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Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite
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  • Lotus Elite
  • Year:
    1958- 1963
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    4-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    95 @ 5100
  • Energy:
    Two Weber 40 DCOE carbs
  • Displacement:
    1216 cc
  • Price:
    120000
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Usually, when you think about Lotus founder Colin Chapman, the first thing that comes to mind is innovation. It’s easy to see why as that was the business Chapman was in, the brilliant designer always looking for ways to improve his cars’ performance – usually at the cost of reliability and even safety. This philosophy was carried over when Chapman decided he should start building road cars. The first one, named the Elite (Type 14), was a small but competent two-seater which was, sadly, pulled down by certain choices made in the design department, which meant that the overall quality of the car was not quite deserving of the its own name.

It’s obvious that when you employ a number of innovations into a new product, for example the glass-reinforced-plastic monocoque, it’s bound to take off the ground somewhat harder. The trouble is that some of the Elite’s flaws carried on all the way towards the end of production which ceased in 1963. At that time, little over 1,000 had been produced, but Lotus saw the potential of dropping the GRP monocoque design and returning to a more traditional body-on-chassis construction for the Elite’s follow-up, the Elan. That marked the end of the original Elite’s lifespan but the name would be later revived, although its use for a 2+2 grand tourer always struck as somewhat peculiar.

Away from the road, the Elites featured prominently in circuit racing, both at club and professional level. This comes as no surprise considering that Lotus was heavily involved in racing and used certain Formula 2 components in the building process of the Elite. The car was so good in fact that it won its class at Le Mans no fewer than six times, adding to countless other victories all across the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elite.

 

Latest Lotus Elite news and reviews:

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

2014 Lotus Elite

2014 Lotus Elite

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Video: 2014 Lotus Elite convertible promo

Video: 2014 Lotus Elite convertible promo

Lotus prepares to blow the roof off the Elite

Lotus prepares to blow the roof off the Elite

Rendering: Lotus Elite Track Version

Rendering: Lotus Elite Track Version