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  A photo of the Elite in 1961 during its early race career
Two previous owners - David Inglis (left) and John Ralph from the UK

The Type 14 Elite was Lotus' first road car. Given Colin Chapman's philosophies it was inevitable that the Elite would be more than just another grocery getter. Designed with competition intent and built with the latest space age materials, the car was light, aerodynamic, and laid claim to technical specifications as good or better than any
other car of it's day. From the moment it appeared at the 1957 London Motor Show it was clear that this machine
was something special.


The Elite was not just the most elegant Lotus to date, not just the most sophisticated British car to date, it was arguably the most technically advanced road car ever attempted. Not until the advent of the McLaren F1 will a road
car match the concepts introduced in the Elite. For example the Elite is made almost entirely of fibreglass and does not have a chassis. This car is chassis number 1838. The car has an extensive and highly successful racing history both in the UK and Australia.


While it is now road registered this car spent the first 2 years of its life as a race car.

The car’s first owner, John Ralph, recently travelled from the UK to be re-united with the car.  During the two years he successfully raced the car in the UK and Europe, Ralph was able to combine his profession as an arms dealer and motor racer by employing a full time mechanic who transported the car from race track to race track ready for him to drive, Richard Fewster (co-owner of Ruston’s Roses) has owned this car since 2001. Its previous owner was Barry Gray from Perth, who circuit raced the car and competed in events such as the Classic Adelaide, winning the historic section three years in a row. It has an extensive Australian racing history and is still used in competitive events and demonstrations.


Thanks to the Internet, owners of Lotus Elites like this now have a strong and active global network for the supply of parts and technical information to support the ownership of such valuable vehicles.


To read a more detailed history of this vehicle written by it's second owner John Ralph, click here.


Lotus MK VI l Lotus Eleven l Lotus Elite l Amilcar l Coventry Climax l Zeta l Scootamota l Ransomes MG6


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