Eleven Lotus Cars were lined up on the top deck of The Spires car park for the ninth Barnet Classic Car Show in tribute to automotive engineer Colin Chapman who lived in New Barnet when he designed the famous Lotus Seven.


Chris Martin (far right) -- who is one of the club’s Lotus Seven owners – recruited enthusiasts who own different models of Lotus cars to take part in the show.

The club gave them pride of place to revive interest in Barnet’s link to one of the legendary marques of the British car industry.

Mr Martin was pleased with a record turn out for the show – 113 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles were on display, to the delight of enthusiasts and visitors.

In the 1950s, Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, lived in Gothic Cottage, just off Clifford Road, New Barnet, where together with his team of engineers he produced the original design of the company’s classic model, the Lotus Seven.

It was a highly popular kit car which enthusiasts were told could be assembled in 60 hours. At that time, some sports cars were sold as do-it-yourself kits because they avoided purchase tax.

Simon Everson of Finchley was keen to display the engine of his 1968 Lotus Elan + 2 – an engine which he rebuilt after buying the car last year.

“I have been finding out all about the local history of Lotus Cars and especially Colin Chapman with his many associations with North London and New Barnet.

“Lotus are one of the brands that enthusiasts fell in love with and which we like to own and cherish.”

Perhaps there was no one in the line-up who could match the life-time passion for Lotus Cars of Malcolm Ricketts (85) seen here with his Lotus Elite 850.

He has been driving Lotus Cars for 65 years – and from the late 1970s to 1990s was one of the drivers of Lotus formula cars in classic events, including displays at Goodwood, Le Mans, and Felix Park, San Francisco.

Mr Ricketts, of Ayot St Lawrence, said his love affair with Lotus Cars – and he is known affectionately among fellow enthusiasts as “Half man, half Lotus” – began when he was a boy.

“I went to school in Highgate and after school I used to go to Lotus in Tottenham Lane to look at the cars.

“I bought my first Lotus when I was 18.  Although I have bought dozens of his cars, I never met Colin Chapman but in my mid 30s I did meet Clive Chapman, and he invited me to drive Formula cars for him at classic events.

“I gave it up ten years ago when I was 76.

“I have known Clive for many years, and he is now a close friend.

“Looking back on my life, I owe a lot to Lotus Cars,” said Mr Ricketts who was wearing his Team Lotus badge.

Crowds lined Barnet High Street to see the vintage and classic cars parade along Barnet High Street before heading for the top deck of the car park at The Spires.

There to welcome them at the entrance to The Spires were stewards Paul Johnson (left) and Wyn Roberts, with the club’s long-standing stalwart Chris Nightingale.