Going to Hethel for my 40th bday! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Going to Hethel for my 40th bday!

One day my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my big milestone birthday (the big 4-0); and I told her I wanted to go to England to see the Lotus factory and drive on their test track. My birthday isnít until May, but thank god for my wife because without her I wouldnít be able to get anything done. Iím a terrible planner.

Today she booked an 8 day trip for us and our two kids to go to Paris and then England with the last couple days for me to enjoy the Lotus Driving Academy all by myself. Needless to say Iím extremely excited and canít wait for this week to come.

For the guys that have visited the Lotus factory already and have taken their driving academy; are there anything that I should prepare myself for? Also what places do you guys recommend to stay and eat, etc...? Thanks in advance guys.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 06:47 PM
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Enjoy it, the tour is a wonderful experience! Unfortunately I didn't think I'd have the time for the driving experience, but of course I really regret not doing that now. I can recommend one happy little spot for breakfast/lunch in Norwich, Littlehaven Coffee Co. A very small place, but I made a point to remember it I enjoyed the food so much.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 09:44 PM
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wow i need to ask my wife too enjoy...

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Enjoy it, the tour is a wonderful experience! Unfortunately I didn't think I'd have the time for the driving experience, but of course I really regret not doing that now. I can recommend one happy little spot for breakfast/lunch in Norwich, Littlehaven Coffee Co. A very small place, but I made a point to remember it I enjoyed the food so much.
Luckily for me my wife set aside two days of the driving academy for me to enjoy. She already booked the bronze and silver packages for me. Unfortunately the gold package was all sold out.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 05:28 AM
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Someone is going to have lots of fun! Take pics!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 06:00 AM
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Color me jealous. Lots of pics, please! It's an exciting time to be going to Hethel.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 06:04 AM
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I would check to see whether a tour of Classic Team Lotus is available. It's close by, the cars are amazing and there is always something being restored or prepared for an event. You will often bump into Clive Chapman or Chris Dinnage (Senna's mechanic), unless they're away racing. Even if you're not a fan of the older cars or motorsports, the tour makes you realize the massive impact and success Lotus had on the world of motor racing.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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I would check to see whether a tour of Classic Team Lotus is available. It's close by, the cars are amazing and there is always something being restored or prepared for an event. You will often bump into Clive Chapman or Chris Dinnage (Senna's mechanic), unless they're away racing. Even if you're not a fan of the older cars or motorsports, the tour makes you realize the massive impact and success Lotus had on the world of motor racing.
I will definitely look into this. Thank you!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Someone is going to have lots of fun! Take pics!
Will do!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 08:56 AM
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rb26debt, does your wife have a sister?
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:08 AM
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We toured the Lotus factory (and surrounding areas) in 2002 with a group of local enthusiast/owners, hosted by Richard Parramint.

Richard has inroads at all the 'stops'...Kensington Hall, Classic Team Lotus, Chapman's resting place, nearby racetracks. Send me a PM if you want to approach him.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:28 AM
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I had to book my own driving academy for this July. My wife is afraid of the Elise and the Evora, or my "mistresses" as she says... Unlike you, I am closer to 50 than 40 though. Richard has visited the LOST group in Houston before. @carbuff I would love to connect with him before my trip in July.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:41 AM
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Great wife!

My wife is great too. She lets me do crazy things and forgives me later.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:06 PM
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.... For the guys that have visited the Lotus factory already and have taken their driving academy; are there anything that I should prepare myself for? Also what places do you guys recommend to stay and eat, etc...? Thanks in advance guys.
Norwich ("Norrich") is a pleasant enough small city to stay in for a couple of nights; walk around after the day is done. I took taxis to Hethel as I didn't trust my right-hand left-lane driving in the roundabouts.

The best way to prepare for the Academy is to brush up on your aural comprehension of English English and Scottish English being barked at you through a headset from the passenger seat. (Some mistakes were made when I was there....) Otherwise you''ll get to drive some nice cars. At the time the V6 Exige was the highlight. Maybe a 430 now?

Definitely visit Classic Team Lotus if possible. So much racing history sitting right there, and excellent souvenirs to spend some pounds on.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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rb26debt, does your wife have a sister?
Haha. She only has a brother.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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PM sent!

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We toured the Lotus factory (and surrounding areas) in 2002 with a group of local enthusiast/owners, hosted by Richard Parramint.

Richard has inroads at all the 'stops'...Kensington Hall, Classic Team Lotus, Chapman's resting place, nearby racetracks. Send me a PM if you want to approach him.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 02:46 PM
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does the Lotus Driving Academy use LHD or RHD vehicles or do they have both, for us Yanks and ROW enthusiasts?
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 03:24 PM
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@rb26dett I was over at the factory last year around the British Grand Prix. Definitely get a hold of Richard. You can arrange for him to give you a tour of the area, including the Chapman's grave, the old Lotus race shop and the Lotus race shop for the historical cars. While I was there, I got to drive the Exige 430 Cup and Evora 410. They even brought them out in left hand drives for us. If you do see Richard, tell him Hi from Sue and Eldon. We stayed at a small inn not far from the factory. It was nice and the food was good. If you want the details, drop me a PM.

Take care and Have Fun!
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 08:24 AM
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does the Lotus Driving Academy use LHD or RHD vehicles or do they have both, for us Yanks and ROW enthusiasts?
When I was there 5 or so years ago they had a limited quantity of left-hand Elises for instruction. As a Yank you could hope for one but didn't always get one.

Former owner of the great car in my avatar, now with a great new owner: 2006 Elise BRG sport, steel brake lines, RTDbrace, hardtop, black powder-coated wheels, Katana (finally working!), Moroso pan, BOE fuel kit, boost & oil pressure gauges, Blackwatch gauge bracket, Tillet seats, Schroth 6-points, Braille, Xtender, Dunlop Star Spec 205/50, 235/45 street , Rotas w/R888s track
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 07:51 AM
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Good Afternoon Everyone.

Thanks for all the kind comments....Iím contactable on [email protected] FB ...Parramint Pictures.
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