@ Stanton St John, Oxford
26th September 2004
The second bi-annual LEW/Yahoo! Group Meet was again held at Stanton St John in Oxford. Arranged by Dermot, kato and Rob, we managed to easily beat the 28 Esprit that turned up in May. 51 Esprit's turning up for our Sunday morning/afternoon run.
LEW's Esprit gets an early outing, arriving first at the meet. Didn't take too long before the carpark was brimming with Esprits
LEW also arrange some Special Guests for the day. Esprit Platform Manager, Brian Angus from Lotus join us along with Geoff Davidson in Lotus's Federal Spec Esprit. Brian and Geoff were on hand all day to answer questions and give owners the low down of what's happening at the factory. As you can guess, they had a busy day! Derek Bell also attended, showing off the uprated Gearbox that will be available soon for all Renault box'd Esprits. Alan Paterson was also there, filming the events and doing a few interviews for a Documentary on the Esprit. This will be more about the owners and their cars, than about the Esprit.
You could tell is was going to be a good meet. We had Esprit from as far away as Brighton and Liverpool and two owners made the long trips from Germany and Isle of Man! Both Esprit where pretty special, with Glyn's 350 look-a-like running water injection and with four-point harnesses and Stefan's SE which was looking wonderful with some great features.
There was also plenty of wheeling & dealing going on. LEW picked up some GT3 suspension and a chargecooler pump (more on that soon), also a few more people joined the club and gave CD's, Insurance Valuation forms for LEW's attention. We also saw spare sunroof's being swapped, vacuum pumps and a few other bits changing hands.
One of the many highlights of the day was the arrival of three white Esprit S1's. You're normally lucky to see one, two is very very rare, but to have 3 at the same meeting is amazing. Ken Baird, Ian Knight and Paul Godfrey made the meeting one of a kind. All three were in great condition and kato managed to blag a ride in two of them. Riding in one and having another just in front, is every little boy from the '70s dream.
Once everyone was accounted for, Dermot got the run underway around 11.45am. With 40+ Esprit to get out of one carpark, it was quite a job. A few Esprits didn't take part in the the run including LEW's. LEW's Esprit missed out on the run to bring you some better pictures for this article.
But finally everyone got out onto the open road ready for the start of an enjoyable run. Covering many different kinds of road, making it much more than an Esprit procession.
As in previous Oxford Runs, there were two plan stops on route to get everyone back together and give everyone a chance to chat. Seems impossible to get 38 Esprit in a line in for one shot. It's an impressive site. As you many know, every year we managed to get a non-Esprit in the ranks! It's normally an Elise, but this year at least it was a brand new S3 demonstrator, complete with the new 190bhp engine (luckily it didn't make it into any of the LEW pictures).
During the run we lost and found many Esprits. Keeping 38 Esprit together and on the same route is almost impossible. It also made the run over run by about an hour, but that's not all bad!
After another short run the group reformed again at the next stop. As the group was running late, this was more like a pit-stop than anything else, moving off as soon as everyone was accounted for.
The carpark soon filled up with Esprits again, with Alan getting some good footage. After a run of around 120 minutes and with the weather being almost perfect, everyone was ready for a drink in the pub.
Cramming in 50+ people was fun, with most eating space was almost as tight as the carpark! After a short speech by LEW's kato, Brian Angus was introduced and gave a speech on what was happening at Hethel regarding the Esprit. This included a tyre update, chargecoolers, oil filters, suspension, chipping and news on gearboxes. Brian then introduced Derek Bell, who Lotus have been working with on the uprated Renault gearbox. Derek gave everybody an introduction to what he's been doing and how the testing and fitting has been going. More new on this will be on LEW shortly. Brian then covered a couple more subjects before handing over to Geoff for a talk in wings and spoilers.
After lunch, everybody moved back out to the carpark. Dermot did he's usual FreeScanning of owners cars, finding a few problems for owners to fix! Derek, Brian & Geoff where busy answering questions and chatting to owners. As the carpark emptied of Esprits, LEW and Lotus were the last to leave after a great day. All-in-all it was probably the best Esprit meeting ever.
TEAM ESPRIT OXFORD