Colin Chapman's home built competition cars were highly successful, and responding to demand he offered them for sale as kits from 1952. Ultra light space frame chassis clad in aluminium panels, had divided Ford front axle ifs, and Ford rear axle. Power was from 40 bhp side valve Ford Ten, with 75 mph top speed, or 75 bhp MG TC giving 90 mph top speed.
Lotus Seven is a replacement for Mk6 and has redesigned space frame, wishbone front suspension, coil sprung live axle rear, and hydraulic brakes. Same Ford side valve 40 bhp engine is used giving top speed of 76 mph.
Beautifully styled Elite is a first proper road car from Lotis. It has all glass fibre monocoque bodywork in fixed head form.
Racing car that could be driven to events, the Eleven introduced in 1956 has typical Colin Chapman super lightweight space frame chassis and streamlined all enveloping aluminium body work. Front and rear sections are hinged up and held in place by rubber straps, doors are bottom hinged. Basic road equipment includes lights and rudimentary hood. The Eleven is offered in "Sport" spec, with Ford 36 bhp 1172 side valve engine, and live back axle, "Club" spec with 75 bhp Coventry Climax engine, and coil spring ifs, live rear, or "Le Mans" spec, with De Dion back axle and choice of 75, 83 or 100bhp Coventry Climax power. All fitted with wishbone ifs from 1956 Top speed 120 to 160 mph depending on spec.
Lotus Elite being transported to the London Motor Show.
Lotus Eleven Le Mans 85 bhp.
Lotus Eleven Club is a low streamlined sports/racing two-seater from the highly promising and already very successful Colin Chapman stable. The car features a 1098-cc Coventry Climax engine. An Eleven Le Mans-also fitted with the Coventry Climax engine-won the 1100-cc class in the 1956 Le Mans 24-hour race.
F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship entries:
|12 Hours Sebring 23.03.1957 (round 2)||Results:|
|59||Eleven||#276||Chapman / Sheppard / Dungan||Lotus||11th||S1.1||1st|
|60||Eleven||#278||Chamberlain / Lozano||Lotus||ret.||S1.1||-|
|61||Eleven||#274||Merino / Pedrerra / Rosales||Puerto Rico Club||32nd||S1.1||3rd|
|74||Eleven Le Mans||#275||Wyllie / Wyllie / Moran||C. Moran||dsq||S1.5||-|
|24h Le Mans 23.06.1957 (round 4)||Results:|
|37||(1475 cc)||#322||Chapman / Ashdown||Lotus Eng.||dns||-||-|
|41||XI (1098 cc)||#320||Héchard / Masson||Lotus Eng.||16th||751-1.1||4th||14th|
|42||XI (1098 cc)||#321||Walshaw / Dalton||R. Walshaw||13th||751-1.1||2nd||10th|
|55||XI (745 cc)||#323||Allison / Hall||Lotus Eng.||14th||501-750||1st||1st|
|62||XI (1098 cc)||#324||MacKay-Fraser / Chamberlain||Lotus Eng.||9th||751-1.1||1st||2nd|
Two Elevens with Coventry-Climax 4-cylinder 1097 cc engine entered by Lotus Engineering at Sebring 12 Hours. The #59 driven by Colin Chapman, Joe Sheppard and Dick Dungan finished 11th and won the 1100 cc class.
Lotus Eleven chassis #320, 1.098 cc. Coventry Climax (André Héchard / Roger Masson) at Le Mans.
Lotus Eleven chassis #321, 1.098 cc. Coventry Climax (Robert Walshaw / John Dalton) at Le Mans.
Lotus Eleven chassis #323, 745 cc. Coventry Climax (Cliff Allison / Keith Hall) at Le Mans.