Mike Taylor’s association with Lotus began in the early ’90s with an M50 Elite project car.
“I built a chassis for it, but was spending £500 on parts every week at a local specialist,” he recalls.
“Then I found an Éclat in a scrapyard. It had new dampers and a new radiator, so I bought it for £350 and before long had earned £3000 by breaking it.
“I ended up buying cars to strip for spares, and worked from home until the neighbours complained.”
At that stage Taylor was still designing engine management systems and immobilisers for Lucas, Valeo, Nissan and others – he still has patents in his name.
He turned his hobby into a business in 2005 when he remortgaged his house to buy an industrial estate near Rugby.
The gamble paid off, and Taylor went full time in ’07. What began as a series of huts is now home to modern, purpose-built units and some 20 firms, hand-picked for their car-related specialisms.
Early on Taylor found that selling secondhand parts was seasonal: “We didn’t do much from November to February, then things would go mad in March and April when people got their cars out.