Needless to say, Mike Flewitt loves racing. He also owns three Elans.
Mike Flewitt became CEO of McLaren in 2013 following many years at other automakers such as Ford, Bentley and Rolls-Royce. But his onetime dream job was to run Lotus. After all, he has a wonderful obsession with the 1960s Lotus Elan, still claimed by many as one of the best sports cars of all time. Automotive News has an interesting article showcasing Flewitt where he talks about his respect for not only Bruce McLaren, but also Colin Chapman, as well as the fact that he happens to own three Elans.
He bought his first Elan in his mid-20s and now keeps all three of them in original condition. "My brief is always that I want them as they drove out of the factory," he told AN. Years ago, he read an original letter Lotus sent to its dealers in the 60s stating that although the Elan was designed as a road car, it could be converted into a race car. The letter was also a “How to Guide.” Not surprisingly, one of Flewitt’s Elans is built to that racing spec and, yes, he races it whenever he can. Owning and driving one of the best lightweight sports cars ever certainly inspires Flewitt in his current role, despite the fact that some may consider Lotus a competitor of sorts.
But Flewitt is adamant in his admiration for both of the company’s founders and namesakes. "Both were accomplished racers. Both were brilliant engineers - Colin was probably one of the finest engineers in sports cars ever - and both were entrepreneurial businessmen," he said. He also made clear that Bruce McLaren was multi-talented. "Bruce McLaren would be three different people today. Somebody designing the car, somebody driving the car and somebody running the business. I'm definitely not the driver or the designer in that sense. My strengths are in production and business.”
Today, McLaren has its own race series specifically for the 570S GT4, but Flewitt has yet to join. He did, however, buy his wife a McLaren for racing purposes. Above all, Flewitt is perfectly content with his job today. "Actually, I've ended up with a better option at the end of the day.” Be sure to check out the whole profile article for the complete story.