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Lot 024: 1962 LOTUS ELITE S2

Motor Car Sale, H&H Sales Limited (12 April 2006)

The road manners of the Elite come as near to those of a racing car as the ordinary motorist would ever experience. By this it is meant that an outstanding performance is obtained from a relatively small engine, and the controllability and safety in handling are as high as any car tested by this journal" - Autocar May 26th 1960 Unveiled at the 1957 London Motor Show, development of the Lotus Elite (Type 14) had begun the previous autumn. Colin Chapman's first production road car, it proved a technical tour de force. Featuring the world's first glassfibre monocoque, it was exceptionally light with a reputed kerb weight of just 684kg. Inspired perhaps by the FIA's recently introduced 1300cc GT racing class, its specification included F2 derived independent suspension and disc brakes all round (inboard at the rear). Powered by a Coventry-Climax four-cylinder engine mated to four-speed manual transmission, its amazing 0.29 drag co-efficient gave all but the basic single carburettor variants a claimed top speed of over 120mph (a stunning figure today but unprecedented for a 1.2 litre car in the 1950s). The work of Peter Kirwin-Taylor, aerodynamicist Frank Costin and John Frayling, the Elite's super sleek silhouette is still considered among the best looking ever to grace the road. Unsurprisingly, given its radical design (and Chapman's budget constraints), the first running prototype did not emerge until May 10th 1958. Driven straight to Silverstone by Ian Walker it promptly won a production sports car race (1600cc class), a feat it repeated the next day at Mallory Park. As successful abroad as it was on British circuits, Elites went on to win their class at Le Mans every year from 1959-64. Although, the contract to manufacture the Type 14's innovative bodyshell was initially entrusted to Maximar boatbuilders, it was transferred after 280 or so units to the Bristol Aircaft company. Coinciding with revisions to the rear suspension layout, an improved interior and increased engine power, this switch heralded the emergence of the Series Two in mid 1960. Finished in green with green leather upholstery, this particular example has been off the road for some time. Boasting wire wheels, twin-choke Weber carburettors and a prized ZF gearbox, we understand that it will require "work for MOT" and that its engine "needs attention". Reported to possess "good" bodywork and to have had its "rear wishbone body fixing joint rubber replaced with a bronze fitting", this iconic sportscar promises to be an exciting project.

Lot Details
Auction Motor Car Sale
H&H Sales Limited, Buxton
Lot Number024
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£15500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating3
Registration number5892 TU
Chassis number2331938
Engine number10782
Engine capacity (cc)1216
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors