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Nickname: Esprit Esprit's car
Name: George Maddever
Member Since: 25th September 2000
Total Posts: 6,351
Occupation: Mechanical Design Engineer / Motoring Journalist 
Region: Auckland 
Country: New Zealand 
I'm a Brit who has been living in NZ most of his life (Walk and talk like a Kiwi, but don't you DARE call me a kiwi!). I'm 31, live and work in Auckland as a Mechanical Design Engineer and love all things mechanical/technical. I work for a company that does high-end (difficult) automation tasks and that keeps me out of mischief. I also write motoring and technical articles for G-Force magazine (www.g-force.co.nz) in my spare time.

I hope to return to the UK to live and work at some point but am in no hurry... Labour's nanny-stateism is has ruined Blighty in the last 20 years.

In 2005, I fulfilled the dream I'd held since I was four and bought my first Lotus, a '98 S1 Elise and it's been my absolute pride and joy in a country where they're as rare as hen's teeth. Sadly she's had to be sold though as I had my heart set on an Exige S1, my definition as the ultimate "hardcore" road car. As there was none in the country, I had to import one.

A restriction for 2008 on import emissions banned all pre '02 Lotuses, so the Elise had to go to make way for her replacement, the Exige! smile It's currently undergoing a nut-and-bolt (basically concours) rebuild with a bit of tweaking. Basically I'm trying to turn it into my definition of the ultimate S1 Exige without stepping outside the bounds of an "original" car (hence no radical mods or engine swaps). I'm hoping it'll be one of the best S1 Exiges in the world when done... you can follow progress here:


Can't WAIT unitl it's finished!!!!

The other automotive love of my life is my father's E-Type Roadster ('64 3.8L). We spent 7 years building it and it's probably one of the best in the country with a full-fat GENUINE 274bhp engine and WILL actually do 150mph!

As you've gathered, I'm REALLY into my Brit sportscars, especially TVR and Lotus. In a country where the Japanese import is king, I seem to be a lone voice.... easy to understand when you can drive at 15 here and ANYONE can get themselves behind the wheel of a Subaru WRX or a Mitsubishi Evo for NZ$10,000 (£3800) or a Skyline GTR for about 60% more again. The bang-for-bucks factor of the Jap cars, our free importing regulations for Jap cars and our non-compulsory insurance means that it's a totally different landscape from motoring in the UK, but if you're prepared to think outside the square, there are some CRACKING genuine sports cars here to enjoy... and of course a lot of empty, perfect roads to enjoy them on!