So normally you wouldn’t be able to order this color from Lotus?
Yes and no. In my case, it was easier because I ordered the vehicle after Brexit. Since the UK is no longer part of the EU, it no longer falls under EU guidelines, which made the color strictly speaking legally possible. But even so, it was not that easy to convince Lotus to deliver a car in that color. I sent Matt Windle, the Lotus CEO, emails for something like a year, constantly asking for permission to have this color precisely because it is so closely linked to the brand’smotorsport history.
What was the problem?
In part the manufacturer’s guidelines for quality. The color is extremely unstable, meaning it is not very resistant to UV radiation, for example.
How were you able to convince Lotus to give you the color anyway?
It was quite simple, really. “Matt,” I said, “don’t you think that the last Elise built should leave Lotus with a glow?” I further backed up my argument by making the comparison to designer furniture, like an Eames Lounge Chair, which also changes with time. The leather looks different ten years later than on the first day. But that doesn’t make the chair any less desirable. On the contrary. I would argue that with design classics like the Eames or a Barcelona chair an original is much more desirable than a new edition or a current collection. And the patina on an armchair like that is comparable to that of an automobile. We are now living in a world where people cultivate a certain mileage or kilometer cult – they pick up their cars and put them in a museum. I want to do things differently. I believe that a car has to be driven. And when you drive it, you’ll end up with a scar or two. There’s no avoiding some minor stone chips and you can’t keep the color from fading. That’s life. Every little thing is part of the story. The car is a living work of art.