Anyone from the states want to make a trip to Hethel?

NicolasB

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I am thinking about the possibility of just driving to Montreal (2.5 hours) and then flying to Norwich (close to the factory) or maybe London and rent a fun car to make the 3.5 hour drive to the factory.

Could do the tour, possibly do a driving school while there? Then head back a day or two later; would just be a short but sweet trip, maybe see some cars in person and get to test drive a Lotus (never driven one before). Maybe even some of the "local" members could meet at the same time, make it a group event?

I know it sounds a tad crazy, but I have tons of airmiles left from the last 2 years of not traveling, and I could probably manage a 3 day getaway from my business...

Anyone else interested in this once in a lifetime kind of a trip? My wife will think I've really gone off the deep-end with these Elmira forums :LOL:
 

GetawayDriving

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I’m planning on this already in about 2 weeks (out of Boston, not Montreal). Need to finalize my spec by the end of April and want to see some of these configs in the flesh. FYI the driving school isn’t operating at Hethel right now.
 

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Man that sounds great, but I'll definitely want to wait until the driving school is open! I have a ton of miles saved too. Those international flights aren't going to be fun with masks.. I struggled just flying from Philly to CO last year.

I looked into the Lotus driving academy too.. The closest being in Atlanta for me. It's so expensive for a couple short laps in an Evora. If I'm flying and paying a few hundred bucks, I want a full weekend of fun.

Back in 2013 me and my dad flew out to Rome and made the trek to Modena to visit Ferrari and Lamborghini. One of the best times of my life.
 

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Flying to the UK you don't need a mask on the flight, at least I didn't flying home from Boston to London last weekend

You might still need one on the return to the US though
 
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NicolasB

NicolasB

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I’m planning on this already in about 2 weeks (out of Boston, not Montreal). Need to finalize my spec by the end of April and want to see some of these configs in the flesh. FYI the driving school isn’t operating at Hethel right now.
Flying to Heathrow or?
I can catch a local flight to Boston for like $180 roundtrip instead of driving to Montreal, though flights from Boston look to be more than double the price from Montreal...
 
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VL3X

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Flying to the UK you don't need a mask on the flight, at least I didn't flying home from Boston to London last weekend

You might still need one on the return to the US though
Interesting.. which airline?
 

GetawayDriving

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Flying to Heathrow or?
I can catch a local flight to Boston for like $180 roundtrip instead of driving to Montreal, though flights from Boston look to be more than double the price from Montreal...
That’s weird, prices look about the same to me (~$600 usd). Are you booking from within Canada? Maybe I’ll try with a Canadian VPN because my plan is to spend a few weeks in the UK and then come back to Montreal for a concert and the F1 race.

I expect to fly into Heathrow but I’m not booked yet. I travel nearly full-time, and tend to operate last minute due to shifting schedules. Last I checked there were lots of open tour slots so I didn’t feel any urgency to book in advance.
 

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The driving academy at Hethel is opening again in June using Emiras as the school cars. Dates and bookings should go live in the next two weeks.

You can't get cars from the factory to test drive. The nearest local dealer (Stratton) is no longer an agent for new Lotus sales, but will have some used stock depending on when you go. They have Aston Martins, Bentleys and other marques too:
https://www.strattonmotorcompany.com/

Try to do the Classic Team Lotus tour as well:

There are plenty of local Lotus owners on here and other forums and we can put you in contact.

There's a pub with rooms near the factory, with strong Lotus connections and often used as a venue for owners club meets and staff out for a drink:
 

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There's a pub with rooms near the factory, with strong Lotus connections and often used as a venue for owners club meets and staff out for a drink:
My local :) - great food and friendly service, highly recommended for anyone visiting the area
 
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GetawayDriving

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The driving academy at Hethel is opening again in June using Emiras as the school cars. Dates and bookings should go live in the next two weeks.

You can't get cars from the factory to test drive. The nearest local dealer (Stratton) is no longer an agent for new Lotus sales, but will have some used stock depending on when you go. They have Aston Martins, Bentleys and other marques too:
https://www.strattonmotorcompany.com/

Try to do the Classic Team Lotus tour as well:

There are plenty of local Lotus owners on here and other forums and we can put you in contact.

There's a pub with rooms near the factory, with strong Lotus connections and often used as a venue for owners club meets and staff out for a drink:
Wow ok this changes things. I’d much rather have a session in an Emira around Hethel and combine that trip with Goodwood. Will keep an eye out for those bookings. Thanks Tom!
 
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NicolasB

NicolasB

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Definitely excellent info @TomE. I think in that case, I will postpone until June or later if I am going to do this. The chance to drive an Emira around their track sounds like a lot of fun, and a memorable experience. By then, things will be more ironed out and maybe easier to plan.
 
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NicolasB

NicolasB

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Goodwood Festival of Speed is end June, think there are still some tickets available. I’ll be there with my Emira.
That would be nuts! I've watched so many videos of that event.
 

GetawayDriving

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That would be nuts! I've watched so many videos of that event.

I'd definitely suggest timing it to coincide. Goodwood FoS is an awesome event. I went last year and 2019, where I was able to see the Emira in the flesh and the Evija in the flash. Heh. (In 2019 they gave Goodwood attendees a first-look at evija before unveil, but only one-strobe-light flash of it).
 

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I've actually considered a trip like this myself, flying into Norwich and grab an Uber over to the factory. Literally just to be able to see the colors of the car in person so that I can be sure my order is the right one. It's only the currently high flight prices from the DC region to the UK that have held me back from doing it.

It's borderline absurd that any of us are even considering this, since it's only Lotus's refusal to photograph the car in the production paint that makes it necessary. "Photos coming in a few weeks!" as they've said to a dozen different folks since October... :sleep:
 

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I have business meetings in Cambridge the first week of May so I extended my stay and a friend of mine and me are booked for the tour on Monday the 9th. He’s an early UK deposit and wants an i4FE so that will delay him. I’m going to do a V6 base sometime next year when my number is called (late to the party).
 

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I would very seriously consider making the trip from California. Can anyone share details about scheduling a factory tour and registering the driving academy? Would be happy to do it before or after the FOS. Cheap airfare latelty from LAX to Heathrow. How long of a drive from Heathrow? Or is it better to try to land closer?
 
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