We owned a 1990 Vauxhall Lotus Carlton... for 24 hours
This is one of the more, um, peculiar stories that I have to tell.
Written by: Rahil Hashmi
It had a 3.6L twin-turbocharged I6 engine that produced a sum of 377hp- now that’s good even for today’s standards but for 1990, it was absolutely mind boggling!
Top speed was 176mph and it could do 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds. To put that into perspeClive, the then super hot supercar was the Ferrari 348 and the fastest variant of the 348 had 316hp and it got from 0-62mph on 5.5 seconds. This meant that you could get supercar performance for pretty decent money and whilst you were overtaking the morons in their Ferraris and Porsches, you could have a conversation with three of your mates in the car- it was absolutely extraordinary.
Image credit: Vauxpedia
If you want to buy a Lotus Carlton now in the UK, you’ll have to find £120k hiding at the back of your sofa because, unlike a lot of other vehicles from 1990, the Lotus Carlton is now seen as a classic and it’s not hard to see why.
Image credit: carandclassic.co.uk
The story behind the car is just legendary and, because all the power is fed to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox, it is a true driver’s car.
Now, onto how my mum owned one for 24 hours...
It was the year 2000 and my mum had finally gathered enough money to upgrade from that God awful green Focus she had so she bought a Lotus Carlton. At the time, it was a 10 year-old car meaning that a lot of people didn’t think anything of it.
My mum actually drove it once and that was when she test drove it but, when the car was delivered to her house, she made the worst decision of her life: she let my uncle drive it.
The funny thing is that she knew about my uncle’s, um, lack of skill behind the wheel and she still let him drive the thing and let me remind you that she herself hadn’t driven the car apart from when she tested it.
My mum wasn’t worried at all which is why, 9 hours after giving the keys to my uncle, she phoned in an attempt to warn him about an accident that had happened on the motorway and she even made a remark about the “idiot that caused the bloody accident”. For obvious reasons, he didn’t pick up- my mum didn’t think much of this, she just thought that my uncle’s phone was dead but after 10 minutes or so, she saw that the car involved in the accident was a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton.
She couldn’t do anything because the Highway Patrol had basically blocked the scene of the accident and even if they hadn’t, she still would have to have endured the 4 hour traffic jam caused by my uncle.
I mean bloody hell, some of them even drive about in Peugeots!
Luckily, my uncle was hospitalised and yes, that isn’t usually a good thing but trust me when my uncle and I say that it was. It was a good thing because, although my uncle wasn’t dead, my mum’s “precious” was. This meant that hurricane mum had been unleashed.....
But then she found out that my uncle was hospitalise and so hurricane mum switched to the overly-sympathetic sister and by the time my uncle had fully recovered, my mum simply didn’t care about the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton.
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