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HLR Back to roots - Trials and off road experience day - 17th April 2024
HEL46

The Lotus Marks 1, 2 and 4 were successful trials cars, as was the 'one-off' trials Lotus VI pictured above - this is an opportunity to drive a trials car under expert guidance and follow in Colin Chapman's footsteps. As part of the "off road" day you will also be able to drive a 4x4 and a quad bike.

Estimated cost - Half day £140, full day £225

The event will be held at Ashtree Farm, West Malling, Kent ME19 5RL

Please note the date of the event is Wednesday 17th April, 2024

The Wright Event website.

Interested? - Contact Martyn Halliday 07739 464170 or Nigel Halliday

Club Lotus - Castle Combe - 25th May 2024

As in previous years, Club Lotus have invited the HLR to attend their Track day at Castle Combe on Saturday 25th May 2024. It is free to attend, the HLR will have a display area to park in, and you can take part in a lunchtime parade lap.

If you wish to purchase a track driving package, you must be a member of Club Lotus, and this should be booked through them - Booking Form. This track day is for Lotus cars only.

Track driving packages are £110 – which guarantees two 15 minute sessions on the fast, smooth and flowing 1.85 mile circuit from when the track opens at 09.00. Once these sessions have been completed, there is an open pit lane (usually from around 14.00/14.30). You’re then able to go out again as many times as you like until the circuit closes at 17.00.

Classic Team Lotus Garden Party - 15th & 16th June 2024
CTL2024

One example of each of the first 12 Lotus car designs will be gathered together for the first time ever, at the Classic Team Lotus Garden Party at East Carleton Manor, Norwich on 15th and 16th June, 2024.

This historic variety of innovative car designs took Colin and Hazel Chapman on their extraordinary journey from the humble lock-up in North London to the glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix – and beyond - in just 10 years.

In another first, the unprecedented presentation of the early years of Lotus will be accompanied by the recent discovery of Stan Chapman’s personal film archive which provides never seen footage of the very earliest days, from the Mk II onwards. Garden Party guests will enjoy the first public viewing of this ‘buried treasure’.

The Chapman Family is looking forward to welcoming Garden Party guests to East Carleton Manor again, for this second celebration of Hazel & Colin Heritage. Many other Lotus racing and road cars will be exhibited throughout the grounds and gardens. The marquee on the Horseshoe Lawn will provide guests with seated hospitality and act as the focus for an entertaining programme of presentations, including appearances by invited guests. A variety of displays and activities throughout the beautiful venue will add to the occasion. Guests in their Lotus cars will benefit from preferred parking and a photo opportunity in the forecourt.

The Garden Party 2024 will be another splendid event at East Carleton Manor on the 15th & 16th June (the content will be the same on each of the two days).

Tickets are available from the Classic Team Lotus Garden Party web page.

Updates to website

The 'For Sale' page has been updated - it will now include the advertisements from the current issue of Historic Lotus.

Introduction of E10 Petrol

The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has issued a Press Release, which members might find useful to read, regarding the introduction of E10 petrol and its use in classic cars.

The full article is available on the FBHVC website here, or can be downloaded here. Parts of it are reproduced below.

After an extensive consultation process, the Department for Transport has introduced legislation to mandate E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade in Great Britain from 1 September 2021 (in Northern Ireland, this will happen in early 2022). They will also require the higher-octane 97+ 'Super' grades to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of older vehicles. This product will be designated as the 'Protection' grade. The change in fuel applies to petrol only. Diesel fuel will not be changing. Petrol pumps now show new labels designating the grade, the maximum ethanol content and an advisory cautionary notice. Other information regarding the introduction of E10 petrol may also be provided by fuel retailers such as the 'Know your Fuel' sticker. The Federation recommends that all vehicles produced before 2000 and some vehicles from the early 2000s that are considered non-compatible with E10 - should use the Super E5 Protection grade where the Ethanol content is limited to a maximum of 5%.

Fuel Systems

Some historic vehicles use materials in the fuel systems that are damaged by ethanol. These include some cork, shellac, epoxy resins, nylon, polyurethane and glass-fibre reinforced polyesters. In later cars these have largely been replaced with paper gaskets, Teflon, polyethylene and polypropylene which are all unaffected by ethanol. Very old leather gaskets and seals are also resistant to ethanol.

As the ethanol molecule is smaller and more polar than conventional petrol components, there is a lower energy barrier for ethanol to diffuse into elastomer materials. When exposed to petrol/ethanol blends these materials will swell and soften, resulting in a weakening of the elastomer structure. On drying out they can shrink and crack resulting in fuel leaks.

If your fuel system has old hoses or any degradation of components, then ethanol may appear to advance these problems very quickly. You may experience leaks or fuel 'sweating' from fuel lines. Some fuel tank repair coatings have been found to breakdown and clog fuel systems, although there are plenty of ethanol resistant products on the market.

Engine tuning.

Ethanol contains approximately 35% oxygen by weight and will therefore result in fuel mixture enleanment when blended into petrol. Petrol containing 10% ethanol for example, would result in a mixture-leaning effect equivalent to approximately 2.6%, which may be felt as a power loss, driveability issues (hesitations, flat spots, stalling), but also could contribute to slightly hotter running. Adjusting mixture strength (enrichment) to counter this problem is advised to maintain performance, driveability and protect the engine from overheating and knock at high loads.

Additives and vehicle storage.

Ethanol has increased acidity, conductivity and inorganic chloride content when compared to conventional petrol which is typically pH neutral. Ethanol can cause corrosion and tarnishing of metal components under certain conditions. These characteristics are controlled in the ethanol used to blend E5 and E10 European and UK petrol by the ethanol fuel specification BS EN15376 in order to help limit corrosion.

Some aftermarket ethanol compatibility additives claim complete protection for operating historic and classic vehicles on E10 petrol. The FBHVC is not aware of, or has tested any additives that claim complete fuel system protection with respect to elastomer and gasket materials for use with E10 petrol. The FBHVC therefore recommends that elastomer and gasket materials are replaced with ethanol compatible materials before operation on E10 petrol.

However, corrosion inhibitor additives can be very effective in controlling ethanol derived corrosion and are recommended to be added to ethanol in the BS EN15376 standard. It is not clear if corrosion inhibitors are universally added to ethanol for E5 and E10 blending so as an additional precaution it is recommended that aftermarket corrosion inhibitor additives are added to E5 and E10 petrol.

These aftermarket ethanol corrosion inhibitor additives often called ethanol compatibility additives are usually combined with a metallic valve recession additive (VSR) and sometimes an octane booster and have been found to provide good protection against metal corrosion in historic and classic vehicle fuel systems.