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Lotus Elite

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The Lotus Elite was a milestone in car design. The technically advanced GT featured a unique fibre glass monocoque (a combined chassis and body unit) built from three mouldings, independent front and rear suspension and four wheel disc brakes. From late 1961 the Elite was sold in kit form, taking advantage of a tax loophole that made it exempt from purchase tax. Lotus claimed that assembly took just 24 hours.

The Elite combined good looks with fine handling and was incredibly successful on the race track. However, the car had a reputation for poor reliability and nearly ruined Lotus. Company founder Colin Chapman reckoned that Lotus lost £100 on every Elite it sold.

Year1961
CountryBritish
Capacity1216cc
Cylinders4
Output54bhp @ 6100rpm
Maximum speed111mph
Price new£1949
ManufacturerLotus Cars Limited
OwnerNMMT (Donation Mr J Lockspeiser)

 

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