7. Colin Smith
This Spring driving event was re-run, with a few changes, following its huge success in 2016. We lost Mike Stripe (our previous Chairman) a month after last year’s Pembrokeshire tour and we decided to designate the 2017 tour as the club’s first annual Mike Stripe Memorial Event.
Headed off down to Pembrokeshire in my trusty(!) Esprit on the Thursday and was looking forward to the good humour, friends, driving and socialising which have become a firm feature of our club driving tours.
We had 30 cars this year and this had quite an impact on Saundersfoot, where we all stayed, and the surrounding area as we drove through different towns and villages. Our 30 Lotuses parked in formation on the Saundersfoot harbour wall attracted quite a bit of attention!
On the road, we kept the groups of cars down below 12 to comply with MSA recommendations but a line of 12 Lotuses still caused people to stop and enjoy the spectacle. We drove to some beau- tiful parts of the county over the two main days of the weekend tour, covering around 300 miles and enjoyed excellent meals together in the evenings at three different venues. Many crews came from the far reaches of the UK and clocked up a total of over 1,000 miles over the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and would urge everyone to book on to one of the club tours or driveouts sometime soon – we are, after all, the Lotus Drivers Club – the clue is in the name.
Finally, the answer to the question on many lips is, “Yes, the Esprit and I made it home fine, thank you!”.
6. Ian & Cheryl
West Wales is a place of outstanding natural beauty with splendid views of the coastline and we were lucky enough to spend two days driving to various points of interest when we joined other members of the Lotus Drivers Club on their West Wales Weekend.
We arrived early on a very chilly & blustery Saturday morning but the warm welcome we received from other members made up for it. We would like to thank everyone for their hard work in arranging the hotel, dinner in the evening and taking so much time and effort into itemising the route.
It was great to see so many beautiful Lotus cars gathered together, a sight for sore eyes for sure. We enjoyed being introduced to members we had not met before and chatting to them. Everyone was so enthusiastic about their cars and it was good to meet like minded folks.
We are looking forward to our next trip wherever and whenever we can make it.
5. Peter & Jackie Wright
It was a great weekend, full of enjoyment with like- minded and friendly LDC members – some old acquaintances, some brand new to us.
Two circumstances come to mind for us: Having not booked to join the trip, we noticed a Facebook message on the Wednesday that a place had become available. By 5.00 that afternoon we had booked in, and 22 hours later were in the Elise on our way to Royal Wooten Basset, our chosen stopover before joining the others in Wales. To any- one that knows Jackie, and the difficulty in choosing what to pack (and what can be left behind), that was impressive!
Unfortunately, on the Sunday, Jackie wasn’t feeling 100% and we needed to find a pharmacist. There’s usually a duty pharmacist locally so I trot- ted down to the one in Saundersfoot. Sure enough, they were closed, but had very helpfully put an A4 notice in the shop window advising that the rota of alternative suppliers was printed on the back of the notice……
You will have many pics from the talented photographers who attended, so I have attached just one that may give a different perspective, this from the harbour at Porthgain.
4. David & Sian
What a weekend! Even more Lotus cars of varied va- rieties than last year. Old friends made last year brave enough to return, and new friends wishing to sample the delights of Pembrokeshire.
Route planning started after Christmas and kept us busy for quite a few weekends. Saturdays run was easy as it was only slightly altered from that of last year. Sundays was more challenging but hopefully ticked a few boxes for people.
The local populous of Saundersfoot so enjoyed seeing all the cars and it is great to see that the har- bour staff are so happy to help us with car parking etc. We are still being asked when will we see the Lo- tus cars back next year!!
The highlights: seeing everyone out and about enjoying themselves and enjoying the LDC ale after a days driving. No mishaps or breakdowns proving that Lotus ownership is not as some portray it. On a personal note Sian thoroughly enjoyed spending the weekend navigating in Lindsays superb Elan al- though I’m still not allowed to buy one. She didn’t even need her thermals. I sat behind the wheel of Danny’s LF1 and now have great problems every time I see one for sale.
The low side: deciding to miss out on popping down to Porthgain and not being part of the gathering where our ace photographers had a great time. Tom up in the sky and Sue closer to the ground. Thanks to both for depicting the weekend in such memorable shots.
The funny bit: only ever seeing our chairman Colin going in the opposite direction to me, I’m still wondering if I bound his route maps back to front. Great however to see his Esprit performing well for the whole weekend.
Just comes now for me to close by thanking eve- ryone for taking the time to come and join us in our special little corner of the country, Diolch yn fawr.
3. Adrian Woodward
Although I’ve owned my Elan Plus 2 for 34 years the Mike Stripe Memorial Event would be my first ever club driving adventure and my wife suggested that we really should go. I was anxious that we would be driving the only pre 1996 Lotus but I was to be in good company with Lindsay’s excellent one-owner S4 and Colin’s beautiful pistachio Sprint.
Now the advantage of owning my Plus 2 is that its external condition does not warrant any preparation, basically as long as I can see through the windscreen I’m good to go, however since the Coventry Museum drive-out day the car had developed a minor over heating issue in as much that the electric tempera- ture gauge started to fluctuate between 85 and 120. So in the few weeks leading up to the Saundersfoot I replaced all the usual suspects, (thermostat, sender, voltage regulator) without any improvement which left me considering the nightmare of the Lotus Twin Cam Water Pump, unlikely cause but I had discov- ered play in the bearing.
One entire week of frenetic garage activity and the night before the Trip a replacement water pump was installed and the engine running again howev- er the gauge continued to take leave of its senses. It was at this point that my wife for some reason changed her mind and decided to stay at home, so on Friday morning I packed, checked my road side assistance policy and set off for Raglan Castle and my rendezvous with the Lotus convoy. To my delight, I made it and without having to stop to let off steam which luckily was to be the pattern for the rest of the Adventure.
Both drive-out days were amazing 150 & 130 miles albeit I had one eye on the temperature gauge and the other on Chris & Lynn’s Evora as without a navigator I needed a pace car (Chris, thank you for your patience).
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire weekend, it was all good, people, hotel, food, scenery and a fabulous array of Lotuses. A round trip of 650 miles, a big thank you to all the organisers and an apology if I bored everyone with my temperature gauge conundrum!
2. Chris & Lyn Dewing
The Mike Stripe Memorial weekend was our first ex- perience of an LDC driving event and looking back, it was a great opportunity to meet new people, drive some interesting roads and see some of the wonder- ful sights of Pembrokeshire.
Saundersfoot is a great base to hold a driving event. It’s a fairly typical seaside village with a har- bour car park that lends itself to being cordoned off into secure overnight storage. The line-up of 30 Lotuses certainly caused plenty of interest with the locals.
On the Friday evening we were presented with a road book by Dave and Sian Boneham which used both words and maps to guide us round the route for both Saturday and Sunday. It was a real master- piece, covering every detail of around 270 miles over the 2 days.
We set off from the harbour in groups of six which rarely stayed together for more than a few miles as crews took time out to sight-see, refuel or answer calls of nature. Saturday began with a run round the peninsula to the south of Pembroke followed by a stretch of coast road up to St David’s and on up to Fishguard. The route had various minor detours to points of particular interest, often up single track roads which led to some amusement as one group of Lotuses met another attempting to go in the opposite direction. The day finished with a north-south run down some lovely sweeping B-roads past Nar- berth and back to Saundersfoot.
Sunday’s run used more open roads and less sight-seeing, although one very interesting stop-off was at the ????? hillclimb venue where we were able to drive the track, which was very tight and very narrow. And towards the end of the day the route took us to Pendine Sands and the Museum of Speed where Parry Thomas’s BABS was on show. Rumour had it that some Lotuses didn’t complete the Sunday run – preferring to get back to the hotel in time for the Russian GP from Sochi!
In addition to laying on the hotel, Dave and Sian had organised three different venues for supper on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings – no easy task when it meant accommodating around 50 people. The noise as people discussed the day’s events and consumed more and more of the local brew gener- ally reached a crescendo at about 10.30pm. How- ever, at around this time on Sunday all fell hush for Chairman Colin who closed the weekend with a brief resume of events and gave his thanks to Chris & Tash and Dave & Sian for all the work that went into mak- ing sure everything ran so smoothly. To which there was a loud “Hear! Hear!” from all the audience!
1. Mark & Lisa
“Well what a weekend” were the lasting words from Lisa as we waved off our old and newly found Lotus friends. Setting off from cloudy Northamptonshire we took an unusually relaxing drive down to Raglan Castle to meet up with our like minded compatriots for a mini convoy to Saundersfoot. Within a few miles of our first destination we were greeted with the sight of our first convoy led by Dean and Lisa’s Red S1 Elise followed by Colin’s stunning ‘Asda’ green Elan Sprint (Sorry Colin I couldn’t resist) with Andy’s Type 25 S2 Elise bringing up the rear.
We soon arrived at Raglan Castle to the sight of ten other Loti of varying ages, shapes and sizes and proceeded to chat and catch up with our friends whilst enjoying a very agreeable lunch all served by two bewildered cafe staff. After an hour we set off in convoy through the fantastic Brecon Beacons stop- ping off on route for a waterside photo opportunity.
As is always the case when the LDC massive hit the roads we are greeted by pedestrians and pass- ing cars sharing the obligatory approving nod or occasional wave which only adds to the enjoyment of these excellent organised road trips. Not wanting our pre run to end we eventually arrived at the Saun- dersfoot harbour car park and was greeted by our host ‘David’ sporting a broad smile and offering up his customary warm Welsh welcome.
We checked into the excellent Gower Hotel and quickly unpacked heading straight to the bar for pre dinner drinks and lots more catch up.
For those who have never been on an LDC road trip the organisation and planning is without rival and before the first day begins you’re presented with a thorough drivers pack which includes an overview of the weekend, turn by turn route directions for each day, laminated maps and local tourist info handouts.
The next two days were jam packed with visits to beautiful scenic locations, pretty towns and won- derful drives along fabulous coastal roads with each day ending at a pre organised group evening meal at different venues.
This is our second year sharing South West Wales best roads with our friends and once again it didn’t fail to deliver. David, Sian, Chris and Tash have once again delivered a well organised and thoroughly en- joyable weekend and both Lisa and I look forward to next years Mike Stripe Memorial excursion wherever it may be. I’m sure Mike would have approved.