Trips to visit Lotus in Hethel, Norfolk for much of the 2010s followed a very similar format.

There’d be a chance to drive the latest variant of the Elise or Exige with a few extra kilograms taken out of them, followed by a chat with the management of how better times were ahead.

It was admirable the company kept going for so long in that period after the chaos left behind by Dany Bahar who, whatever you think of his plans to grow the brand and launch new model lines, made the crucial mistake of trashing the cars that needed to be sold in the meantime. 

History will be kinder to Jean-Marc Gales, the man who picked up the pieces after Bahar and steered Lotus through some of its darkest days when the company had a real hand-to-mouth feel to it.