The mystery of the fiberglass rollerskate

It’s a Lotus mystery 18 years in the making but maybe you could help…

Long story short, back when I had a head full of hair and a face that started it’s punch up with puberty my dad was on the hunt for a Lotus. It was the late 80’s, early 90’s and dear old dad was on the search for his own slice of automotive glory in the form of a Lotus…something. The model sadly I don’t recall – what I do remember though was that he put in a call to a contact who ran a couple of car yards back in the day who couldn’t find one at that time.

The only clue to go on? “It’s nickname was the “fiberglass roller skate”.

Now as clues go, that one’s pretty vague to be honest. It’s been a while since anyone has called anything a roller skate and Dad never made it clear whether it was a popular nickname around car circles at that time or one he just decided to creatively make up on the day.

According to it could be the original British Club Racer the Mark IV Lotus Seven, the precursor to the Caterham Seven.

Lotus Seven
Sure looks like a roller skate..

A couple of niggling doubts about this one though – at the time Dad was using a Datsun 260Z as a family car (yes you can fit two small kids in the back amazingly) and I couldn’t see him swapping out his 2+2 for a ‘just two and no room for anything else’ leaving mum’s Mazda 323 to ship everyone around. Also apart from some early Escort racing in his early 20’s, I never heard of any plans to heard back to the track which is where this Lotus would really excel.

However after a quick chat to the incredibly helpful Clive Wade, president of the Lotus Club Queensland, he suggested that it might have been the Lotus Elite that Dad may have had a hankering for:

Room for the kids..but does it look like a roller skate?

It was the first thing that sprang to Clive’s mind when I mentioned the nickname – being a fiberglass hatchback body shell although he’d never head it called (nor any other Lotus) a roller skate. The other option he had was possibly a classic Lotus Elan:


Could it have been a Lotus Europa? That also had fiber glass. Same with the Lotus Esprit. (Come to think of it, the Esprit would be the kind of car I could quite easily see him fitting into more than an Elan – he was 6’3″..)

So yeah internet, I’m a bit stuck. While I’m not on a mission to buy one myself, I’d be keen to finally put this mystery to bed as about once a year I suddenly find myself (usually in a situation that has nothing to do with cars) wondering which car he was talking about. The rest of  the family were none the wiser either which is why I’m asking here:

Does anyone know which Lotus car had the nickname ‘The Fiberglass Roller Skate?’

Help a car fanatic brother out, thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.