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© 2016 Ascott Collection

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1959 LOTUS Elite S1 - FIA

The Lotus Elite is an innovative car with a soft, fluid silhouette…

The first Lotus Elites were built in the late 50s. With their self-supporting fiberglass monocoque structure, they created a sensation at the time. Even though this design choice initially created production problems, it enabled a reduction in the car’s empty weight to a record 560 kg.  From an aesthetic point of view, the Lotus Elite was also ahead of its time: Peter Kirwan-Taylor and Frank Costin (an aerodynamics engineer with de Havilland Aeronautics) designed a car body with a soft, fluid silhouette which was a particularly striking success. Fitted with independent suspensions and four Girling disk brakes, the Elite drew full benefit from the innovations being developed for racing by Team Lotus. The engine chosen by Colin Chapman was quite naturally the 1.2 litre Coventry Climax FWE, by virtue of the weight gain afforded by its aluminium construction.


A successful debut at the 1959 le Mans 24 Hours race…

In 1959, Lotus entered an Elite for the le Mans 24 Hours race, in which it won the Index of Performance Trophy.  Since this brilliant debut, the Elite has raced in numerous competitions in England, on the European mainland and in America.


A car which is eligible for the most famous historic competitions and is still winning numerous races…

The Elite is still today one of the few cars racing in historic events which is capable of competing for the Index of Performance Trophy.  Whatever the competition, the Sixties' Endurance, the Tour Auto or the le Mans Classic races, the Lotus Elites nearly always make the podium.

That is one of the reasons why the Lotus Elite is currently much sought after. It is truly rare to find so many assets concentrated in a single car: striking good looks, great ease of use, low operating costs, and eligibility to race in the majority of the top competitions (including the Goodwood Revival)….


The Lotus Elite 1101 has a well-documented history….

The car presented by The Ascott Collection has a well-documented history, as confirmed by the Lotus Elite Register.

Exported to the USA in 1959 by the Lotus distributor Chamberlain, the car has spent the greater part of its life on the American continent. An article about it was published in the American magazine « Sport Cars International » in December 1993. That year, it was re-exported to Italy where it competed in various historic races before being acquired by The Ascott Collection and imported to France in 2014.


…and it offers top level performance.

This superb Elite has always had the benefit of top level preparation, regarding both its chassis and its engine, as attested by its long, impressive race-record in historic events: recently (2012) it won the Italian Hill Climb Championship, as it had already done ten times previously. It is thus a highly competitive car. Since its last racing season, it has been fitted with a new engine and been given a complete overhaul.

The chassis has been reinforced at the points of fixation of the rear axle and of the front wheel axle unit. The components of the engine were acquired from top specialists: MK14, Tony Mantle, with the pistons coming from CPS (Italy). The MG gearbox has been entirely overhauled.

The cockpit is immaculate. It is fitted with an up-to-standard roll bar, a Stack dashboard, an extinguisher, etc….

Our Elite comes with a fully-documented dossier and its Historic Technical Passport (HTP). It is ready to race.




Technical specifications

: Lotus

: Elite

: 1959

: 1101

: Polyester

: Polyester

: 1216 cc Coventry Climax FWE

: 120 HP @ 8 000 rev/min (Bench-tested)

: MG

: 580 kg




Chassis number







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