In any given area of expertise, you can usually count on one hand the number of people who are larger than life. Those individuals that literally define their space and create what has never been created before. Dave Bean was one of those individuals.
Dave’s early years did not foreshadow his future as a Lotus race car driver and entrepreneur. Born in 1939 in Belle Fourche, SD. Dave was born to the cattle ranching family of George and Violet Bean and he learned to ride horses at an early age. Theirs was a minimal existence with no running water, no electricity and no telephone. Dave attended country schools and boarded in town for high school.
As far as how Dave Bean Engineering came to be Dave put it best himself “It all kinda happened by accident”. Dave was working in the aircraft trade and racing 7’s and Elans. Getting parts for a Lotus back then was tough, trick parts for a racing Lotus even tougher. Simple ones Dave made and the more complicated ones Dave designed and had them made. Dave soon found the right parts were available in England, but getting those parts over here in the USA was difficult. Because Dave was winning races, others started to ask for help, assistance and how to get those hard to get UK parts. Dave Bean Engineering was born from that need and because Dave could talk the talk and walk the walk DBE soon became “The Source” for Lotus racing parts in the USA.
Again, in Dave’s words on starting the Lotus parts business. “I couldn’t have done a better job than that provided by the 70s’ U.S. Lotus franchise system. The instability during this period provided literally both the market and the supply. Dealerships and distributors came and went with such frequency that it seemed like I was always being offered someone’s parts inventory — at silly prices, of course. During all this football, the only reliable, day-to-day, year-in/year-out source for the car owner was us.”
Dave succumbed to a massive heart attack the early hours of August 13, 2017. With him passes a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of Lotus cars that will not be duplicated ever. For many, Dave Bean Engineering was synonymous with Lotus parts and service.
Dave was always there for Lotus Ltd and our LOGs. Lotus Ltd could always count on support from Dave Bean.
Dave was predeceased by his parents and his sister Betty Ann (Bean) Lovell and his brother. George Bean. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Roberta, his sister Doris Virginia Paulson of Eagle Rock, CA and many nieces and nephews scattered across the country, and his black Lab, Jimbo.
Lotus Ltd and all the Lotus Ltd members would like to extend our sincere condolences to Roberta and the whole Dave Bean Engineering organization.
Inurnment we be at a later date at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche, SD.