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Homepage. This page: A race-prepared Lotus Elite seen on a trailer in the paddock of a race circuit.

Lotus Elite (Type 14).

This Lotus Elite was photographed at a UK racing track in the early 1960s. Introduced in 1957, and sold to the public from 1958 through to 1963, the Type 14 Elite was a lightweight two-seater sportscar, with, unusually, a monocoque fibreglass body tub. There was no separate chassis, as on the Elite's replacement, the Elan, although there was a steel subframe up front in which the engine and front suspension was housed, and also a steel rollover hoop incorporated within the A-pillar and screen surround for extra rigidity.
The Elite's lightweight construction, and excellent aerodynamics, made the most of the Coventry Climax four-cylinder engine's power output of 75bhp. Top speed was in the region of 112 mph.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Type 14 Lotus Elite racing car

Elite SE.

In 1960 the Lotus Elite SE was introduced, building on the success of the Series 1 & 2 cars. Twin SU carburetters and a new exhaust manifold saw power output rise to 85bhp, coupled to a ZF gearbox. The roof painted in silver differentiated the SE from the earlier types. Further improvements would debut with the highly-tuned Super 95-spec cars, whilst for track use a limited number of Super 100 and 105 Elites would also be made available.
Following the introduction of the new Elan in 1962, the writing was on the wall for the Elite and production came to an end in 1963, the Elite name being consigned to history. That was until the launch of a new Elite, the wedge-shaped Type 75 of 1974. Gone were the curvaceous lines of Chapman's earlier cars, replaced by a striking wedge-shaped design, all the rage in the 1970s.
Return to Page 12 in the vintage car motoring gallery.
Other classic Lotuses featured in the gallery section include a period photograph of a racing Europa.
Classified ads for classic Lotus Elite parts can be found here.

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