Monday 24 December 2018

It's Christmas Eve, and we continue our look at Oliver Winterbottom's diary. Here, we catch up with Oliver's exploits from the end of October to the beginning of December …


28 October – Efforts to have a re-union of 6 of us retired, ex-Lotus senior staff has allowed me to circulate a copy of the Veloce “flyer” to advise them of the book's existence. Mike Kimberley already has it but the others may be less informed.

One recipient of the ex-Lotus staff message has responded positively already. Well done! Shortly afterwards, another says he will get it for Christmas.


1 November – Amazon UK has 8 left in stock – that's 4 gone since 25 October – hooray!

3 November – “Esmeralda” (B B Bell) has received her copy of the book. I sign it for her 6-year old son, Joseph. He already draws well and could possibly become a designer when grown up. It was interesting that, because of Joseph's age, he did not realise my layout drawings were done with a pencil, by hand. He thought they were computer-generated. (Of course they stand up well against the electronic machine!)

4 November – Matthew Vale in contact over his book on the Lotus Europa. Always glad to help a fellow author. It's hard work as the events were nearly 50 years ago!

5 November – I get a message from Charlotte Walker at Veloce. She has received a message from a Californian engineer who is restoring a 1979 Lotus Eclat. He would like a signature from me and I am most happy to do so. He tells us: “I've always loved the wedge shape of the Elite/Eclat, and it would mean a lot to have the signature of the man who designed it”.

6 November – Today is the funeral of Paul Mickleborough, so I learned last evening. Paul and I attempted to start a sports car company named The Leading Edge back in the early 2000s. A number of business supports eventually let us down. 

Amazon UK now has 11 books in stock – more on the way.

10 November – I visit the Lancaster Classic Car Show at the NEC, Birmingham as a guest of the Lotus Elite Eclat Excel Owners Club. I am joined by Mike Kimberley (we go back to working together at Jaguar in the 1960s). Mike held senior positions at Lotus for many years.

Mike Kimberley, left, and me at the NEC Classic Car Show.
19 November – I ordered a new Citroën Cactus for delivery in the new year.

11 December – I am due to join retired Lotus personnel Mike Kimberley (ex-CEO), Roger Putnam (ex-Sales Director), Richard Morley (ex-Managing Director) and Mike Hamlin (Lotus Company pilot) for lunch at Galvins, at the Centurion Club St Albans.

I plan to spend Christmas at my sister's, just like last year! Plans for a Christmas gathering of my daughter's family are still being formulated. 

I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year for 2019.