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Classic Team Lotus Garden Party 2024

Alan Morgan, Chairman of Club Lotus, reports.

The second Classic Team Lotus Garden Party took place over the weekend of 15th & 16th June at East Carleton Manor, home of Lotus founders Colin and Hazel Chapman. Hosted by Colin and Hazel’s son Clive and the entire Chapman family, there were just 200 tickets available for each day and they quickly sold out over 3 months in advance.

Whilst Classic Team Lotus is devoted to single seat Lotus racing cars the event attracted a whole range of models from the Mk 1 (replica) the Emeya Type 134.  Dating from 1967, and the first Hethel production car there were Elan Plus 2 a plenty.  Here we highlight three one off spin offs. 

East Carleton Manor is close to the Lotus factory at Hethel and was designed by Colin and Hazel when they bought the plot after moving Lotus Cars from Cheshunt to Norfolk in 1966.

The magnificent gardens were created by Hazel from scratch and she lovingly tended them for over 50 years.

The aim of the weekend was to celebrate the achievements and heritage of Colin and Hazel and there were many special guests including Mike Costin and legendary Lotus F1 designers Peter Wright and Martin Waide.

Current Lotus Joint MD Matt Windle was also there to give an update on the stunning Emira and new electric Eletre and Emeya.

Highlights of the weekend included a display of each of the first 12 Lotus car designs which had been gathered together for the first time ever. This historic variety of innovative car designs took Colin and Hazel on their extraordinary journey from a humble lock-up in North London to the glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix – and beyond – in just 10 years.

In another first, there was the first public showing of recently re-discovered films from Colin’s father Stan’s personal film archive. These fascinating old black and white home movies presented a unique window on the very earliest days of Lotus in Hornsey from the Mk II onwards.

There was much more treasure for enthusiasts to discover including Ayrton Senna’s driving gloves and other Grand Prix memorabilia.

Two of the most innovative Lotus racing cars were demonstrated by Clive and his son Magnus The four-wheel-drive Type 56 powered by a Pratt and Whitney gas turbine and the F1 Championship winning Type 79 - which pioneered ground effect – enthralled guests. Other classic and Lotus road and racing cars were scattered about the estate including Evija, the astonishing 2000bhp electric Lotus hypercar- there was a surprise around every corner.

A truly memorable weekend and plans are already underway for next year.


See Lotus Plus 2 Automatic in this issue. 

And also the short lived LOTUS LIBRARY for  much Lotus  historical memorabilia










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