Lotus Elan

Christopher Neil Ltd

PostPost by: Coupe » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:34 pm

:Cross posted from SELOC Forum:

Christopher Neil Ltd

Dear Forum Members,

I write to inform you of some further sad news from us here at Christopher Neil's.

Unfortunately Neil Shepherdson, our beloved owner, passed away recently after his brave and courageous battle with cancer. Neil was diagnosed shortly before the tragic death of his son Ben last September and it really has been the most terrible period of time for Neil's family and his friends here.

Neil was passionate about sports cars and in particular Lotus. His association with the brand dates back to the 1970's when he dismantled old Lotus and sold the parts. This ultimately resulted in him selling the cars themselves and setting up his first showroom on Middlewich Road in Northwich.

The business grew from strength to strength and TVR was added to the portfolio in the 1980's before he built our new showroom on Manchester Road at the end of the 1990's. Whilst we had specialised in selling Lotus cars, we only in fact gained the Full Lotus franchise in 2002. This really was a dream come true for Neil and he went on to build one of the most respected Lotus dealerships in the country.

Neil was an amazing person with a natural ability to run a successful business. He was a great friend to many of us and will be sorely missed.

As many of you will be aware, Neil took the decision to cease selling Lotus following the death of Ben in an Elise. This decision was taken in very difficult circumstances and was fully supported by us all at the time and in the subsequent months.

We have spent much time considering what Neil's legacy should be and in what way we continue his lifetimes work. This has involved some real soul searching for Neil's family and for our staff . We have taken our lead from the family who have taken the decision to resume selling Lotus cars.

Neil built his business on his passion for Lotus and his love for the cars was shared by Ben. Whilst the circumstances are tragic, the brand was not to blame for the accident. It has become evident over the months that the absence of the cars is more painful to us all than their presence in the showroom.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we always said we would support the family in whatever way we could. They feel the time is now right to move forwards and we agree. Neil's favourite quote was "onwards and upwards" and so we carry on in his footsteps.

We have now started restocking used cars and hope to be in position to offer new cars again in the near future, subject to Lotus' agreement.

We look forward to welcoming faces old and new back to our showroom.

Kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Jarratt
Managing Director

Oakmere Motor Group
inc Christopher Neil
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PostPost by: silverlink » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:54 pm

Sad news indeed,
My condolences to Neil's family at this time.
I remember well visiting Christopher Neil's when they ran their business from an old mill in Stockport followed by occasional visits to Northwich as well as much mail order from them. I still have some of the parts and price lists from the 70's which makes interesting reading today.
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:54 am

Very sad to hear. Christopher Neil were essential allies in my restoration of a +2 back in the '80s. Real enthusiasts, and very helpful for this antipodean visitor collecting his order of spares to stash away in checked in luggage for my return to Sydney. Also found out the hard way that Norwich and Northwich are different places and a damn long way apart!

Well worth supporting, if they get back into the lotus spares world.

Last edited by robertverhey on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:05 pm

robertverhey wrote: Also found out the hard way that Norwich and Northwich are different places and a damn long way apart!

Like Nuremberg and Nurburgring :oops:

I'm genuinely sorry to hear of Neil's passing. CN's were very helpful to me back in my early Lotus days and I spent many a "happy" day trunding up and down the M6 on a motorcycle spending the mortgage money on parts for the Elan.

My condolences to Neil's family.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:52 pm

My 1st ever drive of an ?lan was one at CN's in 1995. An s4 soft-top it was Ok but I have to say most of the staff there were focussing more on the TVR side so couldn't really answer many questions !!!

Interesting place to visit though & his pride & joy Sprint was in the showroom lobby.

So a sad day when another one from the old days passes away. Condolences to the family.
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PostPost by: jimj » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:05 pm

Wasn`t this about 18 months ago, certainly last year.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:43 pm

No Jim that was his son - this is the Dad.....

Sad all round really

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PostPost by: TeeJay » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:52 pm

Tragically last September, 2013, it was Ben that lost his life, who was Neil's son.
This is about Neil Shepherdson, an owner of Christopher Neil's.

I remember well his first showroom in Middleweight Road, spent many happy hour there getting parts for my +2. It was on the road then and more recently at Manchester Road, for parts for my "nuts & bolts" complete restoration.

Very very sad, my deep condolences to his family.

PS, Just seen Richards post.
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