The founder of the company, engineer Colin Chapman was an ex-RAF pilot, so it is easy to see why he was so keen to get his hands on the base.
Talking about Mr Chapman, Alastair Florance, who has worked on the site for decades, said: "He knew there were a number of air bases in East Anglia which were needing to be repurposed for other activities.
"At the time, Lotus was based in north London, and had outgrown its facilities. So in 1966, we moved here to Hethel.
"Having all the facilities and the buildings already there, when we moved here it meant that we were able to quickly start assembling cars and designing cars in the former hangars.
"I think the people who would have worked at this air force base during the war would actually be very interested in what we're doing with it now."