Stratton Motor Company

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Stratton Motor Company was established by Roger Bennington in 1972, over fifty years ago, and is situated in Long Stratton, about 10 miles south of Norwich.

When Roger first purchased the garage it was simply a run-down shack, with two wind-up petrol pumps at the front and an asbestos-roofed tin shed out the back. It was then an Austin, MG, Riley, and Wolseley dealership.

Today our sales and service site are spread over 7 acres and we have just completed a brand new, state-of-the-art workshop and bodyshop refurbishment. In addition, we also have a 9 acre site at nearby Tharston which houses our Motorsport, Commercial, Storage and Aviation divisions.

In 1976 we became a Service Dealer for Aston Martin, and then in 1980 a distributor.

In 1996, we were appointed as a Lotus Main Dealer, taking on the dealership from NMG in Norwich. This was timed perfectly to coincide with the launch of the S1 Elise. This latest franchise complemented our lineup of British Sports cars.

In May 1999 Robert Chapman joined our growing team from NMG as Parts Manager and is still with us today. He brought with him an extensive number of his existing customers, many of whom are customers still. Our parts business grew to the point where we were, and still are, one of Lotus’ most successful parts dealers.

In the early 2000’s we were heavily involved with the Autobytel single make series for the single centre-seat Motorsport Elise, which saw us travelling to race circuits all over the UK and Europe. We were fortunate enough to run an endurance version of the Autobytel car for Lord Segatori in the British GT in both Europe and the UK, with great success. We even converted one of these single-seat cars for road use.

We also ran a Lotus Race Series for a period of time, which saw drivers well known within the Lotus community such as Gavan Kershaw, Guy Evans, Matt Cummings, Martin Donnelly, Gavin Kirby and Chris Randall.

From 2007 we ran many Lotus’ in the GT Cup Championship and Britcar. Being involved in motorsport enriched both our reputation and expertise. Stratton Motorsport, as we are also known, has generated additional work for our workshop and boosted our sales activity with modern sports and high-performance cars. Being the closest dealer to the factory at Hethel, we have had a good relationship with Lotus over the years, through all the ups and downs.

One winter day in 2010, whilst being involved in a project with Caparo T1 Cars to get them back on the road, we were testing one on the track at Hethel, when the current CEO of Lotus Cars came out to watch. He said, “If that was a Lotus, that would be worth £1,000,000!” Hence the T125 was born.

In fact, we went on to paint the T125 on behalf of Lotus and we were able to have this on display in our showroom due to a small incident with the 311. We are the only dealership to have held a 311 launch without having the 311 on site! It was crashed the day before our launch event whilst it was being transported back to the UK from Europe. Hence we had the T125 on display instead!

We have taken on a few of Lotus’s projects over the years to complete production runs. One example was the SPS Elise project. We had to fully strip all the cars and convert them from paddle shift back to manual. We also converted the remaining Evora GTE cars to Stratton GT Evoras.

One of the more recent additions to our team is our General Manager, Jonathan Becker, who joined us from Bentley three years ago. It is fair to say working with Lotus is a lifelong ambition of his. Jonathan has always been around Lotus’ growing up, as both his father (Roger Becker) and brother (Matt Becker) worked for Lotus Cars, so he spent a lot of time around the factory, going motor racing, and even witnessing Chris Boardman power the world famous Lotus bike around velodromes. His favourite car is the Lotus Esprit, as it evokes many happy memories of his father, from being a passenger in one many times as a child to proudly being able to say that Roger was the stunt driver in the famous Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

In our state of the art workshop, with factory-trained technicians, Stratton Motor Company is the ideal place to bring your Lotus. It is, indeed the perfect location for car enthusiasts. A haven where passion and expertise converge to create an unforgettable experience.

The bustling workshop sees each and every one of our eighteen ramps occupied by a range of modern and classic cars, with our technicians showcasing a wealth of knowledge through their years of experience. In fact, some of our technicians, bodyshop experts and valeters have been with us for over 45 years!

Roger also recognises we need to constantly invest in the future. “We try and take three new apprentices each year,” he says. “Most of our older guys have been through many of Lotus’ courses on the cars so they can teach the new boys to get them up to speed.” He also encourages investment in all the latest technology, diagnostic techniques and equipment ensuring we are well placed to deal with the new generation of sports cars as they emerge.

Whether it be sales, servicing or storage, our owners can rest assured that a shared passion for vehicles resonates in every aspect of our work.

We hope to see you in our showroom or workshop very soon.