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Lotus; the beginnings & the Hornsey museum


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#1 Michael Oliver

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 21:48

I hope my fellow TNFers will not mind me bringing this to their attention!

The President of the Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre, John Scott-Davies, is giving a talk entitled 'Lotus in London: Colin Chapman - a designer of genius' at the Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham in the evening of Wednesday April 25th. The event is free and doors open at 7pm, with the talk itself commencing at 7.30pm.

For more information, see:

http://www.haringey....eevents#evening

To follow the progress of the museum, please go to:

http://www.colinchapmanmuseum.org.uk

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#2 RTH

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 06:10

This sounds interesting, the early years being some of the most fascinating, anyone else thinking of going ?

#3 sterling49

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 06:47

Originally posted by RTH
This sounds interesting, the early years being some of the most fascinating, anyone else thinking of going ?


Feast or famine Richard, I would love to go, but I have already got Oz Floyd tickets for Croydon that night. FORC is also on with a chat by Bob Dance ):

3 great events, one night of opportunity, any chance of a full report if you attend?


Sterling

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:03

Originally posted by RTH
This sounds interesting, the early years being some of the most fascinating, anyone else thinking of going ?

Yes, thinking of

#5 RTH

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:17

All being well I will make a point of being there and I think Gary C has it in mind .

"Evening talks
Why not get in touch if you are interested in doing a talk yourself or you would like to find out more about local history.

Lotus in London: Colin Chapman - a designer of genius


The story of the Lotus Sports Car presented by John Scott-Davies, President of the Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre, Hornsey.
Wednesday 25 April 2007
Talk begins at 7.30pm
Doors are open at 7.00pm for tea and biscuits


The Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre



The Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre's primary objectives are:

Celebrating the industrial design and problem solving methodology of Colin Chapman.
Creating a museum that interprets this work and uses our archives to advance education in engineering, training, work experience, equal opportunities and critical analysis.
Explaining the London context in the development of post war motor racing and how it helped Lotus achieve success in F1.
The current status is that the historic original Lotus factory buildings remain intact in Tottenham Lane , Hornsey N8.
Planning permission has been granted.
The museum archive will be used to support education at various levels.
The museum proposes to support classic racing and to offer outreach services to many sections of the community.
The museum is a not for profit community based charity.
Our vision is to be ranked with the finest heritage motor museums in the world that are dedicated to the importance and quality of design and engineering and the education in these disciplines for the interested public and the next generation. "



http://www.colinchap...rg.uk/Plans.htm



#6 flat-16

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:31

Is there a chance that someone could make an audio recording of the lecture for those who can't attend?

If Mr Scott-Davies is talking via a PA system, it will simply be a case of taking a feed from the PA amp and - providing someone kind is able to host the file - people from all around the globe will be able to download the lecture.

I'll do my best to get over to Tottenham - it looks to be a very interesting topic. Thanks for the heads up, Michael.


Justin

#7 RTH

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:43

I understand this is being discussed today.

#8 Gary C

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 19:05

Just to let you all know, tomorrow I will be in discussion with the Museum where the talk is taking place, to see if it would be possible to video record the talk. I already have permission (through Michael Oliver) with John Scott-Davies to film him. TNF TV starts here!! I will let you know of the outcome.
One thing I had thought of, if we do film the evening, would be to have a limited release on DVD, with part of the profits going towards the proposed Chapman Museum.
TNF TV starts here!!

#9 Michael Oliver

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 11:43

Originally posted by RTH
This sounds interesting, the early years being some of the most fascinating, anyone else thinking of going ?


I will be there, it would be good to meet any other fellow TNFers who attend.

I should have a badge with my name on and if I can find my TNF badge I'll wear that too!

#10 Gary C

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 11:44

Success! I have just got off the phone with the curator of the Bruce Castle Museum and we have been given full permission to film record the talk next week. Once we have filmed, edited and produced the DVD I will post here on its' availability.
If you ARE planning on attending, don't forget to wear your TNF badge!

#11 RTH

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 13:21

Remember this is tomorrow night WEDNESDAY 25 th April at 7.00 pm.

#12 RTH

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 06:09

Tonight Wednesday

http://www.multimap....e=100000&addr1=

#13 karlcars

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 09:22

Great that it's being filmed. I'll be very interested in the DVD.

Well done!

#14 RTH

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:02

Gary and myself will visit the Ex-Lotus works factory and showroom at 7 Tottenham Lane, Hornsey , London N8 this afternoon and hopefully get some film of the building , at present it is a 'Jewsons' builders merchants, then on to the Bruce Castle Museum for the talk and presentation doors open 7.00pm. All wecome.

I know Gary, through his DVD historic motorsport company ....'Yesterday's Racers'.... plans possibly a stand alone DVD on the subject.

Hopefully we may be able to post some highlight 'rushes' on to youtube so that all can get a flavour. Also be very interesting to see who else turns up, may well be some interesting figures from Lotus' past who may well make an interesting contribution to the film.

If you are coming please make yourself known to Gary or myself.

#15 Gary C

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:39

there will be at least 3 TNF'ers there tonight, including esteemed author Michael Oliver.

#16 Gary Davies

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:58

I might have said that wild horses wouldn't have stopped me... but the cost of an airfare from Adelaide and an array of pesky clients did. Alas. :cry:

#17 RTH

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 12:28

Most interesting afternoon/evening yesterday.

Gary and fellow film maker John, Michael Oliver and myself met up on site at the old Lotus works site in Tottenham Lane Hornsey north London at 4.00pm

Lots of pictures to follow but what is most amazing , 50 years on from when Colin Chapman and the boys moved out to go to Cheshunt Herts, the buildings at Hornsey remain virtually unchanged in all that time. In recent years its just been an overspill store for plastic drainage pipes etc for Jewsons builders merchants , really it seems nothing much has been done to the building in all that time .

Miraculously the Jewsons chap in the main part of their own much bigger adjoining site gave us permission to go in to the ex-Lotus building and film !................it was like a bit of industrial archeology, fascinating stuff !, so we filmed and photographed all we could then retired next door in to Stan Chapman's Pub, which is also still all there.
In Colin Chapman's father's day it was called the Railway Hotel being only 100 yds up the hill from Hornsey main line (Kings Cross to Edinburgh) Station, now it is called 'The Wishing Well' but it has also been called the 'Fiddlers Arms as well.
When the museum is underway the pub is to be renamed again as "The Railway " and the pub chain will make a Lotus themed room and be involved in the entertainment of groups of visitors to the project and are quite enthusiastic.

An early evening meal followed of typical English traditional fayre...............so that will be 2 Chicken Tikkas and 2 fish and chips please !! Which was actually very good . After much discussion we moved on to the Bruce Castle Museum about 10 mins away in the car .....itself a most extraordinary historic building .
About 50 + people arrived for the talk which started about 7.30 , with 2 speakers each giving their own presentations, amongst several well known faces in the crowd was Cedric Seltzer. The talks slide shows and film presentations went on until 9.00 pm.

Two men from the London Development agency were present, it seems much spade work has already been done as regards funding in connection with lottery funding for the 2012 London olympics to be ready as additional tourist attraction, in order to buy up the site ( which already has limited industrial protection placed upon it ), to sympathetically restore the buildings back to their late 1950s appearance ( the fabric is all still very good ).
Then to install exhibits , chassis , fabrication techniques and equipment of the period as an educational and visitor resource, with a resident curator to accept visitors, school parties of engineering students etc.

So a combination of highly significant historic motor industry buildings in their original form ( Hornsey, so far as I know not being famous for anything in particular so far ) a reconstructed interior, drawing office , fabrication and assembly shops , museum , exhibition and visitor centre audio/visual interactive teaching aids and much else besides in connection with the years 1952 to 1959 when so many hugely significant cars and design advances were achieved in incredibly tiny premises.

#18 Gary C

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 12:39

Yes indeed, most interesting. I'm sure Richard got a few more pictures than I did. The inside of the old Lotus works seemed incredibly small when you think of the work that took place there.

#19 RTH

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 07:24

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Stan Chapman's pub "The Railway Hotel " originally a Coaching Inn


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Gary C, John J, and Michael Oliver, Hornsey station in the background

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Side entrance between the pub and the stables, there is another small brick building to the left ( out of shot ) to the rear of the pub building put up in 1957 for expanded Lotus 11 production


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The square brick building downstairs shoowroom and upstairs offices added to the front of the stables in 1957 which fronts on to main Tottenham Lane



The exact spot Colin Chapman stood holding a Lotus 11 Chassis in well known photo below

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Upstairs in the roof space of the stables created in 1953 as a drawing office


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Office above the brick built showroom that was built on at the front of the stables in 1957


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Lethal narrow and very steep stair case which must have been added by Chapman in early 50s to reach the drawing office when dormer windows were let in to the roof space for light

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Main bar of the pub

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Michael Oliver Gary and John in what was Stan Chapman's pub adjoining the Lotus Works


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Bruce Castle museum 7.00pm Cedric Selzer centre of picture smiling

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Gary adjusts his equipment !

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Speaker John Scott-Davies on his feet ....the prime mover in the museum consortium project

John Douglas the first speaker sitting on the left introduced the evening with a slide shown with photos now and then of all the key places in the story, which had required a great deal of reseach and work in photographing all the sites, fantastic stuff !



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#20 Gary C

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:39

thanks for those piccies, Richard. I think we had maybe, six (?), TNF'ers in total at the meeting, including former Jim Clark mechanic Cedric Selzer, seen in the third but last photo.

#21 RTH

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:40

These are interior and exterior pictures of the original stables building which was part of the premises of "The Railway Hotel " (The Wishing Well ) which Colin Chapman moved into from the Vallance Road house garage owned by the Allen Brothers (Nigel and Michael ) father in 1952 for more room for car construction.

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What is striking is just how small this space is to manufacture cars over a 6 year period, when you think of the highly significant cars that came out of Hornsey during those years it is quite astonishing.

#22 RTH

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:27

I think what has come out of this meeting, is that by definition anyone who worked at Lotus or the other supplying firms on or around the Hornsey site in the years 1952-1959 will by now be at least in their seventies, so the time is right to pull memories together.

Clearly there is a wealth of knowledge, information and anecdotes about the Lotus firm, the people involved and Colin Chapman himself during that critical period when they went from essentially a builder of kits for the special builder to a serious manufacturer of world class road going sports cars and Britain's foremost competitor in sports endurance and Grand Prix racing literally becoming a household name ............seems hard to believe when you see such modest premises!

So, before all that information is lost to us all, could I appeal to everyone reading this who worked there during the period , or indeed knows anyone still alive who did to either e-mail or personal message Gary C with a view to appearing in a film charting this period at Lotus. Having already filmed the premises and last weeks presentation, personal memories are needed to give it a human dimension and add to the pool of knowledge on the subject, before we leave it too late.

Anyone who has any still photographs of their own on the subject at the time or even film footage would be most gratefully received or indeed letters or documents.

#23 RTH

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 10:18

We now know that both 'Progress Chassis' and 'Williams and Pritchard' (aluminium body builders ) later also set up shop in small buildings close to the Hornsey Lotus site and there was an engine building shop as well.

Any info on these would be welcolme, especially photos.

#24 Gary C

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 12:30

I thought we could call the video 'Lotus; the early, early years'!! LOL

#25 petefenelon

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 18:28

Looks like a fascinating evening - thanks for sharing all this.

#26 RTH

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 06:27

You are welcome Pete, sure you would have enjoyed looking over the site too.

This was the promotional ad for the meeting

http://colinchapmanm...org.uk/Talk.pdf

#27 sterling49

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:33

Thanks for pictures and information, such a lot of history. I used to go to Hornsey very often and wondered where the factory was, I must have passed it a many times without knowing.

Sterling

#28 RTH

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 09:00

This appears to be the next stage :-



"The building work will take approximately 15 months, subject to confirmation with the site owners and fund raising.

The target is for the museum to be in mature operation to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games.

A launch exhibition is planned for either June or July 2007. This will be held at the recently refurbished and readopted Railway pub (formerly owned by Colin's father, Stan) adjacent to the works. It is also hoped that this display can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elite and Seven which were both developed whilst Lotus was at Hornsey."


Here is some more history of the Hornsey site


http://www.colinchap....uk/History.htm



These pictures of Lotus 11s outside the stables buildings in the yard in mid 1950s

http://www.colinchap...o Archive 3.htm



#29 David Beard

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 09:25

Originally posted by Gary C
thanks for those piccies, Richard. I think we had maybe, six (?), TNF'ers in total at the meeting, including former Jim Clark mechanic Cedric Selzer, seen in the third but last photo.


Fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting the photos Richard.

I note from the photos that TNFer and Lotus 6 expert Charles Helps was present....and I think sometime TNFer Peter Ross, whose book covers the early Hornsey days so well.

#30 David McKinney

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:05

Originally posted by RTH
A launch exhibition is planned for either June or July 2007

Can you confirm you're talking abut this year, Richard?

#31 RTH

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:55

That is an extract from their own website

http://www.colinchap...rg.uk/Plans.htm

So I take it they mean in about a couple of months time, no work will have started I imagine it will be a fund raising launch and basically an out door exhibition of cars etc

#32 PeterTRoss

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:41

I would have loved to be at the talk but it is about 300 miles from where I live in Cornwall.

I have one or two observations on what has been written.

Ricard Hinton wrote:

"We now know that both 'Progress Chassis' and 'Williams and Pritchard' (aluminium body builders ) later also set up shop in small buildings close to the Hornsey Lotus site and there was an engine building shop as well.

Any info on these would be welcome, especially photos."

I think there is a misunderstanding here. If you read my book "Lotus -The Early Years 1951-54" you will see that the Progress Chassis Company was set up at John Teychenne's house in Ribblesdale Road, just a few hundred yards away from the Lotus Works on the other side of Tottenham Lane. They eventually moved from there to Edmonton (I am not sure of the date).

Williams and Pritchard were in a unit in Enfield, some way to the North of Hornsey, but by the time Lotus Mk VI production was in full swing almost all their work was for Lotus, and to avoid the long journey with the chassis to Enfield, and then the chassis/body unit back again, they decided to move into part of the Railway Inn stables that were being used by Lotus,

This left Lotus with a very cramped space in the part nearest to the road, and this is where the Lotus Mk VIII prototype was built, It was little more than a large lock-up garage, and we had to store the body buck in the W&P part of the building.

Eventually W&P also moved to Edmonton (I believe quite close to Progress which makes sense since it reduced the amount of movement of chassis frames). The space relinquished was soon occupied by Lotus to make the Mk X and the Mk IX, and included the engine assembly shop (but I think that was a few years later - it was initially the gearbox shop.)

I would be pleased to add to anything that I wrote in the book. I did keep a diary for the following year 1955 and remember helping with the first Mk X, and with the works Le Mans Mk IX with Girling disc brakes. I was there in 1956 to collect my own Lotus Eleven (by this time the large building in the Railway Inn garden had been built with the Stores upstairs), and in 1957 to modify my FWA Climax engine to Stage 2.

It may help you to locate other people whose memories of those days could be tapped if I give you a list (source unknown) of those working at Hornsey in (I think) 1958.

COMPONENTS WORKSHOP
Nobby Clark - Manager
Roy Badcock - Foreman
John Hill - Chargehand
Big (Sid?) - Chargehand Welder
1st. West Indian - Welder
2nd. West Indian - Welder
Nigerian - Welder
Cyril? (Cape Coloured man)
Piet de Klerk (SA Racing Driver)
Len?
? Cocky fair-haired chap
? Tall thin ex-public school - Painting
Peter Clark (Nobby's nephew)
John Tomlinson? (Blackpool in his 40's.)
John ? (Quiet bloke)
Peter Hutcheon (ex RAF)
Don Gadd
Peter Brand
Douglas (Shop boy)
Brian Allart ?

TEAM LOTUS (moved to Edmonton 1958)
Willie Griffiths (Chief Mechanic)
John Lambert (then to Elite project)
David Warwick (DRW)
Mike Warne
Jack Murrell (went to DRW)
Jim Endruweit
? Endruweit (brother of Jim)
Maurice Levy (left soon for Belgium)

ENGINE SHOP
Steve Sanville
Fred ?
Geoff Oliver (went to DRW)
Mark Roberts

PROGRESS CHASSIS
John Teychenne
Frank Coltman
Dave Kelsey
Jemeson

OFFICE
Colin Chapman
Stan Chapman (Part time) Team Lotus
Mike Costin
Fred Bushell
Assistant Accountant
John Standen
Assistant Buyer
Colin Bennett (Sales Manager)
Ron Richardson (Sales)
Peter Warr (Sales) (later)
? Typist Sales
Sheila Gadd? - Secretary to Chapman
? Telephone/reception (female)
? Clerk in Buying (female)

STORES
Jay Hall (Retail & Kit Deliveries)
Jack ? (Works)
Gerry - Stores Lad

DRAWING OFFICE
Ian Jones
Len Terry
John Mowatt

ELITE
Peter Lean
John Lambert (later)
Tony Caldersmith
Ron Hickman
John Frayling - Consultant.

PANEL SHOP (after Team Lotus left)
Roger Tanner
Roy ?
Jack ?

The best contact for addresses of ex-Lotus employees is Warren King who runs the Ex-Lotus Association from 41 Norwich Street, DEREHAM, Norfolk NR19 1 AD Tel 01362-691144


Peter Ross (now 78)

#33 David Beard

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:59

Originally posted by PeterTRoss
I would have loved to be at the talk but it is about 300 miles from where I live in Cornwall


Sorry Peter....I imagined I recognised the back of your head!

I'm sure your presence was missed.

#34 RTH

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 15:37

Wow ! Peter, what a fantastic set of information.

The key museum consortium people are all now reading this thread.

I'm sure they will find all that hugely useful.
Gary is in charge of constructing the film around the whole project, I am helping to push it all on a bit and put a few people together , but now the plan is to expand it in to a documentary .
Part 1 at least, to be tracing the beginnings of Lotus up to the move to Cheshunt in some real detail key to which is personal recollections of the people who were actually there at the time.

I'm sure you all know the sort of material that makes an interesting programme , previously unseen photos or film would be just great and talk to some of the previously unsung heroes that kept it all going and indeed any other programme ideas. Any help in terms of contacts or material would be fantastic as well as earn you a place in the credits !

#35 PeterTRoss

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 18:35

Richard,

Thank you for the kind words.

I think that all relevant photos were used in my book.

However I did take 8mm colour movie films at that time, and have spliced them all together and put them onto a DVD. It lasts about 70 minutes. The idea is that when I am too old to continue in the workshop I will reseach all the races and people and make a sound commentary - but I am too busy at the moment with the Lotus Mk VII single seater replica.

The film shows the first attempt to start the P3 (Lotus Mk VIII prototype) in the dawn hours, some shots of running in, and then the trip to Oulton Park and the race.

Later there is a nice shot of ACBC balancing the first works Lotus Mk IX (with magnesium body) over his head. It weighed just 112 lb. There were a lot of helpers on hand to make sure he did not drop it!

Graham Hill is seen sitting in a Lotus Mk X nearing completion.

The rest of the films were taken at the 1856 and 1958 Monte Carlo GP and later up to about 1963.

I would be happy for the Hornsey bits to be copied for the museum. To whom should I send it?

Yours,

Peter Ross

#36 Gary C

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 18:40

Peter, it's Gary Critcher here, I produce the videos and filmed the talk last week.
Please e-mail me at gary@yesterdaysracers.com about your film. I can get it telecined at the BBC onto professionsal videotape so that we may be able to use it. I do hope to hear from you soon.

#37 flat-16

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 20:52

For what it’s worth, I suspect there could be quite a demand for these DVDs – never underestimate the scale of Lotus’s global following. The key area here will be in the promotion - it's no good having an interesting DVD if people don't know it exists! (Forgive me if I state the obvious).

As someone that has spent - and still spends - a fair amount of time around Haringey, I think the museum will be a genuinely positive thing for the area. Aside from the potential tourism, the museum could make a positive impression on the local community; a globally-recognised manufacturer of road and racing cars once resided here, who would’ve thought!

It’s a privilege to see you here, Peter – I’m off to track down a copy of your book!


Justin

#38 RTH

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 05:03

Originally posted by flat-16


It’s a privilege to see you here, Peter – I’m off to track down a copy of your book!


Justin



I think we are all going to need one of those Justin, where is it currently available ?

#39 RTH

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 05:54

Originally posted by PeterTRoss
............................. - but I am too busy at the moment with the Lotus Mk VII single seater replica.


By the way Peter, how is this going ? Any photos of work in progress ? Most interested in how the body will look. Any kind of estimate on the timescale of the car being finished ? Most interesting project.

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#40 PeterTRoss

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:55

Lotus - The Early Years 1951-54 Coterie Press

At the risk of being thrown off the List for being commercial, I can help genuine TNFers to get my book by sending it to you post free at the retail price of £34.95. Let me know your address and make the cheque out to me.

Lotus Mk VII Replica

This is taking quite a bit of time because we first had to completely dismantle the Clairmonte Special and make drawings of all the parts which it shared with the single seater. This included front wishbones, the king posts, wheel centres, the de Dion rear suspension, and the parts needed to convert a Halibrand Final Drive Unit to have inboard brakes and be fitted to the chassis instead of at the centre of a live axle.

The chassis frame is nearly complete as may be seen from the attached photos with the upper wishbones in position. I am taking the lower wishbones to be expertly welded this afternoon, and the next job is the jig for the de Dion tube.

I would like to have talented artists give me their view of what the body should look like. I personally feel that the rear end would look very similar to that on the Lotus Mk III (narrower of course) and the front very similar to the Lotus Twelve, but without the wraparound windshield of the Twelve which resulted from ACBC's exposure to Frank Costin, which was two years after the Mk VII was designed.




I am not sure whether these images will be transmitted despite following all the instructions!

By the way, the email address shown below is WRONG and shouild be peter@historiclotusregister.co.uk

I have changed my profile but it has not changed the bit below that gets added auitomitically.

#41 RTH

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 13:09

My cheque will be in the post to you Peter.

The photos have not appeared sadly.

I must say I had something like a 12 in my minds eye.
As for a talented Artist look no further than our own Andrew Kitson who I imagine drawing a Lotus single seater in the style of other contemporary cars with Lotus styling cues of the period wold be something he would find most interesting. He comes highly recommended

www.andrewkitson.com

Certainly like to see pictures of all the parts, and a full run down of all the mechanical components and some guide as to the dimensions, maybe one or two people reading can do their own sketches of how it might look, fascinating project! Do give us regular progress reports too .

#42 Lotus11Register

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 13:11

The link below should take you to a small 'map' of the Lotus works drawn a few years ago on a table napkin by Jack Fields. He is the Jack mentioned in Peter Ross' personnel list (above) who worked in the stores department. Jack recalled that the layout of the works and location of Progress Chassis was like this:

http://www.lotuselev.....tus Works.htm

The proportions may not be exact, but hopefully Jack's memory is accurate even after fifty years and a big dinner.

#43 Charles Helps

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 16:03

Originally posted by RTH

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Speaker John Scott-Davies on his feet ....the prime mover in the museum consortium project

John Douglas the first speaker sitting on the left introduced the evening with a slide shown with photos now and then of all the key places in the story, which had required a great deal of reseach and work in photographing all the sites, fantastic stuff !

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Lovely photos, Richard. I'm just there to add height but in my row David Morgan (who used to visit Lotus at Hornsey in the fifities) and I are looking at photos and on David's right is Cedric Selzer and next to him David Render.

A fascinating evening and well worth the trip up from Somerset.

On the subject of memories of Lotus in the fifties, Dave Kelsey of Progress Chassis has some lovely stories. Sadly he lives in Suffolk and doesn't travel very much.

Peter Ross' cine film is well worth seeing - put me down for a DVD!

#44 RTH

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 16:24

Sorry we did not get a chance to talk much Charles, they rather hustled us out of the hall come 9.00pm !


...........Oh Gary won't mind a trip to Suffolk ( will you Gary !! )

I didn't even realise David Render was there , we nearly bought a March 741 from him in 1983 at his Warecrete premises !

#45 RTH

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 16:29

Originally posted by Lotus11Register
The link below should take you to a small 'map' of the Lotus works drawn a few years ago on a table napkin by Jack Fields. He is the Jack mentioned in Peter Ross' personnel list (above) who worked in the stores department. Jack recalled that the layout of the works and location of Progress Chassis was like this:

http://www.lotuselev.....tus Works.htm

The proportions may not be exact, but hopefully Jack's memory is accurate even after fifty years and a big dinner.


That is an interesting little drawing Jay, that will be a help when they come to layout the recreation of the works.

How on earth did all those people listed work in those buildings ?

#46 RTH

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:14

Originally posted by Charles Helps
Lovely photos, Richard. I'm just there to add height but in my row David Morgan (who used to visit Lotus at Hornsey in the fifities) and I are looking at photos and on David's right is Cedric Selzer and next to him David Render.

A fascinating evening and well worth the trip up from Somerset.

On the subject of memories of Lotus in the fifties, Dave Kelsey of Progress Chassis has some lovely stories. Sadly he lives in Suffolk and doesn't travel very much.


Charles do please let Gary have Dave Kelsey's contact details if you do have them and indeed any other people with a Hornsey connection of any kind you know who would make an interesting contribution to the film , wherever they are, clearly you have the inside track on a lot of this.

#47 Charles Helps

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:10

Richard, I will send a pm to Gary.

Here is a typical David Kelsey story, prompted by a discussion we were having about Lotus Mk 8 brakes:
Hi all,

I won't be much help to anyone - my Mk8 had Ford brakes, and I wasn't involved in the Alfin drums. I do remember a scrutineer at Silverstone was snotty about my cable brakes on the Eight, and demanded a demonstration. I hadn't actually used the brakes in anger, but ever willing, I drove off about a hundred yards, turned round, and headed back towards the scrutineer at some speed, When I got close, I stomped on the brakes, locking all four wheels, and slithered to within a few yards of his shaking knees. I passed.

I also had a medical certificate signed by I.M.Dongworthy, as my real one got left at home. I.M. was Mac Crane, a nutter who helped Sid Marler and me sometimes. The scrutineer said nothing , although he studied the certificate long and hard, probably worrying whether he would upset Dr. Dongworthy if he queried it

David's Mk 8 was the ex-Dick Steed car - Dick moved the Climax engine into his new Mk 9 along with the registration HUD 139 and David fitted the Ford sidevalve out of the 1953 works Mk 6 demonstrator 1611 H into the Eight which was then registered 918 EMK. The owner at the time of the Mk 6 was Jabby Crombac and he had David fit a Ford Consul engine as part of the deal. Great times.

#48 RTH

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 12:55

Fantastic stuff !

#49 PeterTRoss

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:35

Lotus Mk VII Replica

Further to my message of 1st May, Richard Hinton has explained how to send images to this forum, and I have attempted to send the two missing images showing the chassis frame under construction with the two new upper wishbones in position.

This thread should, IMHO, continue under the original thread "Restoring the Clairmonte Special" and this is where I have continued my message.

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Despite changing my profile about six times, this is STILL showing an out of date email address, which should be peter@historiclotusregister.co.uk

#50 bradbury west

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 11:29

IIRC from when I spoke to Jim Endruweit some time ago, his brother was Bill.

Roger Lund.