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Lotus Elite

Groundbreaking fibreglass monoque sportscar. Built from 1957 to 1963.

Originally fitted with a now unavailable 480-15 crossply. A suitable radial replacement size would be 145R15.

When it made its debut at the 1957 Earls Court motor show the Lotus Elite (known as the Type 14) represented nothing less than a revolution. Here was a car that weighed little more than half a ton and it could get from 0-60mph in under 11 seconds. Not only that but its top speed was 118mph – yet the 75bhp four-cylinder engine displaced just 1216cc. The Elite's talents were largely down to its cutting-edge construction; it was the world's first production car to feature a glassfibre monocoque.

Lotus Elite sales began in 1958 with the first (Series 1) cars all having right-hand drive. A Coventry-Climax engine was fitted which could be tuned to give up to 95bhp when the Elite Series 2 arrived in 1960, now available with left-hand drive. The Elite S2 featured an improved interior along with strengthened and upgraded suspension and by the time production ended in 1963 just under 1000 Lotus Elites had been built.

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