Classic Car Catalogue

Lotus 1957

Seven - nowy model
Elite - London (October)

Great Britain

Colin Chapman's home built competition cars were highly successful, and responding to demand he offered them for sale as kits from 1952. Ultra light space frame chassis clad in aluminium panels, had divided Ford front axle ifs, and Ford rear axle. Power was from 40 bhp side valve Ford Ten, with 75 mph top speed, or 75 bhp MG TC giving 90 mph top speed.
Lotus Seven is a replacement for Mk6 and has redesigned space frame, wishbone front suspension, coil sprung live axle rear, and hydraulic brakes. Same Ford side valve 40 bhp engine is used giving top speed of 76 mph.
Beautifully styled Elite is a first proper road car from Lotis. It has all glass fibre monocoque bodywork in fixed head form.
Racing car that could be driven to events, the Eleven introduced in 1956 has typical Colin Chapman super lightweight space frame chassis and streamlined all enveloping aluminium body work. Front and rear sections are hinged up and held in place by rubber straps, doors are bottom hinged. Basic road equipment includes lights and rudimentary hood. The Eleven is offered in "Sport" spec, with Ford 36 bhp 1172 side valve engine, and live back axle, "Club" spec with 75 bhp Coventry Climax engine, and coil spring ifs, live rear, or "Le Mans" spec, with De Dion back axle and choice of 75, 83 or 100bhp Coventry Climax power. All fitted with wishbone ifs from 1956 Top speed 120 to 160 mph depending on spec.



Seven (R4 cyl, 1172 cc, 40 bhp)



Elite (R4 cyl, 1216 cc, 71 bhp)

Lotus Elite being transported to the London Motor Show.


Mk XI (Coventry-Climax 1098 cc)
Mk XII (F-2) (Coventry-Climax, 1475 cc, 1964 cc, 2207 cc) - new model
Mk XV (Coventry-Climax 1964 cc) - new model

Lotus Eleven Le Mans 85 bhp.

Lotus Eleven Club is a low streamlined sports/racing two-seater from the highly promising and already very successful Colin Chapman stable. The car features a 1098-cc Coventry Climax engine. An Eleven Le Mans-also fitted with the Coventry Climax engine-won the 1100-cc class in the 1956 Le Mans 24-hour race.


F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship entries:

12 Hours Sebring 23.03.1957 (round 2) Results:
#   chassis   Entrant: gen. class
59 Eleven #276 Chapman / Sheppard / Dungan Lotus 11th S1.1 1st    
60 Eleven #278 Chamberlain / Lozano Lotus fail. S1.1 -    
61 Eleven #274 Merino / Pedrerra / Rosales Puerto Rico Club 32nd S1.1 3rd    
62 Eleven #242 Schrafft G. Schrafft dns S1.5 -    
74 Eleven Le Mans #275 Wyllie / Wyllie / Moran C. Moran dsq S1.5 -    
  24h Le Mans 23.06.1957 (round 4) Results:
#   chassis   Entrant: gen. class perf.index
37 (1475 cc) #322 Chapman / Ashdown Lotus Eng. dns   - -  
41 XI (1098 cc) #320 Héchard / Masson Lotus Eng. 16th 751-1.1 4th 14th  
42 XI (1098 cc) #321 Walshaw / Dalton R. Walshaw 13th 751-1.1 2nd 10th  
55 XI (745 cc) #323 Allison / Hall Lotus Eng. 14th 501-750 1st 1st  
62 XI (1098 cc) #324 MacKay-Fraser / Chamberlain Lotus Eng. 9th 751-1.1 1st 2nd  

Two Elevens with Coventry-Climax 4-cylinder 1097 cc engine entered by Lotus Engineering at Sebring 12 Hours. The #59 driven by Colin Chapman, Joe Sheppard and Dick Dungan finished 11th and won the 1100 cc class.

Le Mans

Lotus Eleven chassis #320, 1.098 cc. Coventry Climax (André Héchard / Roger Masson) at Le Mans.

Lotus Eleven chassis #321, 1.098 cc. Coventry Climax (Robert Walshaw / John Dalton) at Le Mans.

Lotus Eleven chassis #323, 745 cc. Coventry Climax (Cliff Allison / Keith Hall) at Le Mans.