August 2023

A Pub, a Concours, and Hethel!

Members enjoying a pint.
Photo by Del Fruit

by Fran Zeitz

The weather here in Southeastern Florida is really heating up this summer. However, members of the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club continue to participate in great events.

On Saturday, June 10th, we held a club luncheon at The Field Irish Pub & Eatery in Fort Lauderdale. The Field is more like a farmhouse, comfortable and charming, with wooden plank floors, wood paneling and a stone fireplace. There is a huge old banyan tree at the entrance, plenty of outside seating, and a pub separate from the restaurant offering live entertainment almost every evening. The Field serves up traditional Irish faire, as well as a varied menu.
Our group was seated in one of the cozy rooms on the restaurant side of the building. Lively conversation continued throughout our entire lunch. About 30 members attended with over a dozen British cars. Conversation with old and new friends continued into the parking lot, where we exchanged car stories and lingered for a while.

Thank you to Scott Armstrong, Vice President of Broward County, for organizing a great event, and thanks to Del Fruit for taking the photos. Good service, great food, wonderful friends and British cars made for a memorable afternoon. We look forward to our next club event!

Delray Beach Concours

During the weekend of June 16th and 17th, our club was invited to the 2nd Annual Delray Beach Concours d’Elegance at the historic Old School Square Great Lawn in downtown Delray Beach. The weekend included a Friday evening pre-show event and the Saturday Concours.

Michael Cohen, our Events Coordinator, worked with the producer of the event, and our club was assured a section for eight qualifying vintage/classic British cars. Due to the extreme heat that day and also threatening thundershowers, we had a small showing. However, those that did attend had a great time.
Congratulations, Michael, for winning the Sponsors Award in the British Car Class for your 1955 MG TF 1500! And thanks for a great effort and for supplying the photo!

Classic Cars in a field
Our British car section at the Delray Concours d’Elegance.
Photo by Michael Cohen

Lotus factory tour (the Hethel part)

Certainly not a local event, David and I recently had the opportunity to fulfill a dream and tour the Lotus factory and Classic Team Lotus in Hethel, England.
The 100,000 sq. ft. factory is relatively new and very modern. Scott, our excellent and knowledgeable guide, took us through the production of their current model, the Lotus Emira, from beginning to end. Until now, Lotus produced 1,500 cars per year with the Emira, they will be building 5,000 per year.

Our tour included chassis assembly, body bonding, the paint booth, final assembly, quality check and inspection. Some of the production is done by robots, always being guided and aided by skilled craftsmen, but much of the cars are still hand-made. Something as standard as seats were fascinating to see being built by hand and the detail and care that makes each one very special.
We walked down row after row on the assembly line, and each process was just as fascinating as the last. When the cars reach the final inspection, many tests are performed to ensure the high standard of quality in each Emira.

The Emira is the last combustion engine car that Lotus will build — most likely for about 10 more years, eventually being replaced by electrics.

Outside the factory, we walked by the famous 2.2-mile Lotus Test Track, which was refurbished in 2011 and is used to put Lotus’ high performance cars through their paces. Fortunately, we were able to see, although we could not hear, the newest Lotus creation, the all-electric Evija, which can attain an impressive top speed of 349kph or 217mph.

Thank you to our guide Scott for a great tour of the Lotus factory. It will hold very fond memories for us!

From the very new and modern, just across the road from the Lotus factory was the home of Classic Team Lotus, a separate business that is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Lotus racing legend. It is run by Clive Chapman.

Heritage on display at Classic Team Lotus.
Photo by Fran & David Zeitz

This time Richard Parramint, who has a very long and passionate association with Lotus, was our guide. Richard showed us a unique collection of some of the most historically significant race cars — the Lotus F1, John Player Special and Gold Leaf cars, driven by some of the most famous names in racing history — and we saw the cars driven by Emerson Fittipaldi, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Mario Andretti that achieved Lotus victories.

Richard explained in detail the differences in the race cars, including their configurations and innovative concepts (such as the monocoque construction) that led to their successes, which all began with creator Colin Chapman. Many of Chapman’s ideas can still be seen today in Formula 1 and other top-level motorsports such as the Indy 500.

Richard took us to Ketteringham Hall, close to the village of Hethel, which Chapman purchased in 1970. The Hall was used for the development of the F1 cars. Chapman was a designer with a knowledge of aeronautical engineering techniques, and his belief in lightness and simplicity was evident in all of his innovative designs.

Although Ketteringham Hall is now occupied by several businesses, it is still owned by the Chapman family, and we were still able to view the beautiful property and see the garages where Lotus race cars were born. Our many thanks go out to Richard Parramint for his gracious hospitality and extensive tour. We had a wonderful day.

Club news

Please visit our website,, where you will find information about the club, recent news, and announcements of upcoming events. And also check out our Facebook page. If you are interested in volunteering or attending a Board meeting, please let us know. Inquiries can be directed to our e-mail,

Enjoy your summer and your British cars!