Hello, I'm James Martin. Not the cook. I am a lucky man. Scratch that, very lucky. I've been fortunate enough to have driven a huge variety of machinery - two wheeled and four - over the last ten years or so. I've driven machines with capacities from 50cc to 6.2L, one through twelve cylinders. I've driven around the world. I've been behind the wheel of Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, you get the idea - I've driven a couple of cars. I'm not a journalist, I've just been in the right place at the right time more than once.
So, when I get in a car with an expectation, it really has to deliver. I drove my first Lotus ever in February of this year. It was a 2011 Evora S. Probably not the car which springs to mind when you think Lotus. Now, Lotus have a reputation for a few things... but on the positive side they are known as being THE guys for handling.
So, when I got in this car, it was a cold and damp day. I'd just gotten out of my E46 M3 (a performance icon, let's be honest). The roads were awful. I didn't know them. I didn't know the car. But within sixty seconds I just clicked with the car. It just worked. It has been called "steering by telepathy" by others and that isn't really as much of an exaggeration as it sounds. It was wonderful. I was hooked, instantly.
Over six months later, I now own three Lotus - a 2016 Evora 400, a 2005 Elise 111R and a 1989 Excel SE. Each has its own character and personality, but each is a superb drivers car. I love them. More than that, I love the people I've met whilst owning them and exploring them. Motorcyclists will be familiar with the approving nod or wave as you pass each other. I've never had that in a Porsche, but I get it every time I see another Lotus. It really is a family.
Since I took ownership of my first car, I've been on a crusade to raise awareness of these criminally underrated cars. So I've been making videos, going to meets, talking to people, it's been a hell of a ride and it's only just beginning.
So I want to invite you all to become a part of my little corner of DRIVETRIBE - do you own a Lotus? Tell us about it! Have you got a great story about that one time your Uncle spun an Elise on a track day? Pictures please! You don't need to own a Lotus to join, you just need to love driving. That's The Lotus Condition. Welcome.