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Lot 260: Lotus M250

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

During the year 2000 this remarkable first concept clay model was unveiled by Lotus as the basis of a future-model feasibility study, intended to provoke reaction from the potential market place both at home and abroad. The Lotus concept wording (copy on file) that accompanied the 1-to-1 scale model reads in part as follows:

"Concept M250 wouldn't be a proper Lotus unless lightweight was an important part of its genetic make-up; it's an integral part of Lotus Car's whole philosophy. The concept's chassis improves and develops upon the bonded extruded aluminium technology used to such great effect in the Elise. Powered by a mid-mounted Lotus-tuned 3.0 litre V6 engine that drives the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox, project M250 slots into the Lotus line-up between the Elise and the Esprit.

A major achievement in the M250's design is that it has excellent aerodynamic properties 'straight out of the box'. Lotus engineers and designers have used the knowledge learned from designing competition cars to create a shape with an extremely well balanced aerodynamic package.

The concept behind M250 is to produce another superlative driver's car, in the same mould as the Elise, but with technical refinements and enhancements made possible through what we've learned from over 50 years of sports car development.....''

In fact this magnificently well-finished clay concept model is the first of two made to explore potential market reaction for what could have been a magnificent product, yet which survives today as a nonetheless mouth-watering 'might have been'.

Olav Glasius often visited the Hethel factory, and it was this silver-finished M250 clay model which one day caught his eye. A second model, featuring full interior and opening doors  neither of which this one embodies  was also produced, finished in blue. Mr Glasius tried to negotiate purchase of one or other of these M250s and eventually the Lotus management relented and sold him this first of the pair, upon the written understanding that he would not copy the body style.

The car was delivered to him upon a palette, without wheels  presumably because the unique set of six-spoke specially cast large-diameter wheels were needed for the second concept model  "the blue one". Despite Mr Glasius' best efforts, Lotus could not sell him suitable wheels to complete his M250, and so ultimately he decided to take the plunge, have patterns made and to reproduce his own set of wheels for it.

This work was undertaken for him by Mulder Engineering of Capelle Aan de Ijssel in the Netherlands, and the M250 was then completely show-prepared for its proud new owner by Ken and Neil Myers in their Northampton workshop, England. They mounted the finished wheels and also engineered disc brakes and calipers into the final 1-to-1 'supercar' now offered here.

While Lotus marketing research indicated that there would be insufficient interest in such a supercar for future production, we have to say that in the flesh the M250 is actually a design of stupendous presence, charm and elegance. It really is one of the most attractive body shapes of its rarefied type that we have ever encountered, and we state this as dyed-in-the-wool car buffs of lifelong standing...just like the majority of our clients, and most certainly like the founder and vendor of the Glasius Collection himself. Interesting video of this silver-finished M250 model as originally presented by the Lotus company can be found on the internet.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number260
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£4000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£4600
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2