I was in a rathskeller in Indianapolis a few years ago at a Lotus Owners Group ( http://www.lotuscarclub.org/ ) event hosted by the remarkable local club (Club House For Indianapolis Lotus Lovers, or CHILL for short… http://www.indylotuscars.com/home.html ) waiting for friends to show up and I noticed an older fellow sitting alone in the crowd. He looked familiar, so I walked up, stuck out my hand, and introduced myself. He smiled and confirmed my suspicion that he was, indeed, the legendary Lotus Racing mechanic Bob Dance.

I immediately asked him if he would like a pint, and to my amazement, he agreed and the hour and a half of occasionally extremely funny stories about life with Team Lotus remain a highlight of my ownership experience. (I mean, how many people can say that A.J. Foyt threw them out of his garage at the Brickyard…)

The story makes a couple of things obvious to me. First, if you aren’t active in a Lotus club at some point, you ought to be. I was a board member for a spell, and the people I met, and things I participated in will stay with me for the rest of my life. Second, how the predominantly “Elise” crowd could let a guy like Bob sit there unattended is way beyond me. Sadly, at the moment, the biggest asset Lotus has is nostalgia, and car owners are the curators of that. It seems to me like there is a pre Elise and post Elise culture that really haven’t come together, and that’s sad.

I’m sure I’ve blogged about it before but being a part of the community is a huge part of the ownership experience. There isn’t a company more open to its enthusiasts and that’s an offer sadly underutilized.

Anyway, I believe that Bob will be back this year at LOG, and I hope there are people there as passionate as the history of the company as I am, or, at least as willing to pop for the pints.

He deserves so much more.