Colin Chapman conceived the Elite in late 1956 as the first car Lotus built for the street. The Elite would become the world's first volume-production car to utilize fiberglass-monocoque construction. The attractive design of these coupes was not the most durable or well constructed and only around 250 of both series were ever built.
This is car number 1096, the 96th car of the 284 S1 Elites built. Approximately 1000 Elites were built between 1959 and 1962. Given direction by Lotus's founder, Colin Chapman, to 'strengthen and add lightness' this new design proved to be revolutionary and it greatly contributed to the car's overall performance. The car weighs only 1350 lbs and with a racing tune Coventry Climax (40DCOE Webers) the engine will produce 135 horsepower.
The Elite followed the Seven, and was diametrically opposed to it in concept and execution. Where the Seven was as basic an automobile as could be conceived, the Elite was one of the most technologically-advanced cars of its day, and compares well to any car built today - over 45 years later. The Seven's simple sheet metal body covered a tubular space frame, with cycle fenders over the wheels. It looked vintage when new. The Elite was a stunningly beautiful and tiny, coupe. It was designed for efficiency, and low aerodynamic drag was part of that efficiency. It's coefficient of aerodynamic drag was 0.29 - better than most cars built today. And it didn't merely have a fiberglass body. The Lotus Elite had a fiberglass unibody (monocoque) structure. The Elite won its class at LeMans in 1960 and had many successes in the UK and here in the United States.
The current owner is working with Ragtops & Roadsters to keep a keen eye for originality. This car is believed to have race history given the racing tune state when purchased in 1976. Originally painted in Royal Blue, which were the colors of the 1960 Sebring Team cars, great attention is being given to many of the original parts with this car when the project began.Also photographed at :