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Weekly Motor Fix: the little Lotus from the big screen

7 September, 2015


Unlike our more hipsterish brothers over at NZ Performance Car, elderly classic car editors don’t often get to the movies. So you’ll have to forgive us for mentioning a movie that, although it came out a few years back, we only just saw for the first time a few days ago — Red 2. Well, actually, we really only watched the bit with the Lotus Exige S. And while the subsequent car chase was very good — taking full advantage of the Exige’s compact size to duck under barriers, dive between the axles of a container truck, and allow a spot of seriously cool drive-by gunplay — what really caught our attention was the scene where Dame Helen Mirren actually swept aboard the Lotus.

If you’ve ever crawled into the cramped cabin of an Exige — as we at New Zealand Classic Car have many times — you’ll instantly be aware that a spot of ‘movie magic’ was quite obviously involved during the filming of the aforementioned scene.

Our seasoned editor is almost 10 years younger than Helen Mirren — who was knocking on the door of 70 when she appeared in Red 2 — but he struggles to cram himself into an Exige with any degree of dignity, as can be seen in our photograph (an image that also explains why he rarely, if ever, puts the hood up on the editorial Elise).

Photo: sourced

Alright, Helen Mirren does appear to be rather better preserved than our editor (not to mention a whole lot better looking), but are we really expected to believe that an over-aged pensioner film star can demonstrate the flexibility of a teenager by diving into the cockpit of an Exige with such remarkable split-second speed?!

Ah, if only we could all utilize jump cuts to cover up those awkward, real-life moments!

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?