The Lotus Elite was introduced in 1957, Colin Chapman's design criteria was that the Elite be a road car capable of a class win at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hour race. With four-wheel disc brakes, all independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, over head cam, lightweight alloy engine and superb aerodynamics, the Elite posted six consecutive Le Mans class wins from 1957 to 1962. Top speed for a stock Elite, owing greatly to its extraordinary aerodynamics and low drag coefficient of .29 was 118 mph.
Construction utilizes a fiberglass monocoque design, whereby the body acts as an integral part of the frame of the car. Elites are powered by a four-cylinder Coventry Climax 1216cc engine. The engine was increased to 1460cc during restoration. Coupled with dual side draft Weber carburetors, it produces in excess of 90 horsepower and a very spirited drive for a car weighing only 1300 pounds.
A multi-year restoration was completed in 1993. Documentation of that process produced the first definitive book on the Elite, Denis Ortenburger's Original Lotus Elite.