19th 20th March 2005, Donington Park
LEW attended Club Lotus, Lotus Festival for the fifth year in a row on Sunday 20th March 2005. 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.
'Lotus Only' Carpark
As usual the carpark is the place to be. Plenty of Esprits of all shapes and sizes. This year the carpark seemed to be more packed with plenty of overflow of Loti outside the 'Lotus Only' Carpark.
Karl brough his 'Max'd' Esprit to show off! As usual it draws a crowd wherever he turns up. No new mods from the last time it was at a meeting, but I have heard there's some more planned!
The 350 boys had their own parking section cordon off, but as only 2 could get out of bed early enough, they soon lost there '350 only' slot. Shame really, would have been nice to see them all parked up together.
Again Sunday saw more Esprits than anything else. Saturday was taken over by the Elan M100's with some very organised parking from what we hear.
As usual Club Lotus had their own stand. £7.50 to get in is a little expensive, but they do put on the largest Lotus gathering each year.
The usual suspects turned up again inside the event, selling anything to do with Lotus. Christopher Neil had plenty of stock on their stall. Chris Folds and Guy Smith both had plenty on show to make you part with your money.
Paul Matty Sportscars had a parts-trailer with them and what seemed like most of their stock of 'Loti for Sale'. Paul Matty has a good rep for his used Esprits. The Silver GT3 above looked like a great car. Loved the combination of the red interior. This car was sold by the time we saw it on Sunday.
South West Lotus Centre were in their normal spot, taking up one end of the hall. The stand was busy throughout the day selling parts for many different Loti and also their popular Lotus clothing lines were going well. Wheels are one of SWLC's strong points, with plenty to choose from. We were almost tempted by the AWI's for £2,000, as these seem to be becoming very rare. LEW also picked up a part from SWLC that we'd been after for a while, which you'll see on the site in the coming months.
South West has two Esprit NA's at the show for sale (which are also on LEW's Used Car Centre)
LEW's Stand of the Show went to PNM Engineering. PNM don't normally have a stand at Donington, but you wouldn't have guessed from the display they put on.
Their stand was 95% dedicated to the Esprit, which was more than any of the others put together. Plenty of parts available and on show, including dump-valves, cat by-pass pipes, suspension, exhausts, 2002 rear lights & panel, US style exhaust grill, air filters, clutch cylinders & pipes and much more.
The real winner was the Esprit chassis with suspension and PNM's new brake upgrades. A real show stopper. The new top of the line brake kits includes new larger discs with 6-pot calipers up front and large vented discs with V8 brembo calipers at the rear. Discs and calipers are available in different colours and disc are available plain/slotted or drill and slotted. They also have 4-pot calipers available, which are the same as LEW currently runs in it's SE.
Alan Croft's Turbo was on the stand showing off the first 'Big Brake Kit'. Dave Walters S4s was also on the PNM stand showing off his newly refurb'd Split Rim's and the 'PNM Big Brake Kit' for Esprits with the Brembo set up. They also had a V8 engine on display which will eventually be in the PNM Racing Esprit that is being planned.
There was plenty more display's to see at the show, with many Lotus cars on display from the past and present. Little Lotus were there as ever, shifting plenty of Esprit models.
This Esprit was on show on one of the stands. Plenty of work had gone into the spoiler! The engine bay had also seen quite a few hours of work.
There were quite a few Esprit on either show or for sale. Donington is definately a place to come if you're after buying an Esprit. Plenty to choose from in one place and if you don't see one you like, you certainly get a feel for what's on offer in the market.
Plenty of Classic Lotus where on display, with some beautiful examples of some of Mr Chapman's finest work.
Classic Team Lotus make an appearance at the show, bringing some ex-formula one Loti with them. One of the F1 cars was even started up later on Sunday afternoon, which the crowd loved.
That's all from Donington 2005
As you can see, we enjoyed the day. If you didn't go or haven't been. See you next year!