In The Beginning
The elemental shower-cap was the first temporary cover designed specifically for the Lotus Elise. I was lucky enough to own a Series 1 about 18 months after the model was launched (the waiting list was over a year then). Anyone who saw the car couldn't help but fall in love with it and to drive it, well - it was just a dream particularly with the roof off. And that was the problem: the roof must have been an afterthought by the design team. It worked but, only just. Eventually you did get used to 'constructing' it and it took less and less time with practice but it was always a hassle. The car just had to be driven with the top off and the whole Elise experience seemed to be crying out for a temporary cover you could just sling over the car when you parked up.
Having some knowledge of design and pattern making and a few good contacts in the rag trade, I had my first cover made up. On a typical grey autumn afternoon I parked up outside the pub at the monthly Club Lotus meet and threw it over the car. Although it was never my intention to make anymore than the one for my own use, I was soon approached by other Elise owners and from there my little business began.
We are still a small family concern at elemental making shower-caps for the Elise models and the VX220 (Opal Speedster). We believe we have a solid reputation for both a good product and prompt customer care. Most of our sales are the result of personal recommendations. Shower-caps have sold throughout Europe, Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines and the USA where the S1 was allowed only on the track. The covers are manufactured locally in Ribchester, Lancashire by my friend and colleague Andrea who has worked with me from the beginning - at present we are still speaking to each other!
The name 'shower-cap' incidentally, was suggested by a very early customer who's details I lost when my old computer crashed. If you're out there- get in touch and I'll give you a mention.
Now the Elise is available for road use in the USA there have been several trade enquiries for distribution. It is planned that all the S2 (short roof) covers will be made under licence in America by Sector 111 www.sector111.com and marketed in the UK by Hangar111 www.hangar111.com. This arrangement will allow elemental to continue making shower-caps for the S1, VX220 and the original S2 (long roof) at the present level maintaining quality of manufacture and customer care. Judging by their other products I am more than confident Sector 111 and Hangar 111 will provide that same quality.
By far the most popular (and cheapest) shower-cap has been the black covers which go well with all the car colours. Once our current stock of colours is exhausted it is planned to only offer Black. In the S1 and VX220 only Racing Green and Black are currently available.
Several owners in the North West or those travelling via Preston have contacted me over the years and asked if they may visit the workshop and try a cover before buying. We welcome this but arrangements should be made beforehand to avoid disappointment. My address in Goosnargh is only a 10 minute drive from Junction 32 on the M6.
Enjoy your open-top motoring!