1,600 cars turn out for Lotus’ 70th celebration

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Cars take part in the 70th anniversary parade lap | Group Lotus photos

Around 1,600 Lotus vehicles and some 8,000 Lotus car owners and enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the official 70th anniversary of the British sports car company at its traditional headquarters at Hethel, Norfolk.

Of the cars taking part, 700 lapped the Lotus test track for the celebration’s grand finale. Cars ranged from Team Lotus Grand Prix racers to Sunbeam Lotus and Lotus Cortina rally cars and the current line of Evora, Exige and Elise sports cars.

Colin Chapman’s son, Clive, drives the ex-Jimmy Clark 1966 Lotus 43

Group Lotus chief executive Feng Qingfeng unveiled two bespoke Lotus Exclusive Evora GT410 vehicles in heritage livery. One was the Jim Clark Special Edition wearing the red-and-silver livery of Clark’s Lotus Elan.

“Today has been an amazing day of celebration,” he said. “To have met so many Lotus owners and enthusiasts, and understand their passion for our brand is truly inspiring. 

“We are committed to our home in Norfolk, and there’s no place better to gather and remember what Lotus stands for and what makes it so special as a leading automotive marque. 

“To have so many of our cars return home has really made the day.”

Group Lotus said the anniversary celebration was the largest gathering ever of Lotus vehicles and marked the founding of the company in 1948 by Colin Chapman.

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During its run in Formula One, Lotus won seven constructors and six drivers championships and 81 races.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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