1965 Lotus 38

During a visit to Ford’s home town of Detroit, Flewitt visited the famous Henry Ford Museum, an experience that he says causes this list of a dozen cars to take “a big step in a strange direction”. Among the exhibits he spied was the famous Ford V8-engined Lotus 38 single-seater in which Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, comprehensively beating all of the traditional Offenhauser front-engined Indy ‘roadsters’.

“I was simply blown away by that car,” says Flewitt, “to the extent that if you asked me today to pick one car in the world, that would be it. Between them, Clark’s skill and the performance of the Lotus 38 simply turned the Indy world upside down. I don’t think a traditional roadster ever won there again.”

1964 Lotus Elan S1

Back at Ford, Flewitt’s accelerating career trajectory couldn’t curb his love of Lotus. In 2005, he bought an original Elan, yellow in colour, with the aim of “restoring it as if it were just driving out of the garage in 1964”. That meant no radio, standard 4.5in rims and even the optional Irvin seatbelts made from parachute webbing (extortionately available at £300 per set).

This purchase introduced Flewitt to Lotus expert and subsequent racing partner Neil Myers, whose father Ken ran a Lotus dealership in Northampton for many years. Neil, a successful kart and Formula Ford 2000 racer, restored the Elan over about a year, and it still holds pride of place in Flewitt’s garage.

“The Elan is the last car I would sell,” says the proud owner. “It’s magnificent to drive – light, agile, perfectly balanced – and the ride quality is amazing. But it’s not a pampered car. I’ve driven it quite a lot this year. We’ve done track days, driven it to Belgium, used it as we want to. It’s still in great condition but, as Neil says, we can always restore it again.”

1963 Lotus Elan S1 Racer

The Flewitts’ love of Elans and their Myers connection moved them into racing, with a beautifully restored lightweight Elan, a year older than that original S1. “It has a Bourne-built lightweight body,” explains Flewitt, “which we restored to road specification, then evolved into a race car along lines defined for Lotus dealers before the much better-known 26R appeared. It’s earlier than a 26R and, to me, more special.

“What’s significant is that it got Mia and me into racing – my first race was on the Silverstone National Circuit in 2015 – which was something I had always wanted to do, and it was wonderful.