It was the 14th of march, we had the pleasure of having the Lotus Club of Queensland around to our workshop.
One of our major projects we are making progress through is one of Australia's rarest Lotus sports cars, a 1955 Lotus Eleven Series 1.
Craig Wilson, former president of the Lotus club was a big help in the organisation of the day. We want to give Craig a big thank you for all your help with making this workshop tour happen for everyone.
The day started with a catch up meet and greet with the Automotive Craftsmen team. We love meeting the enthusiasts of the car world. The experiences each member has, no matter how big or small, it is always a good time listening to and sharing stories. Finding out how small the world really is. Building relationships and sharing the addictive passion for cars we have.
Some Coffee and Snacks including Luke’s wife's homemade brownie, always a favourite whenever she gets the baking trays out! Put down the instant coffee when we have in house espresso coffee!
As the coffee machines were fired up, the guest stars started to arrive in their hand made classic cars. We had Tony Galletly in his 1958 Lotus Eleven Series 2. This car is a beautiful example of British hand crafted minimalism. Built with only what was needed to make a mind blowingly fast vintage supercar! Each part hand polished to mirror like perfection. Even the parts you can’t see are polished and he has the pictures to prove it! Tony has gone to the enth degree, making every component as close to original as possible, taking today's safety into consideration. He drives this car with pride quite often and it is always a pleasure seeing this car in person. Tony, thank you for your help with the workshop tour and showing of the car you put so much time and energy into.
The next guest star arrival was Wolf Grodd and his 1925 Lorraine Detritch. His smoky blue French beauty is a very special car to us at Automotive Craftsmen. This Vintage Le Mans competitor was meticulously restored at Wolf’s company, ‘Sleeping Beauties’. We had the pleasure of working with Wolf to restore this wonder of a car by redesigning and fabricating the alloy body skins. The polished finish of the deck lid and cabin surround gleamed in the sunlight while people were blown away by Wolf’s era appropriate attire. He was dressed to impress in 1920s F1 racing leathers, goggles and fingerless gloves. People knew this was a car that won't be forgotten any time soon. A big thank you to Wolf and Lea for getting the Lorraine out and coming down to our workshop tour. We can’t forget George and Ringo, the car enthusiast K9’s!
Both of these cars and owners share the passion for perfection as we do. Given the option to hide away their works of art or get them out on display, they would always be out for the world to see. That's what we love to do and have a strong desire to continue into the future. Sharing our craft is a fulfilling experience we would love to share with the world one day.
This brings us to the main event of the day; Alister, Adam and Luke introduced themselves and their part in making Automotive Craftsmen the reality we share today. Then Adam and Luke performed a live demonstration of hand forming aluminium in front of the Lotus club.
They recreated a section of Lotus Eleven front guard, showing each of the stages required to hand fabricate a sheet metal panel. People were amazed at the skill Adam and Luke have learned over the years studying the craft. Luke narrated the process as Adam worked away. The once flat sheet of alloy slowly transforms into a distinguished section of the Lotus headlight with each blow of the hammer before moving onto the English wheel demonstration. The lumpy hammered section of front guard then smoothed out to become a polished mirror in front of the audience's eyes. This brief 25 minute demonstration showed us the appreciation everyone had for our craft and further reinforcing our drive to sharing it with others.
Today, disposable items become a more essential part of the automotive industry and ripping apart the need for traditional hand craftsmanship, so the knowledge is slowly disappearing. There is little exposure of the trade skills for you to experience. Our mission is to get out there and show people that this work still exists with the hope that the generations of tomorrow will continue to share the passion and knowledge of working with their hand on these beautiful cars. Giving these hand made icons of the past a chance to see the future. We would love your help to share our message and give the people you know a chance to see what we do. Let’s get excited to tell our friends so we can keep this craft alive and make it known to the people and cars that need it. We hope to see you at one of our events in the not too distant future.