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 Lotus Elite S1 photo

1959 Lotus Elite S1

The Lotus 14, better known as the Elite, was introduced in 1959. With this new car, Colin Chapman demonstrated that the lessons learned from their racing program could be applied to production road cars. The Elite was conceived with competition in mind, as Chapman had set goals for class wins at LeMans and the Monte Carlo Rally.

The Elite featured a fiberglass monocoque body tub, independent suspension all round, and four-wheel disc brakes (the rears mounted inboard). Power was provided from a four-cylinder Coventry-Climax FWE, single-overhead cam unit of 1216cc offering 75 horsepower. The gearbox was an MGA unit fitted with an alloy casing and modified bell-housing which was sourced from BMC.

The body design was the work of Peter Kirwan-Taylor, John Frayling, and aerodynamicist Frank Costin. The result was a design that had a low coefficient of drag, though it made few concessions for comfort or noise suppression.

The car had a top speed of 112 mph and offered superlative handling. The cars were successful on the racetrack, winning its class well into the 1960s. Noteworthy achievements include five class victories at Le Mans and two wins in the prestigious 'Index of Thermal Performance'.


by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017

Related Reading : Lotus Elite Type 14 Coupé History

The Lotus Elite was produced from 1958 through 1963. The Elite was Colin Chapmans first real production, road-worthy, closed automobile. The road going vehicles provided the funds to finance the racing program. Constructed of glassfibre monocoque comprised of eight box sections, the vehicle was both light and strong. Under the hood was an aluminum four-cylinder 1216 cc OHC engine courtesy of Coventry....
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Related Reading : Lotus Elite Type 14 Coupé History

Founded by Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, whose ACBC initials appear in the famous green and yellow emblem of his company, Lotus was still a fresh car manufacturer in 1957. For a while prior to that year, Lotus offered the Seven, a seminal sports car with sparse construction and an undiluted personality. The Seven was revered for its lightness and simplicity, and it was a very capable car offering as....
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1959 Vehicle Profiles

1959 Lotus Elite S1 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 1096

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 t....[continue reading]

1959 Lotus Elite S1 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 1089
Engine Num: 10382

This car is believed to have been delivered new to the United Kingdom market. It was finished at the Lotus works on November 11th of 1959. In the late 1990s, the car was given a restoration. During the restoration, the gearbox was swapped with a late....[continue reading]

1959 Lotus Elite S1 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 1222

The Lotus Elite was introduced at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1957. Until the introduction of the Elite, Lotus and founder Colin Chapman were famous for making racing cars to compete in road racing, hill climbs or club racing. The company's first a....[continue reading]

1959 Lotus Elite S1 vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 1052
Engine Num: 7566

The Lotus 14, better known as the Elite, was conceived with competition in mind. Colin Chapman incorporated technology developed in Lotus's single seaters and were designed to achieve class wins at motor sports around the world. They had a glassfiber....[continue reading]

Coupe
Chassis #: 1096 
Coupe
Chassis #: 1089 
Coupe
Chassis #: 1222 
Coupe
Chassis #: 1052 

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