Lee Whitworth

Firstly I would like to thank all of you who elected me to the role of chairman at the club AGM, held on the 1st May at the Stoneleigh Kit Car Show.
This is the first time I have taken on such a role and in many ways it seems a bit daunting, but with a bit of perseverance, support and enthusiasm, which are all traits that I have seen within the club, my tenure should be enjoyable and hopefully productive.
My background with cobras started very recently. Early in 2014 my wife and I were visiting a garden centre, when I spotted a stunning cobra, which had been parked alongside my normal tin top.  Like a huge number of people I could not help looking, admiring and dreaming of owning such a vehicle. After a short period of just standing and staring, my wife, Angie, realising that I was no longer interested in plants, walked towards me and uttered the glorious words “if you want one; get one” and it was at that point our journey began.  We bought our cobra in August 2014.  Christened “Max” by its previous owner/builder, our car is a Blue GD MK III, with a RV8….and I love it.  Max is not as modern, powerful, loud or shiny as some of the fine examples that I have seen over the last two years, but he is ours and we love going out for drives and meeting other cobra owners.
I live in Sapcote, a small village just outside Leicester, with my wife and a lively springer spaniel.  I am Head of Engineering at a large engineering services company.  We design, manufacture, test and commission equipment for handling the fuel at nuclear power stations…..but before you make any assumptions about by technical capability on cars, I should point out that I am a design engineer and certainly not a practical one.  When I purchased Max I can honestly say I had never performed any car maintenance other than checking tyre pressures and topping up the oil or washer fluids.  So this was going to be a steep learning curve.  Equally I had never driven a car with a carburettor or distributer and a distinct lack of power steering or servo assisted brakes, but what the heck, how hard could it be….surely learning is half the fun!

I am a firm believer that when you take on a new role, the first thing to do is listen to the people who matter, and in this case that is all of you, our club members.  So this is my first plea.  “What do you want from the club?”, “why do you want it?” and importantly “Do you have suggestions as to how to do it?”.
Personally I have one principle that I would like to ensure we retain and one goal that I would like us to achieve.  Our greatest principle is that we are and need to be, inclusive.  We welcome everyone from novices to technical experts, owners who have bought their cars and those who have built them, those who strive to build the perfect replica and those who just enjoy driving.  In reality our only common thread is that we all have a passion for the iconic AC Cobra.  My goal is to increase our membership and provide our members with more of what they want.
All of the committee and area reps are volunteers.  Their passion for the Cobra has extended to the point that they are willing to give up their free time to support our club, and it is to them that we need to say “thank you”.  These people have, and continue to do an excellent job. They do not need a Chairman to run this club, so I believe it is my role to help develop new ideas and provide some direction.
I hope that my brief introduction has been useful and look forward to receiving some suggestions to my shameless plea.
Hope to meet many more of you soon.