I no longer recall where I met Beck. Or how long it took me to find out it was actually not his first name, and it was actually spelled Boeck. His first name is actually Ulrich. But he looks like a Beck.

Beck s the kind of guy that will drop whatever he is doing to help friends. Literally. There was a time that I needed to bleed the cooling system on my long lamented 98 Esprit and Beck abandoned a wedding to help me attend my car. There was another time I gave him a box of unmarked parts that, we hoped, when assembled a Renault UN-1 gearbox suitable for that same Esprit. When he was done with it, it sure as hell did…


It’s not just cars. Beck is the guy you want in a room when the scotch is flowing. If it isn’t, and he has some, he’ll share the last bit with you. Easy friend to have, him…

Anyway, I was set to perform some mischief in my Esprit on Sunday, and the damn thing wouldn’t fire. I thought the starter had seized, but wanted to confirm this by testing the starter relay. Beck was the man for the job, and we agreed to visit the issue today.

You can never say you know an Esprit until you have begin reducing it to its elemental parts. Thank god a new owner never has to wait long to have that feeling, and I had mine tonight.

As it turns out it wasn’t the starter at all. Who knew that a tatty little battery warning lamp could complete the circuit to the alternator…(well, thank god Beck did…) and that if it was burnt out that the battery would fail. We also found 2 blown fuses. All in, it was a bloodless adventure. We were done in a couple of hours, and no band aids needed. In fact, we got away with a single can of Fosters Lager (speaking of economy…)

I plan to drive it tomorrow…

This is going to sound odd to people that require automobiles to transport them somewhere, and it’s true that I bitch like Elizabeth Taylor with a toothache while I am looking at a broken car, but a part of me loves the quirks. I don’t know why. Because they need attention, a good owner ends up feeling closer to his car than say, a BMW driver who never does anything but drive it..

I am hopeless convinced that Lotus cars are the soul of Motorsport. Why else would otherwise rational people carry on like this?