Arnie Tribute 30

Arnie Johnson Tribute No. 30: ARNIE TO THE RESCUE.…

Historically, Lotus has been n1ore like a family than a big corporation 1naking vehicles. Owners, at least in the U.S., have long felt to be part of the family. For decades, Arnie Johnson was a major reason for this closeness. No Porsche or Ferrari owner could just pick up the phone and call the U.S. CEO of their car maker, but we could. Arnie was always available to us and better yet, he wasn’t some guy in a suit. He knew his products and could give us sound advice and solutions.

One experience brings a smile to my face. Lotus Ltd. had a track day at Watkins Glen. I was driving my Esprit S4s. After just two laps, my brake emergency light came on. I thought Oh No, my day cannot end this early. But I couldn’t ignore the light so I headed for the pits. And there was Arnie. I hollered “Arnie help! My emergency brake light ca1ne on.” Arnie calmly clin1bed into my driver’s seat and fiddled around under the carpet near the emergency brake. In a minute or two he said “It’s OK now.” Just a microswitch that needed adjusting, but I was smiling because who else gets the U.S. CEO to fix a problem with your car?

Arnie gave the marque a personality. I miss him.

-Dale Murray, Long Time Lotus Ltd. member