If only we had $100,000 lying around...
It seems like such a long time since Lotus was legitimately one of the great sports car makers in the world. Though the firm still makes some of the finest driver's cars you can buy, there's no getting away from the fact that Norfolk's most famous auto manufacturer is some way removed from the fortunes and successes of its past. Those of the rose-tinted glasses and misty-eyed persuasion will be pleased to know that there's now an opportunity to buy a crucial piece of that illustrious history: the first ever production Lotus Elite.
Set to go under the hammer at the Silverstone Classic Sale 2016 July 30th this particular Lotus Elite has a rather interesting back story. On top of being the first Elite model to be made that wasn't a pre-production prototype, this dinky little coupe was the very car that Lotus used to launch the model at the 1957 Earls Court Motor Show. Furthermore, this example of the first all-fiberglass Lotus model has an exceptional racing pedigree. The car's first owner, the British jazz musician Chris Barber, entered it into a myriad of motorsports events in the 1950s and 1960s. The Elite even held a lap record around the fearsome Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps at one point. All in all, a pretty impressive resume.
This Elite was sadly put away into storage once its racing career was over, but its status as one of the most widely known Lotus models made it an ideal candidate for a recent restoration project to return the car to its former glory. Considering its status in Lotus lore, this particular Elite is understandably expected to go under the hammer for a considerable sum of money, with Silverstone Auctions anticipating a selling figure of $100,000. So, who here wants to chip in with us so we can nab ourselves a truly stellar piece of automotive history?