|Click on images to enlarge
|Having fun in the Classic Adelaide Rally.
||Sideways through the cutting
|Front page Autosport
First sold in 1953, the Lotus Mark 6 was the first production competition Lotus to be built in any numbers,
establishing the firm as a small-scale manufacturer. The car was stark and simple in the style of the club racer
of the time, but under its simple aluminium panels was a triangulated, tubular space frame far in advance of the
beam type in general use. Thus, the cars had both torsional rigidity and little weight, riding on a split Ford front axle giving independent suspension and a Ford rear axle hung on combined coil springs and telescopic dampers.
For the rest of the features, the Mark 6 was largely down to the buyer as it was sold as a kit car to avoid purchase tax. Chapman himself used a 1500cc Ford but owners fitted anything from the 1172cc side-valve Ford upwards. MG engines were popular, but selection was usually made from what was available. The same applied to the gearbox, brakes and wheels - Ford, Austin or MG were common - but the overall result was inevitably the same, a very
basic car for road fun and club racing with success.
The Mark 6 went from strength to strength, over 100 being built in three years. This car is fitted with a Coventry
Climax FWA engine and is one of only four Mark 6’s in the world with a de Dion rear axle assembly. Drive is
through an MG TC gearbox.
It has an extensive and highly successful Australian racing history. The car created quite a stir when it first arrived in the country appearing on the front cover of Wheels Magazine and several other motor sport publications. Its arrival in Australia was quite controversial for Graham Strachan, its first owner, because it arrived without an engine or
gearbox. In typical Chapman style the argument was settled when Chapman offered Strachan the Australian
Lotus in return for him dropping the claim for an engine and gearbox.
Much of its early successful racing history was in the hands of the late Doug Chivas who became better known in his later competition successes at the wheel of Chrysler Chargers at Bathurst and other Australian racing venues
against the likes of Allan Moffat and Peter Brock.The car is still regularly used in historic racing competitions and events and because of its extensive racing history, is often called on to participate in re-enactments of early
Australian motor racing events including the 1956 Grand Prix.
Lotus MK VI l Lotus Eleven l Lotus Elite l Amilcar l Coventry Climax l Zeta l Scootamota l Ransomes MG6