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Lot No. 211 - 1957 Lotus XI Series 1 Le Mans

Not sold

A competitive competition car bearing its original registration...
Details Specification

In pursuit of ultimate performance, Lotus was one of the first motor manufacturers to truly investigate the effect of aerodynamics on a racing car, and thus in 1956 the Lotus Eleven was born. Colin Chapman recognised that aviation techniques could be applied to design and manufacture the bodywork, leading him to hire a De Havilland Aircraft engineer by the name of Frank Costin to commission an aerodynamic road car that was also capable on a circuit. The car was available in 3 various forms, from a Sports model with a 36 horsepower Ford engine, through the Club with a 75 horsepower Coventry Climax engine, up to the Le Mans Sports racer, which featured a 1,462cc Coventry Climax engine. We are pleased to offer this fabulous looking Lotus Eleven Series I, known by its original chassis number #384 and importantly retaining its original chassis plate. From a private collection of actively raced historic Lotus cars by our vendor, this car has been well maintained and used in his care and is one of the more desirable Series 1 models - the Le Mans Sports Racer. Purchased new in 1957 by a Mr Robert Haythorne from Performance Cars as a ‘Sports' model, this car found its way to New Zealand with its fourth owner, a Mr Don Jamieson who relocated there in January 1967. Photographs in the accompanying history file show Don with the car in that period, where he used the car on road and circuit. The second owner in New Zealand, a Mr Kevin Hardie, himself a Lotus Eleven mechanic in period, undertook a full restoration of the car. In 1991 the Chairman of the Lotus Historic Register, Mr Malcolm Rickets, acquired the car and brought chassis #384 back to UK shores, where is was to undergo a rebuild as a Le Mans model to full race specification. At this time, an MG gearbox was married to a 1,500cc Coventry Climax engine, whilst retaining the original aluminium bodywork and adding a removable Le Mans head-fairing for racing. During his ownership, Malcolm campaigned the car successfully on track, with all race preparation carried out by Macdonald Race Engineering and subsequently Mike Loughlin, when Malcolm's own race preparation team, Rickets Racing, was formed. Our vendor purchased the car from Malcolm in 2009 and has had the original registration ‘UNM 909' re-instated by DVLA so that it is, once again, proudly bearing this on its bonnet. As with his other historic Lotus cars, the present owner entrusted the car preparation to marque race specialists, John Danby Racing, and has campaigned the car successfully in many VSCC and other race events. Despite, by his own admissions being "well past his sell-by date", our vendor has frequently caused considerable embarrassment to much larger and more expensive machinery by regularly finishing well up the order! The car is currently in full race trim and fitted with a ‘top of the shop' Glyn Peacock Coventry Climax FWB 1490cc with all of the best available parts assembled on to a "New" FWB block. This gave a remarkable 124 bhp on the rolling road which equates to around 145-150hp at the flywheel. This engine has done less than 1 hours work, finishing well to the front at a recent televised Silverstone VSCC 40-minute Spring Start race. The passenger seat is present, but not currently fitted and spare front & rear wheels are included in the sale. The new owner of this car will have various options which might include a return once again to the circuit, sprints, hill climbs, historic rallying or simply enjoy the Lotus as a fast road car at the weekends. If the new owners do plan to take it racing they would be well advised to make sure that the car complies with current MSA and FIA regulations and should also satisfy themselves that all safety equipment complies, and is in date if required. Bearing its original registration, "UNM 909", this car is offered for sale in excellent competitive race trim and carries a delightful 25 year race patina on its original dark BRG body panels. With its superb history file containing many period shots of the car, old FIA and MSA papers, comprehensive receipts, race results and provenance, this well fettled car is once again ready to be used competitively, as was always intended by Mr Chapman. **The previous (rebuilt) Climax 1500 will be available to the purchaser by separate negotiation.**   Photo Credit: James Gibson, James Gibson Photograpywww.jamesgibsonphotography.co.uk  

Year of manufacture:
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Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
UNM 909
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