Lotus Needs Help – Where Is The Elusive Lotus Mark I?

Lotus MK I
Hazel Chapman in the Lotus Mark I - Copyright the Colin Chapman Foundation

Lotus have reached out to collectors, enthusiasts and the worldwide classic community in a bid to locate the elusive Lotus Mark I.

The rare Lotus Mark I in question is the competition car that young engineer and company founder, Colin Chapman, hand-built in a small London garage owned by his then girlfriend’s parents.

Using his now legendary engineering skills to overcome the standard car’s limitations, the innovative Champman proved that skill and determination could reap rewards by increasing the Lotus Mark I performance.

Built By Chapman

Originally built by Chapman in London 1948, the whereabouts has been unknown for well over 60 years. Help for this ingenious project came from a number of friends and girlfriend Hazel, who he subsequently married.

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Success in trials and competitions were both satisfying and immediate, but the young creator was soon looking at developing the Mark II.

Since the first car was sold in November 1950, the car’s trail has frozen over. Despite vast research over recent years, its whereabouts have never been established.

Lotus Mark I
Colin Chapman competing in the Lotus Mark I – Copyright the Colin Chapman Foundation

Joining Lotus in the hunt for the origin of its species is the son of the company’s founder, and director of Classic Team Lotus, Clive Chapman, who said of this challenge:
“The Mark I is the holy grail of Lotus’ history.

“It’s the first time that my father was able to put his theories for improved performance into practice when designing and building a car. To locate this landmark Lotus, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary, would be a monumental achievement. We want fans to take this opportunity to look in every garage, shed, barn and lock up they’re allowed to. It’s even possible that the Mark I was shipped from the UK, and we’d love to know if it survives in another country.”

Do you know the whereabouts of the Lotus Mark I?

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