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Early Lotus sales outlets in Australia


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#1 ed holly

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 21:54

Does anyone know who were the early sales outlets in Australia say up to end 1964.

I know Derek Jolly of SA was probably the first and certainly the Geoghegan's were by 1964 as they imported the first Elans, but not sure of timings or any others.



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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 22:52

The Geoghegans were certainly in the thick of it before 1964...

They ran a Lotus Elite and a Lotus 18 Junior by the end of 1960. But they didn't run things like the Lotus 11 (nor the Lotus 7 until later), so I'd assume that this would have been the beginning of their time.

With all the 11s that were about, unless Jolly sold an awful lot of them, there'd have to have been someone else in the interim.

#3 cooper997

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 23:22

Derek Jolly appointed John Roxburgh, as his Victorian agent in early 1961. Based at Roxburgh's BP Service Station in Elsternwick at the time. He even had a stand at that year's Melbourne Motor Show. Showing an Elite, Seven and 18. As far as I'm aware that's why Roxburgh stopped racing Coopers.

Kaydee would probably be a good source on pre Geoghegan Lotus activities in Australia.

Stephen

#4 Paul Newby

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:20

The best source would be Marc Shagen's recently self-published book entitled "Lotus. The Historic Sports and Racing Cars in Australia." This lists every Lotus car with racing history in Australia with a brief history of owners, etc. I don't have my copy with me (am at work) but it usually mentions which dealer delivered the car as well. From memory, I suspect that Leaton Motors (under Frank Matich's influence) may have sold a few in Sydney prior to Geoghegans.

It would be great to read an article (contemporary or period) on Geoghegan's Sporty Cars, the Lotus dealership they operated during Lotus's salad days of the 60s and early 70s.

Edited by Paul Newby, 21 May 2013 - 01:20.


#5 kaydee

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:21

Does anyone know who were the early sales outlets in Australia say up to end 1964.

I know Derek Jolly of SA was probably the first and certainly the Geoghegan's were by 1964 as they imported the first Elans, but not sure of timings or any others.


I can't help with dates but the attached scans of Derek's original Lotus sales brochure confirm Geoghegan as NSW & Qld agent and Roxburgh as Vic agent.
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Kevin Drage


#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:52

The "Geoghegan's Sporty Cars" name only came into existence when they opened the Haberfield showroom and yard...

That was well into Mustang and Lotus 39 time, probably about the time the Europas arrived.

The prices are sure interesting there, Kevin. That one would date from approximately mid-1962, I would think.

#7 Dick Willis

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:00

I believe it was Leaton Motors in NSW, initially. In Barry Collersons book, from Mt Druitt to Monza, he describes how he arranged to buy a Lotus Elite off them trading in his Lago Talbot. The deal didn't materialise and he had some trouble recovering his trade in and deposit. This was in 1961.

#8 john medley

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:25

What was Auto Imports? Paul Samuels drove a green/ yellow Lotus 18 at Warwick Farm December 1960 allegedly brought in by Auto Imports perhaps aka John Jamieson

I know I know: I should have first looked at Marc Schagen's book, you all shout....( and if you tell me that S Moss drove the same car at early practice, before his blue/white Rob Walker 18-Climax arrived, I wont disagree)

#9 GMACKIE

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:33

I have a vague idea that Auto Imports was Paul Samuels, John Crouch, and someone who's name I can't remember.

Edit;.Maybe Cecil Crouch, John's father, was involved, although possibly as the owner of the premises [Surrey Hills, I think].

Edited by GMACKIE, 21 May 2013 - 09:39.


#10 M bennett

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:40

I have a vague idea that Auto Imports was Paul Samuels, John Crouch, and someone who's name I can't remember.

Edit;.Maybe Cecil Crouch, John's father, was involved, although possibly as the owner of the premises [Surrey Hills, I think].


The first importer of Lotus was Alex Strachan who was awarded the agency when he placed an order for his Lotus 6 in 1955 or so. We contacted his daughter Gloria who still had a selection of never used, flat stored, Lotus brochures of Lotus Elevens and the like. She also had the 1st Lotus Sales Bulletin June 1956, which had been lost to history in the UK. We were able to send the UK a copy to keep their records intact. There are letters from Lotus to Alex through 1956 including announcing the first issues of Sports Car and Lotus Owner Nov 1956 so Alex was still the importer then.
Since Derek Jolly made his first trip to England taking his Austin 7 engine with him in Jan 1951 I assume that Alex's reign was fairly short before Derek took over. As noted Kaydee would be able to expand on Derek's involvement as Derek operated the distribution of Lotus from Adelaide.
Mike Bennett Adelaide

#11 austmcreg

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 14:07

Derek Jolly appointed John Roxburgh, as his Victorian agent in early 1961. As far as I'm aware that's why Roxburgh stopped racing Coopers.
Stephen

Yes thats right - Roxburgh advertised his Cooper Climax for sale in AMS, saying specifically that it was because he had just been appointed a Lotus agent. He bought one of the early Lotus 23s to come to Australia.

Rob Saward

#12 GMACKIE

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 21:24

The first importer of Lotus was Alex Strachan who was awarded the agency when he placed an order for his Lotus 6 in 1955 or so. We contacted his daughter Gloria who still had a selection of never used, flat stored, Lotus brochures of Lotus Elevens and the like. She also had the 1st Lotus Sales Bulletin June 1956, which had been lost to history in the UK. We were able to send the UK a copy to keep their records intact. There are letters from Lotus to Alex through 1956 including announcing the first issues of Sports Car and Lotus Owner Nov 1956 so Alex was still the importer then.
Since Derek Jolly made his first trip to England taking his Austin 7 engine with him in Jan 1951 I assume that Alex's reign was fairly short before Derek took over. As noted Kaydee would be able to expand on Derek's involvement as Derek operated the distribution of Lotus from Adelaide.
Mike Bennett Adelaide

I seem to remember Gloria Strachan driving at Warwick Farm in a sports car. Was it a Swallow Doretti?

Edit:- Perhaps it was Lorraine Hill in the Doretti......What did Gloria Strachan drive?

Edited by GMACKIE, 22 May 2013 - 02:39.


#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 23:22

Originally posted by austmcreg
Yes thats right - Roxburgh advertised his Cooper Climax for sale in AMS, saying specifically that it was because he had just been appointed a Lotus agent. He bought one of the early Lotus 23s to come to Australia.


That's all strange to me...

For a start, and I say this only because it is in the background of my thinking, I always thought Rockerbox's 23 was a replica. Didn't it have steel wheels?

As for 'one of the early Lotus 23s to come to Australia,' I find that hard to reconcile as my recollection is that his turned out only after several years of Lotus 23s racing in the country. The first appearance, by the way, of a 23 in Australia was October 14, 1962. By 1965 there were replicas around and my first sight of Roxburgh's car would have been after that time, I'd be fairly sure it was at the Sandown International meeting of 1966. I seem to recall it was also entered as a '23C'.

'Proper' Lotus 23s that I can think of coming here were:

Geoghegan's original car, which passed to Cusack, Ling etc.

Alec Mildren for Gardner, Charlie Smith - where did this one go?

Geoghegan's 23B - De Muth, Martin, on to chokito

Howard & Sons' 1100cc car

Glyn Scott's 23B

Niel Allen's 23B - to Larner, Derry George etc

There was also another genuine 23 raced here briefly, driven by Holland (can't remember the first name) from the Far East somewhere,

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:06

Not having Marc's great book, I phoned him...

Yes, the Roxburgh 23 was an early one, chassis No 16 (the Geoghegan and Howard cars were 14 and 15, I think he said, all came in the same shipment). Rockerbox tried a variety of engines over the years, but it seems he didn't travel interstate with the car and for that reason I never noticed (or saw) it for a few years.

Alex Strachan only ever imported the one Lotus, by the way. And even that car he found too light in the chassis and had a new one built for it, so that the original chassis now is a complete car with a separate identity to the car acknowledged as the Strachan/Chivas/Howard etc Lotus 6.

Edited by Ray Bell, 22 May 2013 - 01:13.


#15 Michael Oliver

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:09

That's all strange to me...

For a start, and I say this only because it is in the background of my thinking, I always thought Rockerbox's 23 was a replica. Didn't it have steel wheels?

As for 'one of the early Lotus 23s to come to Australia,' I find that hard to reconcile as my recollection is that his turned out only after several years of Lotus 23s racing in the country. The first appearance, by the way, of a 23 in Australia was October 14, 1962. By 1965 there were replicas around and my first sight of Roxburgh's car would have been after that time, I'd be fairly sure it was at the Sandown International meeting of 1966. I seem to recall it was also entered as a '23C'.

'Proper' Lotus 23s that I can think of coming here were:

Geoghegan's original car, which passed to Cusack, Ling etc.

Alec Mildren for Gardner, Charlie Smith - where did this one go?

Geoghegan's 23B - De Muth, Martin, on to chokito

Howard & Sons' 1100cc car

Glyn Scott's 23B

Niel Allen's 23B - to Larner, Derry George etc

There was also another genuine 23 raced here briefly, driven by Holland (can't remember the first name) from the Far East somewhere,


Was it Steve Holland, Ray?


#16 austmcreg

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:28

Was it Steve Holland, Ray?

Hong Kong- based Steve Holland raced a Lotus 23b and a Lotus Cortina out here on I think two seperate trips, without checking programs.
Rob Saward

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:51

I would have said one trip, but I could be wrong...

Yes, it was Steve Holland and I do remember him driving the Lotus Cortina at Warwick Farm. What prompted the mention of him today was that he's mentioned in the Sandown report (International meeting, 1966 I think) yet Marc is fairly sure he didn't actually race that car here. Obviously he practised at Sandown in it, did he also practise at the Farm?

Did he race at Sandown?

Where did Albert Poon fit into all of this?

#18 David McKinney

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 13:38

Where did Albert Poon fit into all of this?

He and Holland were both members of Team Harper in east Asian races in 1964, and both drove for Richard Wong in 1965, though they seemed not to be team-mates by 1966


#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 22:08

Yes, the entries of the Lotus Cortina and the Lotus 23 were from Team Harper...

But I'm sure Albert Poon was mentioned in it all somewhere. Were they supposed to be here for the Hordern Trophy meeting, perhaps?

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#20 Repco22

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:31

That's all strange to me...

For a start, and I say this only because it is in the background of my thinking, I always thought Rockerbox's 23 was a replica. Didn't it have steel wheels?

As for 'one of the early Lotus 23s to come to Australia,' I find that hard to reconcile as my recollection is that his turned out only after several years of Lotus 23s racing in the country. The first appearance, by the way, of a 23 in Australia was October 14, 1962. By 1965 there were replicas around and my first sight of Roxburgh's car would have been after that time, I'd be fairly sure it was at the Sandown International meeting of 1966. I seem to recall it was also entered as a '23C'.

'Proper' Lotus 23s that I can think of coming here were:

Geoghegan's original car, which passed to Cusack, Ling etc.

Alec Mildren for Gardner, Charlie Smith - where did this one go?

Geoghegan's 23B - De Muth, Martin, on to chokito

Howard & Sons' 1100cc car

Glyn Scott's 23B

Niel Allen's 23B - to Larner, Derry George etc

There was also another genuine 23 raced here briefly, driven by Holland (can't remember the first name) from the Far East somewhere,

What about Roger Fielding's 23B [WA] that Murray Charnley still has? Can't remember if Roger imported that directly.

#21 Gordon Graham

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:19

What about Roger Fielding's 23B [WA] that Murray Charnley still has? Can't remember if Roger imported that directly.

I believe Fielding's car was the Mildren, Charlie Smith, Geary, etc car.
And BTW, I recall Reimann Motors advertised as WA Lotus agents in the early 60s. Don't know if they handled any other cars apart from Dunkerton's Super Seven, but I seem to remember their ad in a Caversham program featured a picture of an Elan

#22 austmcreg

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:19

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Australian Motor Sports December 1961

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#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:41

Originally posted by Gordon Graham
I believe Fielding's car was the Mildren, Charlie Smith, Geary, etc car.....


If I recall my conversation with Marc yesterday correctly, this is right...

The car was purchased by Gardner (in England), I think he said, then passed to Mildren, Smith... Geary? Probably correct... then went to WA and stayed there.

It's all in his book. I wonder, too, if he mentioned that the Dunkerton Super 7 was the last Sports Car to finish an Australian Grand Prix?

#24 Repco22

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 13:01

'62 AGP at Caversham and Jeff Dunkerton, Super 7, waves Stillwell by in his Cooper Climax.

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#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 13:22

Spare wheel and all!

Amazing...

#26 M bennett

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 13:02

Drifting back to topic. Leaton Motors announced in August 1960 that they had been appointed Lotus agents for NSW and QLD.
At what point did Derek Jolly hand over the agency?
Mike B
Adelaide

#27 cooper997

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 00:49

Nothing specific date-wise, but in the September 8th, 1963 Warwck Farm programme there's a half page advert.
NEW LOTUS SUPER SEVENS NOW AVAILABLE, etc .
Arriving next month - The sensational Lotus Elan, etc.
LEO GEOGHEGAN,
EAST COAST DISTRIBUTOR LOTUS CARS

Then in the December 1st 1963 Warwick Farm there's a full page 'The Magic of Lotus - now freely available to Australian motorists for racing' ad with 3 photos. Two of Leo racing and a road going Elan.
LEO GEOGHEGAN
HUME HIGHWAY, LIVERPOOL - PARRAMATTA Rd, STRATHFIELD.
Largest importers of Lotus cars outside of the USA.

Stephen

#28 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:04

What was Auto Imports? Paul Samuels drove a green/ yellow Lotus 18 at Warwick Farm December 1960 allegedly brought in by Auto Imports perhaps aka John Jamieson

I know I know: I should have first looked at Marc Schagen's book, you all shout....( and if you tell me that S Moss drove the same car at early practice, before his blue/white Rob Walker 18-Climax arrived, I wont disagree)


Quote: from Vintage Racecar Magazine...

http://vintageraceca.......4&magiid=73

How did you start out in open wheelers? Geoghegan: It all came about with our association with Lotuses. I had been driving a Lotus Elite and I managed to win the 1960 Australian GT Championship. Then in 1961, Jamiesons who were a Sydney-based Lotus dealer, imported a Lotus 18 Cosworth Formula Junior which they entered at the international race at Warwick Farm in January for Paul Samuels to drive. Stirling Moss was also entered in a Lotus 18 2.5-liter F1 car but, as it was late being unloaded from the ship, Geoff Sykes of the Australian Automobile Racing Club asked if Stirling could familiarize himself by driving the F-Junior. Eventually, Paul got the car back on Saturday and practiced in a car that he had never driven before. The same car was entered for a meeting at Catalina Park in February for both Paul and me to share, with both of us winning a race each. Jamiesons entered it again at Warwick Farm for me to drive, and I managed another win. Next was the annual Bathurst Easter meeting where it again was entered by Jamiesons and, after that, we bought the car and entered it in our own name and repainted it in our family black, the same as the Holden. Sadly, Jamiesons eventually went under financially but not before they brought out another two Lotus 18 Formula Juniors.






#29 eldougo

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:23

Good bit of detective work there Mick . :up:

#30 Stinky

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:49

Hullo Guys;
Auto Imports from memory were in Military Road Mosman just near the Catholic School.
Paul Samuels at that stage was the NSW / Australian agent for Berkeley cars.
I remember this from when I was a young bloke looking for a cheapish sports car.
Looked rather hard at the Berkeley but price was a bit high.
Ended up at Bill Yates at Neutral Bay and had to decide between a Cooper S and a Sprite.
Decided on the Sprite and owned it for 8 years.
(Wish I had held onto it.) :mad:
From only memory Auto Imports were also the agents for Fiat and I think Broadspeed.
Back in those days Paul looked as distinguished as he did in later years. :clap:
Cheers.
Roger.

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:59

Paul Samuels ran the Berkeley at Bathurst under the Auto Imports banner in 1960, but the Easter 1961 meeting saw it entered in his own name. That was the last Bathurst appearance for Samuels in the Berkeley, all of which ties in with Leo's quote above regarding Samuels and the Lotus 18.

It's interesting that two others drove Berkeleys at Bathurst. Merv Ward was there for each meeting for three years, W Clark ran under the Auto Imports name just once in 1959 (I'm wondering about the index in the Bathurst book here, is he the same as the B Clark who raced a Graham in 1955... etc?). Also interesting is the fact that Samuels ran one of these meetings in a Messerschmidt.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I don't see it as very likely you were looking at a Berkeley at the same time as a Cooper S, for they came out a few years after the Berkeleys disappeared. A Mini Cooper, perhaps?

Broadspeed was a southern suburbs enterprise, I hesitate to go looking for ads in RCN, but I think it was related to Laurie Stewart and Brian Foley, Stewart obviously racing one of them. Again, they were much later.

#32 Stinky

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 00:47

Hullo Ray;
I may have my dates mixed up but the Berkeley I looked at when Auto Imports was at Mosman was,I believe ,one of the last production models they made.
From memory again it was powered by a 750cc twin four stroke.
(Royal Enfield Constellation comes to mind.)
It was not the earlier 3 cylinder two stroke model.
This would hve been late 1963 or thereabouts.I remember when I was a kid Bill Reynolds campaigned a two stroke.
Mainly at hillclimbs.
Foleys Hill etc.
You are correct about Broadspeed.
Brian Foley and Laurie Stewart were the agents.
Based somewhere in Parramatta I have been told.
When I was a VERY trainee official at the Farm I am almost certain a Berkeley competed there is sports car events.
Cheers.
Roger.

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:16

I'm sure Paul Samuels ran one at the Farm...

Possibly others, but his was (if I've got my facts straight) powered by a Triumph 650. Photos of Merv Ward's also seem to show a 4-stroke vertical twin engine, he ran a 500 initially and then a 650 from Easter 1958.

#34 Stinky

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:06

Hullo Again Ray;
Was just talking to a mate down here in Fair Van Diemens Land. :lol:
The Berkeley model B105 was fitted with a 750cc Royal Enfield twin.
He believes they were built until around 1963.
Just for your info.
He is not sure of how many of them came to Australia.
Only things he knows about them is they had a 4 speed crash gearbox and the engine vibration would loosen fillings very quickly!! :lol:
Cheers.
Roger. :wave:

#35 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:32

Paul had a fairly bid accident in the Berkeley at the Farm....near the Western Crossing.

Royal Enfield 750 twin is correct.

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:33

One would have to assume that was in mid-1961, Greg...

Some time just after his last Bathurst appearance in the car. Which, by the way, was entered as 627cc IIRC.

#37 275 GTB-4

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:46

You are correct about Broadspeed.
Brian Foley and Laurie Stewart were the agents.
Based somewhere in Parramatta I have been told.
Cheers.
Roger.


Broadspeed GTS Minis were produced at Brian Foley Motors 300 The Kingsway Caringbah (that's in the Shire :) )

#38 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 21:48

The later Berkeley may have had the R. E. 'Meteor' engine, which was under 700cc.

There were two Berkeleys with sports car class records in 1960 at Silverdale hillclimb:-

Up to 500cc..............M.Ward - 49.37

501-750cc................P. Samuels - 46.62 [B105]



#39 ed holly

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 00:10

One of the reasons for opening this thread was to see what other outlets came to light.

There was one Lotus Eleven (chassis 538) that was imported directly from Lotus UK circumventing the sales outlets here.

Now in the history files are a couple of letters of correspondence between Derek Jolly and George (Chas) Whatmore of Qld where Derek takes Chas to task for calling himself the Lotus agent for Queensland and importing the Eleven without Jolly's involvement for George Jamieson. The first letter is dated 8th February 1959 and a subsequent letter where Chas wants to import a Lotus Elite, again as Qld agent, is dated 9th June 1962. (Not sure how Jolly got wind that Chas wanted this car.)

This second letter Jolly maintains he is the sole agent for Lotus Cars in Australia and has appointed Leo Geoghegan as the officially appointed agent for NSW and is looking after interests for Qld also at that stage. Leo's address is noted as 315 Hume H'way Liverpool NSW. Jolly also mentions that he had perused the records at Lotus Cars UK when he visited there the year before (1961) but could find no record of Whatmore being appointed an agent entitling him to import the car for Jamieson.

Thanks to all those that have replied to this thread so far .... Obviously Jolly had a lot to do with the Marque in the early days, and deservedly so.

I don't think it is appropriate to publish these letters - even 50 years down the track ...

Ed

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#40 cooper997

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 00:54

Would I be correct that Don Swanton managed to get his Lotus 11 into Australia prior to any official agency in Australia? He was competing in the UK in 1955 with it, so must have simply privately imported the car into Australia afterwards. By-passing Alex Strachan, depending upon how all the dates of these 'events & dealings' stack up.

I don't think it has been mentioned yet that in early Warwick Farm programme adverts, Strachan's Atlantic Service Station in Lane Cove also doubled as a Rootes Group dealer.

Stephen

#41 Ian G

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:20

Auto Imports from memory were in Military Road Mosman just near the Catholic School.
Paul Samuels at that stage was the NSW / Australian agent for Berkeley cars.
I remember this from when I was a young bloke looking for a cheapish sports car.
Looked rather hard at the Berkeley but price was a bit high.
Ended up at Bill Yates at Neutral Bay and had to decide between a Cooper S and a Sprite.
Decided on the Sprite and owned it for 8 years.


There were several Sports Car Dealers in the area(Mosman-Cremorne-Neutral Bay) in those days,i used to tag along with my older Brother who used to trawl thru the cars for sale on a Saturday,i remember once a pushy dealer trying to sell my brother a overpriced MGA with "a free membership to the elite Mosman Sporting Car Club" which IIRC was in the process of disbanding.

#42 GMACKIE

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:59

There were several Sports Car Dealers in the area(Mosman-Cremorne-Neutral Bay) in those days,i used to tag along with my older Brother who used to trawl thru the cars for sale on a Saturday,i remember once a pushy dealer trying to sell my brother a overpriced MGA with "a free membership to the elite Mosman Sporting Car Club" which IIRC was in the process of disbanding.

Johnny Martin springs to mind.....didn't he have a yard thereabouts?


#43 Stinky

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:57

Hullo Greg;
Wasn,t Johnny Martins yard at Neutral Bay?
Where you used to swing off Military Road to the Bridge approaches?
There was a yard just on the right which I thought was his.
Racking the brains there were a few dealers and yards in that stretch from Cremorne to Neutral Bay.
Ones that spring to mind are Auto Imports, Norman G Booth, Bill Yates and John Martin.
I particulaly remember Bill Yates.
Bought my Sprite there.
It was the closest BMC sports car dealer to where I lived. (Mona Vale.)
BMC had a funny method of selling sports cars.
From memory there were only four dealers for MG,s Sprites and Healeys in Sydney.
Bill Yates on the North Side, P & R Williams in the City Gordon Stewart (I think) in the Southern suburbs and Ron Ward in the West.
It used to be a complete pain in the butt for serviceing. :mad:
There was a very big BMC dealer at Narrabeen. (Gilman Motors.)
But company policy did not alloy them to service sports cars.
They could (and did) service Morris Coopers but a soft top no way!! :mad:
Fortunately I worked in the City but it was quite a hassle to leave the car at Neutral Bay and get over there after work before they closed.
Cheers.
Roger. :D

#44 Piquet959

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 11:54

My mate, Reg Coldwell, purchased a black Mk1 Lotus Cortina from Geoghans Sporty Cars in Parramatta Rd. He had it for quite a number of years until he traded it in at Coffey Ford Dandenong here in Melbourne on a Mk1 Lotus Twin Cam Escort. The Cortina is still in existence here in Melbourne, not in the black of Geoghans or the Candy Apple Red that Reg had had it painted but the Lotus colours. Reg had first dibs on rebuying it if the current owner ever wanted to sell the car.

Sadly Reg died last year. He still had the Escort when he died but he had stripped down for a full restoration. I'd suggest that it would probably have been the only 1 owner Lotus Escort in existence.

A really top guy and a great mate that I really miss

Edited by Piquet959, 09 June 2013 - 11:57.


#45 mariner

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 14:51

I dont know how to relate the Lotus seling prices shown in the brouchure above to the contemporary UKk Lotus prices but I wonder if/how any Australian dealer would make money on being a Lotus "agent"

I have suspicion that most Lotus "dealers" outside the Uk in the 50's were people who made plenty of money on dealing in other cars and took on Lotus as cheap(er) way of running one themselves.

Certainly Lotus has struggled with its dealer network in the USa through most of its history

#46 DanTra2858

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 19:42

The first importer of Lotus was Alex Strachan who was awarded the agency when he placed an order for his Lotus 6 in 1955 or so. We contacted his daughter Gloria who still had a selection of never used, flat stored, Lotus brochures of Lotus Elevens and the like. She also had the 1st Lotus Sales Bulletin June 1956, which had been lost to history in the UK. We were able to send the UK a copy to keep their records intact. There are letters from Lotus to Alex through 1956 including announcing the first issues of Sports Car and Lotus Owner Nov 1956 so Alex was still the importer then.
Since Derek Jolly made his first trip to England taking his Austin 7 engine with him in Jan 1951 I assume that Alex's reign was fairly short before Derek took over. As noted Kaydee would be able to expand on Derek's involvement as Derek operated the distribution of Lotus from Adelaide.
Mike Bennett Adelaide


Found this on the web while doing a Google search, Modern Motor July 1957

Posted Image



#47 austmcreg

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:33

Found this on the web while doing a Google search, Modern Motor July 1957

Posted Image

I wonder whether Chapman knew what his Australian agent was advertising? "Lotus type chassis components" all but confirmed that his designs were being copied.

Was the Chivas car on a real Lotus chassis or a copy?

Rob Saward

#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 00:08

It started out as a real chassis...

But it was too light and Strachan had another, heavier, copy built. The original at one time ran with a Viva engine.

#49 DanTra2858

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 01:35

It started out as a real chassis...

But it was too light and Strachan had another, heavier, copy built. The original at one time ran with a Viva engine.


I wonder if GH records have the full history of this Lotus 6, surly he would of held info on all forms of Lotus 6 in Oz.

#50 wilga1

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:02

Whilst this tread has focussed on new Lotus, does anyone know anything about a guy in Sydney selling used Lotus single seaters in the very early 1960's? (eg 1962)

 

He advertised regularly in Sports Car World.

 

He was offering used Lotus FJ, 18, 20 and 22, with or without motor/gearbox. (condition guaranteed)

 

His name was David W Burton and he was at 140 Homebush Road, Strathfield.

 

This should be a good test for Ray bell or Greg Mackie.