By Alex Molocznyk, photos by Elisa Artioli & Gloria Wade.
Following the concours a scenic drive into the Sunshine Coast Hinterland was programmed. Lotus 2019 Guest of Honour Elisa expressed an interest in the drive, as she had been mainly on the freeways up to that point of her stay and wanted to experience some of our more interesting Lotus oriented back roads, so it was arranged to take her out in my car.
The drive was organised as a choice of alternative routes lasting 75 mins or a longer 120 min run and as the choice of route and departure times were left to personal preferences there was no formal convoy Elisa’s preference was the longer run. We left the concourse leading three other cars.
Instructions for the routes was a handout showing a basic map of the runs, so we engaged the assistance of the phone GPS for guidance. As you are aware a GPS will send you along roads you don’t want to go and this one was determined to get us on the motorway. Consequently, on the road out of Mooloolaba we had a few wrong directions at the roundabouts and in Palmwoods lost the three from our convoy amid the confusion but picked up two others.
It was then a straightforward spirited drive through some open forest and up a nice twisty hill to give the Lotus a good workout. We stopped at a scenic spot at the top of the range for Elisa to take over the wheel.
One of our convoy turned back a few kilometres past Maleny after reaching the end of a short drive option. Elisa mentioned she was starting to feel the sun and fortunately the other car had some sunscreen that they shared around.
Elisa was enjoying the drive although she had previously been a little apprehensive about driving a right hand drive car on the left side of the road. She was well in control and we were soon discussing the differences between driving the S2 and her S1. She explained it was good experience for her because she recently became half owner together with a girlfriend of a right hand drive S1 that they intend to prepare as a track car doing their own mechanical work learning as they go.
She drove through beautiful countryside to Kenilworth and then to Obi Obi for nearly an hour where she was beginning to feel the effects of the sun. It was perfect Queensland autumn weather but in the cool hills the topical sun is deceptive and the combination of being outside all morning at the concourse and then driving an open top Lotus with the sun at its peak was burning her exposed arms and legs. We stopped to put the roof up for protection from further sun and Elisa decided to be the passenger to take in the views for the rest of the drive and the rarely used air conditioner was switched on to cool her down. We decided to take a quicker route back in order to give us some time to relax and recover in preparation for the presentation dinner that night.
Summing up the scenery Elisa said she was very taken with the proximity of the town and beach of Mooloolaba and the rural mountain countryside in such a relatively short distance. It is something she does not have in Europe.
The drive was a very enjoyable part of a very successful event and a particular pleasure was showing part our world to our international and interstate friends.
Tropical Themed Dinner at the Surf Club Mooloolaba
By Craig Wilson, photos by Ruby Messenger and Craig Wilson.
At the end of a very big day at the track or enjoying the Sunshine Coast Hinterland bus tour and lunch, dinner at the iconic Surf Club Mooloolaba was a great way to relax, enjoy the great food and location while catching up with all those Lotus family and friends.
After pre-dinner drinks in the Surf Club bar, we all gathered upstairs in the main function room overlooking the beautiful beach under a perfect night sky.
Carolyn and Carol welcomed everyone with a colour matched Lei and the party started. Vyvyan kicked off the night with some interesting trivia facts and questions, which obviously created some fun discussion.
Geoff and Terri Musgrave from Lock and Load Queensland, our major convention sponsors joined us all the way from Cairns for the weekend and were very generous once again with some Lock and Load Tie-Down kits for the lucky door prizes. They gave a great presentation and are very passionate about motorsport and their new business, so please support them. They were at the Lakeside Park track day and the Show ‘n’ Shine / Concours d’Elegance on the Saturday morning with their displays and they have some great products.
Guest speaker for the night was Mark O’Connor from Lotus Cars Australia and he gave us a great presentation on Lotus, Geely involvement and future developments with the massive funding and global support that Geely is bringing to its ownership of Lotus. This is a game changer for Lotus and very exciting for the Lotus family worldwide. New models, global quality production and economy of scale for suppliers all add up to a great future and the ability to develop and produce new models.
Thanks Mark and Lotus Cars Australia.
Vale Terri Musgrave
It was with great sadness that we learned from Geoff that his beloved Terri died suddenly and unexpectedly this last week. We are so sorry Geoff for your loss and are privileged to have enjoyed the brief company of Terri at Lotus 2019. She was very enthusiastic and had a great love of motorsport and the new business. Our thoughts and condolences are with you and your family at this very sad time.
By Simon Messenger, photos by Simon Messenger and Craig Wilson.
I set my alarm for 6.30am in anticipation of photographing Tony Galletly and the Lotus 2019 committee members getting the Lotus Mk 11 Le Mans Series 2 (‘the Eleven’) into the lobby of the Mantra Mooloolaba Beach Hotel. When I got downstairs I was welcomed by the sight of the immaculate green machine atop a trailer that was being backed very gingerly up to the two steps that lead to the hotel reception.
The car was unstrapped from the trailer and Tony climbed in and started her up with a puff of unburnt fuel laden grey smoke. The noise was deafening as it bounced off the hard surfaces of the tiles, concrete and glass. He tried to reverse off the trailer having lowered the ramps such that they barely sat on the lip of the top step. The weight of the car caused the back of the trailer to dip and the ramps to flex. Someone shouted “Woah!” and Tony drove back onto the trailer to avert a certain disaster.
Tony got back into his Toyota Corolla tow car and manoeuvred the trailer even closer to the steps so that the ramps sat further atop the step. More blocks of wood were strategically placed to further support the ramps. Thankfully, Take 2 was successful and Tony was able to reverse the Eleven onto the tiled platform outside the automatic glass doors.
The engine was quickly stopped to prevent the smoke detectors in the hotel lobby from being tricked into causing a building evacuation and an expensive visit from the local fire brigade. Tony and Craig Wilson carefully moved the car back and forth to avoid hitting the reception desk and the Eleven was eventually wheeled into a low white picket fenced corral that looked like a petting zoo at a local fayre complete with straw bales. A Lotus 2019 welcome banner had earlier been strung across the area and an informative sign with historical details on the car was placed for all to read. What a great way to greet the delegates.
We were proud to have Elisa Artioli, the person for whom the Lotus Elise has been named as our guest of honour at Lotus 2019.
Elisa is the grand-daughter of Romano Artioli, owner of Lotus Cars at the time of the Elise launch. Romano was the driving force behind Lotus building this new generation car, true to the Lotus heritage.
As well as having an intimate knowledge of the history of the Elise, she also attends Lotus National events all over the world, and has become a popular Lotus brand ambassador.
You lived in England at some time as well as other countries and are now are based in Munich. Where do you feel is home?
I was born in Bolzano, Italy. I have two brothers and one sister and of course I am the oldest one or probably the Elise would have another name today.
When my grandfather bought Lotus we moved to England but Italy always feels like home to me. I’ve lived abroad for almost 7 years and it is always a good to be back home for a while.
Bolzano is a really nice town with a lot of mountain passes so it’s one of the best locations for an Elise, always sunny and with beautiful landscapes.
How many languages can you speak?
I speak Italian because it is my mother language and German most of the time because I studied in Vienna and I am working in Munich now. I speak Spanish because I spent 6 months in Madrid and I really like the language. I am working on improving my English daily.
How did it feel to be a star at the launch at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show at a very young age?
What else can I say than proud and lucky. I was part of automotive history. I’ll always remember holding onto the steering wheel proudly showing my t-shirt with “I am Elise” written on it.
And now you are recognised as an ambassador for the Lotus Elise.
In 2015, for the 20th anniversary I decided to share my memories and create the Instagram ‘iamlotuselise’ profile. From that first post my life changed. I got to meet people who share my passion and people who today are my best friends and who taught me a lot of things. Most of my best memories are correlated with the Elise.
You have grown up together with your Silver S1. Share with us your memories of the car.
My Elise was born in 1997, so since I was 4 years old I grew up with her. That is why for me my Elise is not just a car. She means a lot more.
Since I couldn’t drive the car until I got the driver’s license, I remember how happy I was when my grandfather once took me for a drive.
When I was attending high-school and I had a really bad day, I arrived back home and decided to go to the garage where I took the cover off the Elise. I just stayed there looking at her with that contagious smiling face. In that moment I remember thinking I can’t ask for more.
She is always there for me and I enjoy every single ride with her. I hope she can say the same about me 😉
You expressed interest in attending the track day at Lotus 2019. Do you follow any forms of motorsports?
I cannot say I’m a petrol head who knows everything about cars but I am totally a car enthusiast and especially a Lotus fan.
My grandfather used to take me to the factory sometimes and just to be sure to imprint his car passion in my DNA (after his daughters didn’t really show enthusiasm for the automotive world) he got me an electric ride-on car to use in the garden.
When he had to sell Lotus we came back to Italy where my life was not the one of the little star anymore. I finished High School and moved to Vienna to study architecture. After an Erasmus in Madrid and an Internship for Bugatti I am now working in Munich for an architecture studio.
Pictured above L-R: Alan Henry, mechanic for the famous Graham White Supercharged S1 Eleven in Sydney, Jim and Gloria Bertram. Jim was a mechanic for many teams including the Charlie Whatmore LM150 Eleven (on left owned by Qld club member Richard Harris) and Bevan Fleming S2 Eleven, now owned by Ed Holly in Sydney. Richard and Adam Harris, Tony Galletly and Ashton Roskill (S1 Club Eleven) from Sydney.
Lotus 2019 Concours d’Elegance Results
By Craig Wilson.
We were blessed with another day of brilliant sunshine for the Lotus 2019 Show ‘n’ Shine with a spectacular line-up of around 65 Lotus.
Elisa Artioli was again present, enjoying the sunshine and great display of Lotus Cars down under. She was very impressed with the Lotus Family atmosphere of the whole weekend and the wonderful welcome.
Thanks go to Colin McKay and Alex Molocznyk for their brilliant organisation of the oval layout and co-ordination of the Show ‘n’ Shine and afternoon drive runs. Clive Wade arranged the Concours judging assisted by Dave Mackie, Tony Galletly and Guy Stevens.
Arranged in five classes from 1956 through to the latest models on display by our Lotus Cars Queensland dealer, there was something for everyone. It was great to see Lotus enthusiast Malcolm James (Elise S1) from New Zealand and former member Mile Dudurovic and family – including daughter Elise, make the effort to join us along with some original Lotus Eleven mechanics like Jim Bertram on the day.
The results are listed by Class and the Overall Concours trophy and the Perpetual Trophy went to Tony Galletly and his magnificent Lotus Eleven.
Tony was also awarded the new John Stephenson Trophy for a fantastic restoration of a most significant piece of Lotus history. He took the pile of very sad pieces he bought from Arizona USA, and over six years, faithfully restored Chassis 333 to its former glory. This car won the 1958 Spanish Sports Car Grand Prix and was owned by the head of Lotus Eleven Racing, Jacques Van Vlymen. Tony has travelled to London to meet him and compiled a very comprehensive history file on the car.
Well done to all – thanks for joining the Lotus family, it was a great day to appreciate the models and history of Lotus.
Lotus 2019 John Stephenson Trophy for Mechanical Excellence
By Andrew Stevens.
Initiated at Lotus 2015 in memory of South Australian Lotus stalwart and engineer, John Stephenson, this spectacular, perspex, carbon fibre and stainless steel trophy is awarded biennially at the National Lotus Concours d’Elegance for excellence in vehicle restoration or engineering.
Previous winners are Mike Bennett for his restoration and engineering of the ex-Graham Hill Lotus 12 and Robert Barker for the development of his re-engineered Lotus Europa. The judging panel of Craig Wilson, Rob Barker and Andrew Stevens had a difficult job, with half a dozen cars attracting their attention.
However, in the end the decision to award the trophy to Tony Galletly for the fantastic ground up restoration of his Lotus 11 was unanimous. Tony’s car had graced the foyer of the Mooloolaba Mantra Beach for most of the weekend, and its presence as one of three Lotus 11’s at the concours allowed everyone to see just what a superb job he’d done. Starting from a pile of parts, Tony has brought back to life a historically significant Lotus race car. Both the attention to detail and the workmanship evident is second to none.
Unfortunately, Tony couldn’t be present at the awards ceremony to collect the trophy, so the Queensland committee were arranging a suitable opportunity to make the official presentation.
|Class 1 1950-1962
|Lotus Eleven S2 LeMans
|Class 2 1963-1974
|Elan S1 DHC
|Elan +2 – S130/4
|Maroon / Silver Roof
|Class 3 1975-1995
|Class 4 1996–2019
|Black / Silver Wheels
|Class 5 Lotus 7 & Caterham
|No cars attended
Overall Concours Winner – Tony Galletly Lotus Eleven S2
John Stephenson Trophy – Tony Galletly Lotus Eleven S2
A Queensland Perspective
Story by Clive Wade, photos by Gloria Wade.
Now, what is the best thing about your own club hosting the Lotus Biennial? Answer: Simple, for once it will be a short drive! Yay for it arriving back in my home state.
Next best thing is being able to watch everyone in the southern states arranging the drives north on Aussie Elises… the enthusiasm of “making a trip of it” winding back and forth through the Great Dividing Range once north of Sydney, or throwing in an earlier stage through the Snowies if coming from Victoria. Of course as reality sets in, as it does for us Qld’ers when a southern state hosts, the majority bolt straight up the highway whilst a hardy few manage to pull off the dream.
Whichever, well done to all those who travelled from afar, it is no mean feat to put what is a “3 day weekend” into at least a week away from home and work.
When Gloria and I arrived, in two cars, at The Mantra Mooloolaba after a most tiring 1¾ hour drive we were stunned by the display in the hotel foyer… what a sight! Tony Galletly’s beautiful Lotus 11 sitting amongst hay bales and white picket fences, a scene reminiscent of the best Goodwood could offer. Now, it makes for an interesting question as to how did the committee achieve this (read local by-laws) in the 2k millennium? The millennium of nannies, insurance and more nannies!
Well I know but I’m not telling. Suffice it to say job well done. The foyer set the scene for the rest of the stay.
Check in was easy, sign-in even easier, as a well-oiled welcoming committee soon had us processed regardless of interruptions as participants from far and wide greeted each other. And once through the process, the cars were garaged in secure parking, in no time we were in our rooms with views of the Pacific Ocean, having a quiet cuppa, reading up on what Lotus 2019 had instore.
The Mantra was the perfect venue; everybody was able to park 2 cars in covered secure parking, the lifts almost went to your room, and your room was only 2 minutes from the shops and cafes of the Mooloolaba beach precinct. But there was more; not only was it well located, but the trailers were securely parked behind the local school fence (only across the road) where we were to have the Concours on Saturday.
Thursday night, as is traditional, was an informal affair, a BBQ on the Level 1 Roof which allowed any weary souls to eat early and retire to an early and blissful night. Or to party on… there seemed to be a lot of non-weary travellers still there at 9pm. Must have something to do with old friends and too many tales accumulated over the previous 2 years. Considering the Friday Track Day at Lakeside called for an early start I was a little surprised to see so many still happily chattering away.
And so Friday morning was soon on us, Lakeside hosting breakfast at 7:00am, had lots of Lotus departing Mooloolaba between 5:30 and 6:00, refuelling at the BP 7km north of Lakeside. A number of southerners spotted me and requested to follow “the local”… little did they know I’d never approached Lakeside from the north before. Dear old Mrs Google came to the rescue.
Lakeside was great! Geoff Noble, organizer extraordinaire, was even greater, single-handedly rounding up all the “wet cats” appropriately into four groups, and ensuring all participants of each group entered the circuit in order of known pace gleaned from various venues. Far easier said than done, but he managed. After lunch Geoff was so confident in our abilities not to turn the event into dodgem cars that he put himself into Group 1, setting the unachievable pace of 55.4 seconds (the remaining of the top 10 ranged between 59.2secs to 63.2 secs).
Nice of Geoff to do 6 laps in 5 minutes on a cooling track when nobody else could match their morning times. 🙂
Now Lakeside is an historic motor racing circuit, it therefore does not have the safe run off areas of modern circuits. Every time LCQ has hosted a biennial there were always requests from the “nostalgics of the world” to do Lakeside. With the circuit under threat of closure Lotus 2019 could possibly be the last opportunity, so it was decided Lakeside was to be a “goer”. With a fast straight, double apexed corners, off camber exits, and gradient changes galore it is a joy to drive, albeit one not to be taken lightly. I think most people raved about the day, finishing it with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
The non-track orientated members either enjoyed the bus trip through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland with lunch at “The Edge” in Montville. As I was at Lakeside I can’t comment further, so hopefully someone else will have written something, it is a lovely area.
Friday night brought us an excellent dinner at the Mooloolaba Surf Club, a short walk along the beach from The Mantra. Similarly to the BBQ there was plenty to eat, but how come I always end up on the last table to queue at the bain-marie? 🙂 Guess I talk too much. I also loved the “dad jokes”… none of us realized Vyvyan Black is not only a master of song and trumpet, but he’s a great stand-up comedian (MC)! He’s got to be the best dark horse I’ve ever met. Luv ya Vyv.
Saturday brought us the Show ‘n’ Shine and Concours. I spotted a few hardy souls marking out the Mooloolaba School Oval at 6:00am in anticipation of 60 odd Lotus to be displayed. What a sight to see; four rows of Lotus from goal post to goal post. We had Lotus ranging from the 1950s to 2019. How on earth do you judge that? Well, a little dickie bird tells me that representatives from all states had been colluding for the past year to find an amenable grouping and a standard inspection check list. Apparently, this year the judging was easier due to the agreed system. There were a number of categories, I don’t know all the winners, but congratulations to all of them. I do know however Tony Galletly’s Lotus 11 took a truck load of awards… congrats Tony, well done! Your car is an absolute credit to your perseverance over many years (I know I brought the gearbox back from either Victoria or NSW at least 5 biennials ago).
After the Concours Lunch many participants enjoyed a drive through the hinterland over some of my favourite roads. Not only are they a pleasure to drive but there are a lot of cafes along the routes chosen by Colin McKay in his Elan. Now Colin lives on the Gold Coast, so I can only guess the Elan did a lot of kilometres over the last year.
And then there was the Presentation Dinner! The food delicious, the wine well-chosen and the band exceptional… yep, Vyvyan, along with his band The Recliners, entertained us and later had us dancing the night away.
However, the night belonged to Elisa Artioli. She has to have the best Granddad ever! Not only in 1995 did he name our beloved Lotus Elise after his latest grandaughter, not only did he give her a Lotus Elise, but he gave her the greatest introduction card ever, he gave her the opportunity of speaking all over the world, constantly meeting new people from all walks of life… what a gift! But Elisa gave us equal; she gave a delightful talk of her experiences, she fitted in as if she had been a member all her life, and Elisa was at every event she could physically attend… signing posters on Thursday, driving Winno’s S1 Elise (using the window winder for a gear lever), joining in at the Concours, and speaking to us on this particular evening. Thank you ever so much Elisa for traveling so far, for giving two weeks of your annual leave, and being such a lovely guest.
Of course the presentations were fun, no doubt there is a list of who’s who in the magazine. The theming of the room spectacular, credit must go to the committee here… especially Craig Wilson’s family; mum, dad and the kids all put a great deal in… top stuff! And then it was sold! A terrific fundraiser for Beyond Blue.
And so Lotus 2019 finished. Well done to the committee, the helpers and everyone else who put two bob in. Biennials just get better and better.
PS: If you were in the Lakeside Awards photo, I have it on good authority it has been said: “what a handsome collection of men”… I just had to tell you. 🙂