In the seventy-plus years since Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus) wheeled out his first vehicle, Lotus’ success has been built on innovation for the road and track. Their guiding principle has always been performance and driving pleasure, as testified by their stream of iconic vehicles.
Chapman’s philosophy was based on achieving “performance through lightweight”. As he put it: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.”
When Chapman’s Lotus Elite first saw the light in 1957, it was certainly no exception but rather a realization of that philosophy. The “Type 14” was the world’s first fiberglass monocoque production car, one of the rarest and most memorable of his creations. This predecessor of the legendary and successful Lotus Elan could easily be called the ‘grandfather’ of the small, lightweight sportscars we know now.
The lightness ideology also manifested itself in the engine compartment where the small 1.2 L Coventry Climax FW (featherweight) engine was used, which finally resulted in a measly kerb weight of 503,5 kg !
Together with a low drag coefficient through advanced aerodynamics, the Elite could accellerate from 0–100 in 11.4 seconds and reach an incredible top speed of 179.9 km/h. Road tested by “The Motor Magazine” in 1960 they concluded : “Speed, controllability in all conditions and comfort in all its aspects make this compact two-seat coupe an extremely desirable property”.
Due to it’s exellent racing capabilities (6 wins at Le Mans), many Elite S1’s were converted and upgraded to race the track which makes it harder to find an unmolested, original one.
The Lotus Elite S1 which we may offer here is from 1959 with matching numbers, and has been completely restored to original & concours condition in 1990 by Lotus & Jaguar specialists “Mill Lane Engineering”. Extended, detailed invoices are present, revealing 735 man hours of labor including complete re-gell of the GRP-body pryor to the new paintjob in original yellow.
Since the restoration it has only driven 8000km’s, has been extensively maintained, and no expense was spared to keep it in exellent state like it is now. Surely one of the finest Elites to come onto the market in recent memory.
This wonderful Lotus offers its new owner an exciting opportunity to participate in a remarkable variety of events with a very fine example of Colin Chapman’s groundbreaking masterpiece. This is a car worth reaching for !
Come and admire this iconic Lotus in our classic car showroom in Aalst near Brussels !
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