Lotus fans will soon be able to buy the first production Elite model. It is a completely restored Lotus Elite Series I, chassis number 1009, which was produced in 1958. It will be sold at auction on July 30, organized by Silverstone Auctions.
The car was publicly presented at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1958, and was then purchased by one of Colin Chapman’s (founder of Lotus) most favoured customers and personal friend, Chris Barber, in December 1958. It also took part in races around Europe for several years, and after that is housed in the garage.
However, the chance for a new life appeared, and was followed by reconstruction. The restoration process of the car involved stripping it back to a bare monocoque where it was examined by prominent Lotus Elite authority Malcolm Ricketts. The fibreglass monocoque was found to be very sound and original but was stripped back completely and then lovingly refinished in UDT Green. It was then fitted with a full FIA approved roll cage by Pete Folbigg from Fabricage. This was accompanied by an FIA homologated Tillett B6F Carbon-GRP racing seat, TRS belts and a Moto-Lita steering wheel.
The engine was rebuilt by Coventry Climax specialist, Glyn Peacock, to his full race ‘all steel’ specification which includes forged pistons and rods, a steel crank and big valves. The original MGA sourced gearbox was rebuilt by well-known specialist Mike Jennings who fitted a new layshaft, front and rear bearings, and strengthened the clutch slave cylinder mounting. New wheels, from specialist MWS, were fitted with the correct Dunlop racing tyres.
The car will be sold on July 30, and it is expected that the new owner will pay between $100,000 and $134,000 for it.