British Motor Museums

21st December 2018

Lotus 70th Anniversary

An important personal collection of drawings and documents by Lotus sports car designer Ron Hickman has been donated to the National Motor Museum Trust at Beaulieu. More than 100 sketches and concept drawings, as well as numerous reference photographs and documents have been donated to the Trust by his widow Helen, following his death at the age of 78 in 2011.

Born in South Africa in 1932, Hickman trained in law before moving to England in 1954, taking up a design post in Ford’s Dagenham design studio. After meeting Lotus company founder Colin Chapman in the mid-1950s, Ron left Ford to become an integral part of the Lotus design team.

Heavily involved with the creation of the 1957 Lotus Elite, Hickman later masterminded the iconic 1962 Lotus Elan with Chapman, which became one of the most revered sports cars of the ‘60s. His later efforts included the Lotus Europa and Elan 2+2

Lotus has unveiled the latest stage in its investment plan, which will see the 100 acre site undergo extensive development and renovation work.

With a new Customer Experience Centre, Heritage Centre and Museum planned, the British marque has outlined a bold vision for its future at the famous Hethel facility, its home for over 50 years. The plans were unveiled just ahead of the company’s 70th celebrations in Norfolk, marking the anniversary of the founding of Lotus by engineering genius Colin Chapman.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, Group Lotus’ chief executive officer, Mr. Feng Qingfeng said: “The progress of these developments at Hethel demonstrates our commitment to Lotus and its bright future. Hethel is rightly the centre of the brand and what better place for customers, aspiring owners and staff to experience our values? Hethel is, and will always be, the heart of Lotus and our plans are the next step in readying the site for the next 50 years.”


Ron Hickman with his Lotus
Lotus Elan
Lotus Elise

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