The Lotus Elite was conceived in the late fifties by a team of four men managed by Colin Chapman, all in their late twenties, during sessions on Saturday afternoons in a London pub. It only took them six months to dream up, discuss and design a sports car that bristled with new and advanced features and firsts. The Elite was the first car with a light weight glass fibre monocoque body, a gorgeous and streamlined design, lightweight all aluminium racing derived engine from Coventry Climax, light weight suspension and four disc brakes derived from the Lotus 12 Grand Prix car, softly spung with firm dampers that ensured remarkable roadholding and average speeds. The Elite was a racing car for the road and ran away from the opposition. It still does to this day.
The Elite has a late Bristol enforced body recognizalbe with the single dimple just aft of the differential and is flawless. Never damaged or mutilated and has received a recent bare fibre glass respray in Kobalt Blue and Polaris Silver.
The engine is a matching numbers and fully race-prepared climac FWE by the leading expert Tony Mantle who has been looking after, tuning and repairing Coventry Climax Grand Prix and FWE engines since 1964. His engines are reliable and powerfull and at the last rebuilt het fitted new con rods “just in case”. All the work he has done is noted in the black Coventry Climax notebook where all the details of the work Conventry Climax did on their Grand Prix engines are kept since the fifties. Ignition is new and the Weber carburators are overhauled period correct DCOE2’s.
This Elite is fitted with a brand new custom made light weight exhaust which meets the noise regulations.
The gearbox is the valuable ZF S4 – 12 and in perfect condition. It is mated to the engine with a brand new magnesium bell housing, rebuilt prop shaft and differential. A 4.9, 4.5, 4.2, 3,9 (for Le Mans Classic) and limited slip differential, homologated, come with the car.
The suspension is all new with new Chapman struts, wishbones, wheel bearings, springs and dampers by Tony Thompson Racing and Dunlop Racings. The brakes are the light alloy Girling AR and NR calipers with new pads. If they can stop a Grand Prix car they can stop an Elite too.
Dashboard is the original with all the original switches. The rev counter, however, is a brand new Stack with illimination that goes to 10.000 rpm when you’ll meet the limits of the design of the RWE. There is little point in going much over 7.500 rpm. A period correct red leather covered steering wheel, new, is the same as the Lotus sports and Grand Prix cars of the fifties and sixties.
The seat and fuel tank are brand new and fabricated by Andy Warminster who welds British nuclear submarines and fuel and oil tanks of GTO’s and recreation DB4 Gt’s. A long range fuel tank is part of the package.
This Elite is documented in all the books by Dennis Ortenburger and the Lotus Elite Production list. Of course there is a file since 1981, an enhanced manual, homologation papers from 1984, a very rare book The Lotus 14 Technical Analyses and manual Addendum by Kees Houtzager and the Motor Klassiek of may 1986 which featured this car are included.
This very beautiful Elite was raced successfully in the 1980 ties and has spent decades unused in a museum and private collection. It is fully rebuilt and the facto a zero hours car again prepared for historic racing. It is eligible for all (major) historic events except for the Mille Miglia as this is for pre 1958 cars.
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