Norfolk Tornado


I really like your color choice and that is what I plan to do. What is the exact color code and brand of paint? Is it a Guardsman Blue or something more special?

-Bob Woods
Andy, Being you're from Norfolk I couldn't help but wonder if the car might be painted green and yellow and not because the Lotus Factory must be nearby but because well, you're from Norfolk and I see Norwich beat my team Ipswich over the weekend...thus the reason I'm known as Tractorboy. Unsure if you're a footie fan or not but I watched the entire game and frankly, the better team won.

BTW your car is a lovely color blue and I mean that sincerely and its nothing to do with the fact my boys play in blue. Good Fortune in getting the last bits completed and seeing her on the road very soon.
Hi Bob,
I was originally aiming it paint it BMW Montreal Blue, but it ended being a very similar Suzuki colour, as I did a special deal with the painter. It’s a little darker and probably more metallic. I’ll get you the paint code next time I see him

Hi Jimmy,
A GT40 is traditional Lotus colours could have been interesting, but it always had to be Blue for me. I know exactly where the Lotus factory is – I’ve worked there for nearly 30 years! Consequently there’s been a lot of input from work colleagues on the Engineering side on how the car should be built. I always wondered on your Tractorboy name, I presumed you followed John Deere, or some other American manufacturer! I don’t follow football too closely, but we were shirt sponsor of Norwich up until last year, so I have to follow the local side
Andy, you must have been under some pressure to paint the car in traditional Lotus colours so I salute you for going with the blue. I'd like to hear more about factory input on "how the car should be built." Given you've worked for Lotus for 30 years I would think your cars handling should be better then many as few car company's can reach the levels of Lotus in that department. Any "extra" bits :lipsrsealed: on your car that other Tornado owners will never see?

I've always said the best handling car I've driven is a Lotus Europa. Stunning!

More photos when you can.
Hi Jim
A lot of the input from work colleagues was design direction on specific areas, such as the brakes, fuel tanks, the electrical system and the engine management system. However the biggest benefit I’ve had from being at Lotus believe has been the selection of parts and suppliers as well as seeing and understanding how Lotus put there cars together and how things should be done.

On the road!
Well it took it first tentative steps last Friday back to see the painter who is only a couple of miles from home. A misfire and difficult gear selection, meant that Saturday and Sunday was the start of the fettling process. The mis-fire traced to 2 leads being swopped (after I’d removed my IVA leads which had a couple a little too short) and another go at adjusting the gearshift selector. Another run out on Sunday afternoon to visit a couple of friends got the odometer over 30 miles

A few observations:
  • The dark blue paint is complemented really well with the chrome and black paint detail
  • It’s sounds gorgeous when the throttles are opened!
  • The EPAS works well, I added an override switch so can be disabled completely at cruising speeds if required
  • The ride is really compliant; the adjustable dampers were set at their midpoint setting as a starting point
  • The helicopter vents work really well
  • The cabin is quieter than I had anticipated
  • The sinter-plate clutch is very unforgiving and needs replacing for an organic, which will make road driving easier
  • It attracted attention; people keep looking at it, pointing and taking photos – I’m still at the stage of wondering what they’ve seen failing off!
  • Trucks have really big wheels when you’re in a ’40!
  • It’s not a modern car, which you just get in and drive. After you’ve got in, making sure the gear lever doesn’t go up the leg of your trousers, the engine needs warming whilst belts are installed and the steering wheel re-fitted
There’s still a list of things that still need doing (speedo calibration, tri-lobe spinners, charge A/C. finish the engine mapping, suspension set-up etc)
A few pictures taken on a cloudy day
So there you have it, just under 7 years work to get it to this stage. Am I pleased with it – too right.


Looks great, nice job. I’m just a bit behind you now, but I suspect by the time I get the paint finished on mine, then re-assembled, I will have missed the summer! I think I will be in the same place as you re fettling and bits that go wrong. Is that the fun of it?????
Hi Andy,

I must congratulate you on a first class job. With your well planned layout and attention to detail it looks so easy............ If only!:bow:

Very nice Andy....truly, top work mate. Will you be taking her to the meeting just outside Diss? Those are my old stomping grounds where I'd drive the wheels off my 67 Cooper S way back when I was a lad. Great days for me. BTW, loved your lable over the start button. Does it say NOISE!!?

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Well done Andy! Looking good. I've been quietly watching from the sidelines and know what effort you put into this, and pleased to see another happy chappy reach the fruition of his dream.
Dave Bilyk
Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly been getting the miles on the car. The same misfire I had when we ran the engine on the dyno was apparent again, but the solution has been identified, but a permanent solution yet to be implemented. A larger master cylinder has improved the clutch actuation and more adjustment on the gearshift has improved the overall system. The headlamps are OK for unlit Norfolk roads, but I couldn’t use main beam as the LED warning light is far too bright – another job on the list.

I took it to work a couple of times last week and it was well received by my work colleagues. My friend also drove in his race prepared, but road registered Lotus 23 for comparison and we did a mini photo shoot including another colleague’s Triumph Bonneville.

Also a few other finishing touches and Jim we met up at the Scole Inn, which hasn’t changed since you were around these parts and it does say ‘NOISE’ next to the starter button!



Well done andy you must be pleased.
Now this doesn't mean your will be able to sit back, your be tinkering for many a day yet.
Nice job
Regards keith
Over the last few months and the lead-up the Christmas, the ’40 has now covered 500 miles and is being slowly de-bugged and the winter re-work list developed.

During this period, the calibration has been further refined. As I’m running a wide-band lambda sensor, we’ve been able to lean the fuelling off at the part-load cruise speeds to improve the fuel consumption – not that I’ve noticed though

I’ve also had a lot of the front paintwork and around the wheel arches covered with paint protection film. As the paint has been one of the biggest investments in the car, a few more pounds spent here seems worthwhile

Now the clutch has bedded in and I’ve now got used to it there’s no need to change it. A lot of my original issues with it mainly due to the gear shift gate not being set up correctly and I’d been using 3rd gear to pull away in!

Jobs over the winter include:
  • Remake a couple of the exhaust headers, as I’ve got one too close to the trailing arm
  • New silencers – a little more rortiness won’t go amiss on a car like this!
  • Brighter headlamps – probably a HID bi-xeon conversion
  • New mechanical oil pressure gauge. The original install uses an electrical sensor and keeps dropping to zero! Fortunately the oil pressure warning light switch is mounted next to the gauge sensor and doesn’t come on, so I know it’s a sensor/electrical issue
  • New front lower wishbones – to replace the Tornado ones which bend
  • Front & rear towing eyes
  • Get the A/C system charged & working
  • Safety check on all fasteners
Other jobs include building a replica engine of mine for Tony Browne’s KVA. With this and work overseas (writing this in Malaysia again), the wife’s never going to get the new bathroom I’ve promised her.



Love the FORD letters on the front clip, I wanted to get some for my car but all the letters seemed to have posts behind them which required drilling the body. Are yours like that or did you find some that stick on?