Lotus Elan

RIP Ron Hickman

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:43 am

Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:01 pm

This piece on Ron appeared in the much-missed Supercar Classics magazine in October 1987.

Tim

PS Sorry, I've loaded the pages back to front, so start at the bottom and work upwards!
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Supercar Classics Hickman P6.jpg and
Supercar Classics Hickman P5.jpg and
Supercar Classics Hickman P4.jpg and
Supercar Classics Hickman P3.jpg and
Supercar Classics Hickman P2.jpg and
Supercar Classics Hickman P1.jpg and
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PostPost by: tvacc » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:00 pm

I met Ron at the Lotus Owners Gathering in CT as I recall. I think it was LOG 11 or maybe LOG 14. REally nice guy and always was ready to talk Lotus. I spent about 2 hours talking to him.

He had seen me drive up in my Caterham, sans hood in the rain, and he asked me if I would ever buy a car without weather equipment. I always thought he would come out with a mimalist car, like what we know as the Atom or Xbow today. This was in the 90's so he was again, way ahead of his time. I never saw anything however.

I remember him telling me a few things. How he went down to the shop floor at Lotus and saw that the people were spending hours and hours trying to fix the bottom of the doors on the Elan. They just were not fitting. He told them to send the cars out the way they were. He it was a bad design. Then he said that it took him quite a bit to design the hood attachment on the front of the Elan. He was obviously very proud of that design.

And I believe he was the one that told me the black badge story. We asked him about the Black badges. He said that one day Colin asked him to order new nose badges. He put out several quotes. The one that came back the cheapest was the black one. He showed it to Colin and I think Rons words to me were. "I showed it to Colin and he liked it, told him it was cheaper and the ol man was really keen on that."

I wish I could remember more. I will think on it and see what I can recall.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:04 pm

From BBC Jersey:

"Tribute paid to car designer and inventor Ron Hickman

The car manufacturer Lotus has paid tribute to former employee and Jersey based inventor Ron Hickman.
Mr Hickman died in hospital in the island on Thursday after a long illness. He was 78.
He was best known for designing the Lotus Elan sports car and later the Black and Decker Workmate.
Alastair Florance, from Lotus, said Mr Hickman was a "very good designer", and the Elan demonstrated his design capabilities."

He was a very good designer!!! That's the best you can do... Geez & Chapman was OK as well.

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RIP Ron

p.s. Tim thanks for posting that great article.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:04 pm

RIP my friend!

Most of us know him, many of us have his Workmate. I didn't give it much thought till now that for years I've been using my Workmate to hold numerous Lotus Parts as I restore them.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:12 pm

pharriso, Do you think I could use that picture on the LOONY site? Do I need to get in touch with the photographer?
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:04 pm

tvacc wrote:pharriso, Do you think I could use that picture on the LOONY site? Do I need to get in touch with the photographer?


You have a PM
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Here is another quote from Lotus Group PR honcho Alastair Florence:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/lotus-in-talks-with-proton-over-linkup-1359772.html

By his words, ye may judge him.
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Tim,

Many thanks for posting that article from Supercar Classics. What struck me was the fact that he put a rope swing in his swimming pool! How cool is that? Only a guy like Ron Hickman would think of something like that.

From the looks of his home overlooking the ocean, it appears that he was well rewarded by the Workmate. It's comforting to know that he lived out his life enjoying the fruits of his labor and it's nice to know that at least one company rewarded him monetarily for his efforts.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:18 pm

Ron designed the house and fixtures; it was very "modern" for the time, full of quirky gizmos. He was a big fan of swimming naked. :D
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:20 pm

We had a nice 54 degree day today so I got the Elan out of the garage and did a nice 30 mile loop up the canyons west of Denver and thought about how much I owe Ron Hickman. Thank you sir for being a " very good designer". :oops: Coming down a divided four lane winding canyon road posted at 40 mph in my 45 year old car with "inadequate" S rated tires at about 60, I passed a couple of modern hot hatches on the outside and an Audi A4 on the inside and never accelerated or braked for the entire five mile serpentine. Yeah...he was "a very good designer and the Elan demonstrated his design capabilities" Indeed!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:39 am

For about the first 10 years of my Elan ownership my only place to do mechanical work was on a Workmate with a vice bolted to one end and I did the total rebuild of the Elan back in the early 80's on it jammed in a narrow space at the end of my garage

I only discovered Ron designed the Workmate later but somehow it seemed to fit as the perfect piece of equipment for an Elan rebuild :D

I met Ron once when he was out in Australia a few years ago at a Lotus Club national meeting and I was lucky enough to get his signature on a Elan and Plus 2 poster.

Ron left us with some truely inspiring cars

Regards
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:33 am

Log14 signatures

Ron's on the left
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:40 am

Gary,

Well I guess that's one crash pad that will never be refinished. :D
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PostPost by: elan_fan » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Another link to the Chapman days gone :(

Perhaps we should have a memorial run later in the year


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