1960 Lotus Elite Type 14

Series 1

Auction Begins
11/25/2020
At a Glance
  • Seller
  • JonnyG
  • Location
  • Santa Barbara
  • Chassis No.
  • 1151
  • Exterior
  • Poppy Red
  • Interior
  • Tan and Grey
  • Mileage
  • 33,800 miles
  • Engine
  • 1,216 cc (1.2 L) Coventry Climax FWE all-aluminium Inline-four
  • Engine No.
  • 7316
  • Transmission
  • 4-Speed Manual
  • Suspension
  • 4-Wheel Independent Suspension
  • Brakes
  • 4-wheel Girling Disc Brakes

1960 Lotus Elite Series 1

Designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor and aerodynamicist Frank Costin, the Lotus Elite was one of the first sports cars to utilize a fiberglass body shell as a stressed member or active structural element. The low drag design of the body gives the Elite its striking, aerodynamic design. The first generation, Series 1, of the Elite or Lotus Type 14, was produced from 1957 – 1963. Debuting at the London Motor Car Show at Earls Court in 1957, the car had spent a year in development. The Elite used the fiberglass-reinforced plastic for the entire load bearing structure of the car with a steel subframe bonded to the front of the monocoque. The lighter weight construction allowed the Elite to achieve impressive performance figures from its 75 hp 1.2-liter Coventry Climax inline four-cylinder engine. The Elite features independent suspension with transverse wishbones in the front and Chapman struts in the rear and Girling disc brakes which are mounted inboard in the rear. 

When production of the Elite ended in 1963, around 1,030 cars had been produced. This particular example, finished in the striking color combination of Poppy red with a tan interior, was sold new by Jay Chamberlain, the West Coast Lotus distributor and well-known racer in April 1960. The original owner, a doctor based in Boise, Idaho, entered the car in many shows, rallies and auto crosses. He in fact founded the “July Jackpot Jamboree” rally, which was a three-day, several hundred-mile drive from Boise, to Elko, Nevada. The Elite won the best mileage trophy for all eight years of the event.  The first owner had the car until 1977 when his son took over ownership. The car then went with him to Oregon where it was acquired by the current owner in 2012

This Series 1 Elite has to be if not the finest then certainly one of the fines Lotus Elites in existence. This three owner 33k original mile numbers matching Series one is a true survivor. When acquired by the current owner in 2012, the body was remarkably stress-fracture free with original paint and interior. The car also retained its original Coventry Climax engine and standard BMC 4-speed gearbox. While in remarkable original condition, the owner had wanted a platform such as this to perform a world class restoration. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Judge and British marque expert mechanic Roy Miller was commissioned to complete the restoration. Mr. Miller with input from historian and author of Elite Bible “Lotus Elite: Racing Car for the Road” Dennis Ortenburger began the three-year restoration in 2013. Despite its incredible “preservation class” original condition in 2012, every part was taken apart and restored with the utmost care. The original engine did not require a rebuild, as it had only 33,400 on it, however the timing chain system was upgraded as a preventative measure. All of the wiring and electricals were restored and rewired as well. The exacting level of detail and care taken in this restoration is second to none. With only 400 miles on the clock since the restoration was completed, this Lotus is ready for the next owner to add to its remarkable history.

 Exterior

The Exterior is finished in factory correct Poppy Red. The paint and body work were performed by Costa’s Auto Works in Carpinteria, CA who specialize in fiberglass paint and body work. The fit and finish has been completed to the highest standard. Since the restoration, the car has been expertly maintained and shows no flaws.

Interior

The interior has been expertly finished in the factory correct tan over grey carpet and mats. The Smith’s gauges have been reconditioned and function as new. The interior appears in as new condition. The steering wheel currently installed on the car is leather wrapped. The refinished original wood-rimmed wheel is included with the sale. Period correct lap belts have been added for both the driver and passenger. A pair of removable side curtains and storage bags are also included. 

Engine and Drive Train

The engine bay appears in show ready condition with no signs of issues or leaks. It is obvious great care was taken to make the engine bay appear as original as possible. The engine was tested and tuned, and the timing chain upgraded as a preventative measure, however no engine rebuild was necessary. All of the electrical components have been restored and rewired.

Trunk and Storage Compartment 

The trunk has been restored back to original with the correct factory bound mat and original tools in place. The only flaw that can be found is a piece of rubber gasket that needs to be reglued.

Underside

The underside of the car is in near pristine condition with no visible flaws and factory correct exhaust and finishes.

Documentation and Spares

Photographs of the car prior to restoration are included with the sale along with manuals and club newsletters. The original/correct tools are also included.

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1960 Lotus Elite Type 14

Series 1

Auction Begins
11/25/2020

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