Car Magazine, April 1982
Engineer Jonathon Tinkler of Camberley, Surrey, became a member of a group of less than 200 people, scattered around the world, when he received the keys to CAR's competition Lotus Esprit Turbo just before this issue went to press. With the under-25 winner, Paul Simmons, a student of automotive engineering, he spent a day at Lotus as guest of managing director Mike Kimberley and sales director Roger Putnam, with CAR's Ian Fraser and Steve Cropley also on hand.
In nearly 5000 entries, nobody was absolutely correct. Hundreds of entrants were right with Part One and Three, whose answers could be drawn directly from a couple of 1981 issues of CAR, but only about 250 were even close to the right answers with Part Two estimates. Mr Tinkler's entry was quite clearly the nearest correct but about eight other entrants gave him a hard fight. Of the 113 under-25 entrants (a number restricted by the fact that our rules made it impossible for them to win the Lotus) the standard was quite high but nobody threatened Mr Tinkler's position.
Most entries were from men, aged between 25 and 35. There was a surprising scarcity of people between 35 and 50, then entries from people older than that increased in number. Our oldest entrant claimed an age of 84, and there were several men in their 70s for whom the challenge of a 152mph motor car held no horrors. As for ladies, very few entered which was a pity.
The quality of the entries was often impressive, many times disappointing. People with otherwise good entries gave a tyre size instead of a wheel size for question three of Part One. Others whose estimates of the hard stuff in Part Two were excellent, took vague stabs at Parts One and Three, even though we'd made it clear that the information was available. One man, who we have no intention of naming (but who will gnash his teeth when he checks the answers) could have won the car, had his Part One and Part Three answers been correct.
Interestingly, the vast majority of you credited either Roger Becker or the Lotus Turbo Esprit with the abilites they do not have. Very few people, perhaps only 30 or 40, estimated the time and speeds as being slower than they actually were. We suspect the slowing effects of puddles and reverse cambers foxed many entrants.
The whole enterprise, CAR's judges feel, has been an outstanding success. Those that bore the brunt of the judging are anxious to thank entrants who enclosed letters and messages (there were even lip-prints from ladies). It helped, the assure us, to ease the agony of opening 4714 envelopes.
Lotus winner Jonathon Tinker (pictured above) was notified of his success by telegram (pictured) shareed a day at Lotus, Hethel, with under-25 winner Paul Simmons (pictured above) and was presented with his car by Lotus managing director, Mike Kimberley. Jonathon, who recently bought an Alfasud Hatchback is a computer software engineer from Surrey. He plans to keep the Lotus, sell the Alfa and to stay in touch with CAR, reporting his experiences.