October 20, 2021

My life in 12 cars: McLaren Automotive boss Mike Flewitt – Autocar

“He was a passionate designer, a wonderful leader-businessman and a dazzling driver,” says Flewitt, “similar as Bruce McLaren was. These days, those would be 3 unique tasks, however these men took car…….

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“He was a passionate designer, a wonderful leader-businessman and a dazzling driver,” says Flewitt, “similar as Bruce McLaren was. These days, those would be 3 unique tasks, however these men took care of to do them all.”

Flewitt likewise dropped under the spell of the incomparable Jim Clark, whose capability behind the wheel was so immense therefore all-natural that the reluctant Scot simply could not understand why everyone could not do it. It appeared natural that the Herald should give way (through a Mini) to three years’ possession of an old Lotus Elan +2 S 130/5, yellow with a metalflake yellow top.

“In the publications, and also particularly Practical Classics, all you ever before checked out was just how fantastic the Lotus Elan was,” explains Flewitt. “It constantly seemed like the very best vehicle in the world. I review myself into desiring one, and afterwards, as currently, the Lotus deal was the +2. Mine was a 1973 five-speed design, concerning 10 years old, and also I really loved it. There was so much to appreciate. I used to drive it to and fro from Liverpool to Dunton [in Essex] and also work with it in the road, because there was often something that required dealing with.”

1996 Volvo C70 Sports Car

Flewitt’s Ford phase ended in the mid-1990s, when he took a work with Rolls-Royce in Crewe, entrusted with revolutionising the production system for the honest Silver Seraph (and also Bentley Mulsanne Turbo). He made such a good job of it that he was promoted swiftly to manufacturing director– and that new prominence also brought an offer for him to run his very own carmaking procedure, the innovative Autonova organization set up to develop the Volvo C70 Coupé and Convertible at Uddevalla in Sweden.

Business was collectively possessed by Volvo as well as Tom Walkinshaw of TWR fame, and also Flewitt grabbed it with both hands. The “life-changer” for him was that he satisfied his spouse there; she had actually begun as a line employee, trained as a manufacturing engineer and also landed a vital manufacturing function.

“We made an excellent vehicle,” recalls Flewitt, “a decent, comfortable sort of GT built off the V70 platform. We had some early troubles, yet quantity ultimately got to a healthy and balanced 15,000 a year. We had two, initially a Coupé and after that a Convertible after it was launched late in 1999.”

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