Mike Boyle (right) with his son Colin and wife Veronica

CRUISE-IN: Langley driver loves Lotuses

Every week as the Langley Good Times Cruise-In approaches, we’ll feature one car buff answering our questions..

Name: Mike Boyle

Resides in: White Rock, although my wife and I both grew up in Langley.

What is your current ride? Three different models of Lotus: 1973 Europa, 1997 Esprit V8 and 2010 Elise. I’ve had them since 1977, 2003 and 2010, respectively.

First car? ’63 Pontiac Parisienne.

Worst car ever. What made it the worst car? My wife’s first car – ’74 AMC Gremlin. An all-round candidate for automotive euthanasia.

Tell us about your longest project, start to finish. I just got the Esprit back this week after a re-paint project that started in January. The first painter bailed out on me and it took time for the guy who ended up doing it to get a good colour match. Taking the car apart and reassembly after painting was done through a Lotus specialist in Richmond. Another way to look at it is that I like to drive the cars regularly so there is always maintenance work. I’ve had the Europa for 38 years and can still find something to do on it.

What makes you reach for the swear jar? Dropping a part and watching it bounce into an opening that looks too small for the part to go into, but isn’t.

What’s your perfect drive? A twisty mountain road.

If money was no object, what car would be in your garage tomorrow? McLaren F1.

Need for speed or quiet country roads? Why? Both. Sometimes it’s time to go fast and sometimes it isn’t.

Are you a regular at Langley Good Times Cruise-In, and why or why not? Yes. More often than not I take the Esprit – there usually aren’t many British or mid-engine cars at Cruise-In but the V8 motor helps it fit in.

What does your spouse think of your hobby? She usually enjoys coming along for the ride.  We get in a three- or four-day road trip each year.

Maximum number of cars you’ve owned at one time? Four.

Most memorable road trip? This is a memorable moment from an otherwise uneventful drive back from Calgary a few years ago.

I was west of Golden, B.C. as the sun was breaking through the clouds after a brief but heavy rainfall. The road was still very wet and the tires were kicking up a lot of spray that caught the sunlight at a fairly low angle. When I looked in the mirrors I had my own private rainbow trailing from the rear spoiler and going back two or three car lengths behind. It lasted over 10 minutes but unfortunately, did not leave a pot of gold in the trunk

Oddest question you’ve been asked at car shows? A fairly common exchange:

“What kind of car is that?”

“It’s a Lotus.”

“Oh. Who makes Lotus?”

“Lotus does.”

Which is better – driving a car or working in the garage? Driving.

Most costly project? A partial restoration of the Europa back in 1997. Bodywork, paint and interior work cost about the same total dollars as repainting the Esprit this year but if you account for 18 years of inflation it cost more. It’s also getting to the point that some of it needs re-doing soon.

 

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