V8 racecar for Esprit enthusiasts. There was also Classic Lotus there with some old racers, Lotus Holland, a Jim Clark stand, Plenty of old Elans, Lotus Carltons, Lotus Drivers Club, Plenty of Elise bits and Lotus were there pushing the new 2-Eleven, which looks like a lot of fun.
We managed to pick up a couple of extra gauges which we will be fitting to our Esprit in the coming weeks. After our alternator issue, we sourced at VDO voltage gauge from an earlier Esprit which matches our current gauges and a nice looking VDO clock from an Excel which should look great alongside the voltage gauge. Both were picked up form LotusBits.com's stall, which was very busy all weekend. Look out for our guide soon.
PNM have released a new 310mm disc that can be used on their original brake upgrade kit. Giving you a bigger disc for only a small increase over a replacement disc. You can see the difference in the disc in the picture below. So now you can upgrade your upgrade! For those with 18" front wheels, PNM also now to a larger brake kit to fill out behind the wheel! Now those are large discs. They also have a new stronger starter motor available.
Esprit Performance have a few new products, including a great looking and light carbon fibre sunroof, carbon fibre sport seats trimmed in black leather which are dead ringers for the Sport 300 seats. They also had a prototype race wing on show, which is being developed. Check out their site for more info.
This is normally the main focus every year for Esprit owners, and LEW's Esprit the meeting point on Sunday for the group pic, but with a little confusion as our car wasn't there, Bibs Esprit (also black, but with gold wheels) was used. We managed to round up a few of the Esprit mob, but it wasn't as impressive as most years. Mostly down to us unfortnately, but there's always next year ;-)
All these pictures were taken on Sunday, as the weather was great. Saturday morning was good, but by the afternoon the rain had hit. As ever, there were plenty of Esprits to look at, including some great examples. Barrie Cornes 1980 Essex (not one of the two inside) was looking great, especially with the new number plate from the DVLA.
For some reason the show was a little quieter than previous years. We're not sure why, but it was a good event and all the traders made a brilliant effort, even the weather put in a brief appearence. We hope more people will make the effort next year to support the community.
Special thanks to all those who helped out during the weekend and to all those who attended. As ever the Esprit community proves to be a wonderful group of people who make these events worth attending.