Earls Court Lotus Elite Returns To Auction After Record Sale in 2016

Lotus Elite

The stunning Lotus Elite that starred at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show and sold for £108,000 after a major restoration programme in 2016 will go under the hammer once again in an online auction.

Beginning life as Colin Chapman’s ‘first customer car’, the glorious Elite reflects on a remarkable history which included jazz legend Chris Barber being the first custodian of the legendary British icon.

The classic 1958 Lotus appeared at the Motor Show in October and was then entered into its first race on the 31st December after a very quick turn-around to get the car race-prepared and sold to jazz legend Chris Barber.

Chris went on to compete in it for five seasons across the UK and Europe. It was also driven at the time by Sir John Whitmore who broke the class lap record at Spa in this very car whilst on the way to class victory.

Lotus Elite Type 14 Mk1
Lotus Elite Type 14 Mk1

Many years later, after being retired and hidden away for decades, the car resurfaced in 2016 where it was back in the limelight once again with Ant Anstead featuring in a special edition of Channel 4’s For The Love Of Cars, where it received a fully documented ground-up restoration.

Restoration had actually been started by the previous owner, who sadly passed away before he got to finish it the project. The car was then sought out by Ant for the TV show with Philip Glenister, where the pair set about the task of restoring it to the highest standard and returning to the racetrack whilst filming for the television show.

Elite interior

Consulting Elite specialists along the way, the car was completely stripped with no expense spared on the rebuild including the glorious subtle colour change. The engine was rebuilt by Coventry Climax specialists and the best roll cage to FIA standard from Fabricage was fitted. The original gearbox was sourced and rebuilt. Every detail has been restored to a better than new standard.

This is now the most delightful car, as Clive Chapman said, “designed as a road car but really succeeded most as a race car.” It has the latest current FIA HTP papers, Period E- 1947-1961 which are valid until 31st December 2026 and is now a passport for any major international events.

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The Elite then headed to auction in 2016 achieving a record £108,000 at Silverstone Auctions. The purchaser, Ian Kilpatrick, has now decided its time to part with the Lotus Elite Type 14 Mk1 which has never been used since the sale back in 2016 and remains in pristine condition.

Nick Whale, Silverstone Auctions Managing Director commented:
“This is a superb little Lotus that has had an amazing life. Just over 1,000 Elites were made and not many cars have this type of wonderful history and provenance, it ticks every little box. It has been beautifully restored by Ant Anstead, now a presenter and master mechanic on Wheeler Dealers. This car will give the next owner so much joy and fun.”

The Silverstone Classic Live Online Auction will be held from the 31st July – 1st August with any interested parties encouraged to cal 01926 691141 or email enquiries@silverstoneauctions.com.

Video courtesy Channel 4

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