A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £58,500
Introduced in October 1990, the Lotus Carlton 'Type 104' (or Lotus Omega as it was known outside the UK) soon became infamous for its reputed 177mph top speed. Based around a four-door Vauxhall Carlton bodyshell modified to accept wider wheel arches, side skirts and a pronounced boot spoiler, the newcomer also benefited from Lotus enhanced power steering, and disc brake and suspension assemblies (the latter including a sophisticated multi-link rear set-up complete with limited slip differential). Fed by twin Garrett turbochargers, its 3.6-litre, 24-valve, straight-six engine was mated to six-speed ZF manual transmission. With a quoted 377bhp and 419lbft of torque available, the Carlton could apparently reach from 60mph in 5.2 seconds and 100mph in 11.5 seconds. Judged by the contemporary motoring press to be a performance match for the Ferrari Testarossa and Porsche 911 Turbo (though, some of its in-gear acceleration times were superior), the Type 104 only remained in production until October 1992 by which time just 950 are thought to have been made (320 Lotus Carltons and 630 Lotus Omegas).
K930 XGS was registered on the 1st of October 1992, number 767 of 950 produced and one of three hundred, right-hand drive, UK cars. Effectively, the first registered owner was John Boardman, father of Tom Boardman, the talented Seat Leon Cupra peddaler in British Touring Cars. As discounts on these cars were not allowed at the time, the car was registered for a day to Vauxhall Motors allowing Mr Boardman to benefit from a £500 discount the next day whilst still allowing him to have and sign the first owner's Commemorative Book which still accompanies the car today. John kept the Carlton until October 2015 in his name and subsequently his companies name.
The current owner has enjoyed the Lotus since that time covering the last 7,000 miles of the 33,000 now displayed on the odometer. The Service Record contains 10 stamps and various older MOTs corroborate the car's low mileage, however, it's the singular lack of any restoration work that sets this Carlton apart, remaining completely original apart from a refresh of the Imperial Green paintwork on the bonnet to dispatch the inevitable stone chips. Nothing else, that's it.
The car still sports its dash-mounted Grundig radio cassette and 10-disc CD-changer in the boot all in perfect working order. The air conditioning unit has been upgraded with the latest refrigerant and chills the car perfectly and the heated leather seats do what they are supposed to. It retains the original carpet mats and the factory rubber overmats and has recently been fitted with a set of new, original specification tyres. Always maintained to a very high standard, South West Lotus, who have recently appraised the car, described it as "The best unrestored Carlton we have seen". This is a serious car for a serious collector.