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Did you attend Lotus’s 70th anniversary celebrations? The car maker wants your feedback

Activity around the Classic Team Lotus F1 racing cars at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Activity around the Classic Team Lotus F1 racing cars at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Public birthday celebrations could become an annual occurrence for Norfolk car maker Lotus as it seeks views on its recent 70th anniversary event.

A parade featuring road and race cars made by the company, a show of Lotus owners’ vehicles, and a display from a museum dedicated to legendary Lotus racing driver Jim Clark were among the highlights of the celebration at its Hethel headquarters on September 29.

The event was attended by 7,500 people, including Lotus employees and their families.

According to the company there were 1,370 Lotus cars on site, including examples of almost all its road cars from an early 1950s Mark Six to a current-day Evora GT430, and in total 699 cars took part in the final parade around its 2.2-mile test track. There were also seven Lotus 110 bikes on the track.

Following the event’s positive reception, the iconic manufacturer – founded by engineering pioneer Colin Chapman – wants to gather feedback from those who attended to see if there is an appetite for an annual event at its factory.

Lotus enthusiasts at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLotus enthusiasts at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marcus Blake, Group Lotus’ commercial director, said: “We absolutely want to see everyone again next year.

“Firstly we want everyone’s feedback. Comments online, on social posts, we want to hear it all from everyone who attended and hear what they thought.”

The anniversary celebrations came as the firm’s Chinese parent company, Geeley, revealed plans for a multi-million pound investment at the Hethel site.

Submitted to South Norfolk Council at the end of September, the proposals are intended to transform the 100-acre site into a global destination for Lotus fans, with a customer experience centre, heritage centre, museum and a modern restaurant for staff and visitors.

The planning application also includes the renovation of some of Hethel’s historic sections.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, Group Lotus’ chief executive officer Feng Qingfeng said Hethel was “rightly at the centre of the brand” and that the changes could secure the company’s future at the site for the next 50 years.

“The progress of these developments at Hethel demonstrates our commitment to Lotus and its bright future,” he said. “Hethel is, and always will be, at the heart of Lotus.”

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