This photo captured the beginning of a friendship. I had known my friend Kate for a short while, and she told me that she needed help shooting a Lotus. I was told to meet her in Ojai, Calif., alongside the Lotus-driving friend, and we were going to drive up State Route 33 in search of excellent photos.

  • Car: 2020 Lotus Evora GT
  • Location: CA-33 outside of Ojai, Calif.
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (me; @chrishasacamera on IG)
  • Camera: iPhone 11 Pro Max

The Lotus-driving friend was a fellow called Misha. He’s the dude who let me rip his GT3 Touring for another story and has become a friend since then. My job was to drive the camera car for Kate and keep Misha not bored for the admittedly boring task of participating in a photoshoot that you are not directing. Within Misha, I found a serious car person and it quickly became a memorable experience.

Not to mention, I had just shod Six Iron, my Volkswagen Golf GTI, with a new-to-me reverse staggered setup that morning. I now had 245-mm Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires in the front and 225-mm Pilot Sport A/S 4 in the rear. This setup was getting trial by fire by attempting to keep up with a Lotus and learn a new road. The car did admirably, but I never had a chance, to be frank. What I did learn was that the car loves that setup and that CA-33 is the best driving road in Southern California. Scratch that, Lockwood Valley Road off of 33 is the absolute peak of driving roads. It is the most three-dimensional, psychopathic, carved-out forest highway that we all dream of. 

That Lotus was something else, as was this view at the top of CA-33. Both were best enjoyed with a new friend.

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Chris Rosales