THE very first production Lotus Elite, owned from new by jazz legend Chris Barber and recently
THE very first production Lotus Elite, owned from new by jazz legend Chris Barber and recently restored for Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars, will be auctioned at the Silverstone Classic Sale on Saturday, July 30.
The very first Elite produced as a proper production vehicle rather than a pre-production prototype, this 1958 Lotus Elite Series I, chassis 1009, was displayed at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show.
It was then purchased by one of Colin Chapman’s most favoured customers and personal friend, Chris Barber, in December 1958.
The very first racing Elite, the car has an incredible race history, with Barber racing it extensively for five seasons in both the UK and Europe.
As well as competing in three consecutive Tourist Trophy races at Goodwood from 1961 to 1963, the Elite raced at the NÃ¼rburgring and in the British Empire Trophy.
During this period it was also driven regularly by Sir John Whitmore, the “Racing Baronet”. Other notable drivers include Mike Beckworth and Bob Olthoff.
Hidden away in storage for many years, the car has just emerged from a top quality, very exacting restoration carried out by Ant Anstead’s team at Evanta Motors with assistance from Lotus marque experts, all filmed as part of the new series of For the Love of Cars.
After competing at the Silverstone Classic on July 30, the car will go under the hammer as the first lot of the day, estimated at between £75,000 and £100,000.
Silverstone Auctions managing director Nick Whale said: “This car represents a unique proposition for buyers wanting to race in top-level historic motor sport or add to a stable of historically interesting cars. Its history and provenance make this Elite one of the most famous in the world and mean it would be welcome at any prestigious historic race meeting or show worldwide.”