Newsletter May 2009 – Number 11

  1. What’s happening on the museum front?
  2. Changes to the website
  3. Lotus interest on Youtube
  4. More amazing diaormas from Marc Hogenkamp

1. What’s happening on the museum front?

With the economic situation in the UK getting seemingly worse rather than better, the current prospects for the creation of a new museum are extremely low.

Taking this into consideration we have decided to put the project on the back burner for the moment and will relook at opportunities when the financial situation improves!

However as we now have over 500 friends of the museum and 32 different countries signing in on a regular basis we will continue with the website with many exciting new facilities..

2. Changes to the website

We have made changes to the website recently and reorganised it. In addition to this we have added the following sections:

Questions (can you help?)
Museums you may not know about
Lotus books (recommended reading)
Lotus books one for the library
Lotus collectables
Archive material

Our plans to extend the website and add in features have come about from requests we have received from a number of “friends”.

Question (can you help?)

We frequently get asked from around the world quite amazing questions , so far we have used a limited group to try and answer them, not always successfully. So we plan to put them on our website and see if any “friends” know the answer.

The following are examples of recent questions:

Hi Neil,
I’m writing a book on Australian midget race car driver Jim McMahon. In my research I’ve come across a woman called Betty Gibson who was said to have been English and a friend of Colin Chapman’s. I was wondering if you’ve ever come across her name?


Dear Neil

I wonder if you are able to help or advise me regarding a Lotus vehicle.

My wife was given, by her father, a woodrim steering wheel of approximately 14″ diameter, 3 metal spokes and a black, raised, centre (boss) with CABC Lotus writen in silver on the horn push, which he stated was found in the boot boot of his Lotus Cortina in the sixties. He thinks it is possibly from a Lotus 7.

I have had many discussions with my Father-in-Law about ascertaining what type type of Lotus the steering wheel belonged to and the possibility of acquiring a vehicle to unite the steering wheel to.

I have searched the Lotus community online but not found a match for the wheel. I have also tried to find a classic Lotus specialist in Hertfordshire (where I live) to no avail.

Would you be able to identify the vehicles using the type of steering wheel if if I send you a picture of it or reccommend a contact or specialist I could talk to?

I look forward to your reply.

Steering Wheel


In a previous newsletter John Douglas had taken a number of pictures which included a workbench and wondered if it had a famous history. Unfortunately not as a eagle eyed “friend” spotted it.

“I read with great interest your piece on 19 Ribblesdale Road , the previous home of The Progress Chassis Company.

The house in question is my old family home, I was born there in 1974. The house itself was bought in 1970 by my grandparents Mr Norman and Mrs Joyce Evans and the stables at the rear converted into a workshop for my grandfathers piano restoration business. During the restoration a number of old chassis and seats were found but sadly I have no knowledge of their whereabouts. Sadly my grandfather passed away in January 2000 but my Nan continued to live at the house until October 2008.

One of the pictures enclosed shows a workbench. Unfortunately this was made by my grandfather and not The Progress Chassis Company. I apologise for being the bearer of bad news!

Anyway, if there’s any information you want about the house or the workshop please let me know. As you can imagine, I know every single inch of it.

Bye for now.”


Dear Sir

I have been looking at the colinchapmanmuseum homepage and found a book:

Lotus Seven, Restoration Maintenance & Preparation written by Tony Weale.

I have been searching for that book for a long time, and will ask you
if it is possible to buy it from you?

Your Sincerely


All of these questions plus additional ones are in the new section on the web under “General”. If you know the answer please send me an email and I will go back to the sender.

Museums around the world (you may not know about)

A section dedicated to unusual museums that you may come across in your travels or that people may be interested in. Please send any details to us and we can add them in.

The British Car Museum in Ian Hope’s Back Yard, 63 East Road, Te Awanga, North Island, New Zealand

Trip 220 Trip 227

A truly amazing museum, you ring the doorbell to be let in. Entry is 10NZ dollars and a truly incredible sight awaits you. We have just shown two photos here, there are many more on the new section on the web under General.

Lotus books (recommended reading)

Some of these books are out of print so autojumbles may help. Our list is a starter set, what other books would you recommend to other “friends”. Drop me an email and we will include them on our next update.

Lotus books – one for the library

Here we are trying to include books that we feel would be worth purchasing and keeping

Lotus collectables

This is an opportunity for you to share with other “friends” any pictures of collectables you may have. Just send me an email with the picture attached and it will be included in our next update.

Archive material

If you have any good archive material you want to share please send pictures or text to me.

3. Lotus interest on Youtube

Two items on Youtube may be of interest our readers.

John Scott-Davies and John Douglas giving a talk about Hornsey

Lotus Mk 6 engine starting

4. Marc Hogenkamp diaoramas

Marc Hogenkamp is a long time “Friend” of the museum, Lotus fanatic and creator of many wonderful Lotus based dioramas. These new ones feature John Miles and Jim Clark.

We have selected two examples for the newsletter(see below) and the rest we have put on the CCMEC website under the photo archive section, please take a few minutes to browse them its well worthwhile.

lotus 47 001 lotus 47 012


Thank you for your continued continued interest and support