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Lot 15

2015   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2015

1962 Lotus Elite

Coachwork by Bristol

SOLD $110,000

Estimate

$120,000 - $150,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

1318

Car Highlights

Important Landmark Sports Car Design
Desirable Series II Model with Body by Bristol
23,000-Mile, California Black-Plate Car
Highly Original Unrestored Condition
Ideal for Preservation Class Competition

Technical Specs

1,220 CC SOHC Coventry-Climax Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Single SU Carburetor
83 BHP at 6,250 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Girling Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Wishbone Suspension
Register to Bid

In late 1957, Lotus debuted the all-new Elite – a cutting-edge road car that owners could also use for sporting purposes. Lotus opted for the Coventry-Climax FWE single overhead cam engine since it would qualify for the 1,300 cc class, popular in club and endurance racing. Solid performance, minimal weight, impressive aerodynamics – are common traits of the marque in recent decades, but in the 1950s it took ingenuity to create such an array. The Lotus Elite was noteworthy as an early production car to use such a light alloy block, which was complemented by the low-drag fiberglass body designed by the era’s leading aerodynamicist, Frank Costin. Disc brakes at all wheels and fully independent suspension completed the advanced package. Tipping the scale at just 1,100 lbs., the Elite punched above its weight. Production ended in 1963 after approximately 1,030 were built.

This Elite, chassis 1318, is a late Series II example, with coachwork by the Bristol Aircraft Company. According to a copy of the original Bill of Sale from Western Distributors in Burbank, California, this Elite was sold new in April 1962 to Hale and Bonnie Hunter of San Anselmo, California. Amazingly, the Elite has remained in the Golden State ever since and presents today as one of the best preserved, unrestored examples of the model. Displaying fewer than 23,000 miles and retaining factory finishes throughout, this Elite is complete with its original tool kit, 1962 title, Club Lotus badge, and California “black plate.” A striking example of a groundbreaking English sports car, this outstanding and highly original Elite is sure to impress the most discriminating collector.