The rare 1956 Lotus Eleven Roadster was meant to be for the gentleman racer or club racer. It stems from the pure spirit of Lotus’ original design. The intent of the manufacturer was to go fast and be cost effective for the amateur driver as well as the professional. Debuting in 1956, the Lotus Eleven offered a diverse platform for those who wanted to enjoy a track day for privateers or to warrant the esteem of a professional racing team favoring the 1100 or 1500 cc class at Lemans for instance. Offered in Sport, Club and Lemans versions, the 1956 Lotus Eleven Roadster could be fitted with a variety of engines from the Doventry Climax FWA 1100cc all the way to the Maserati 150S 1500 cc engine. While this car was a lot to reckon with in its day, today it is the perfect vehicle to qualify in nostalgia race events and historic races. This car is chassis #MKII234, a 1956 Lotus Eleven in traditional Lotus British Racing Green over a red interior and red dash. At this time the ownership history is unknown. It recently was obtained from an estate in California. WeBe Autos tells us that it was part of a collection, the owner having it a long time and recently had it restored. Click here to view more photos and history.
The car appears correct and is fitted with the right equipment for club events. Some modifications have occurred to the 1956 Lotus Eleven Roadster over the years in the interest of going fast. Cosmetically the car appears to be recently restored with consistent paintwork throughout. They consider it to be nicely finished and show worthy. The Spartan interior has seats in good condition, dash nicely finished, restored correct gauges; everything in working order with the exception of the tachometer. They say the engine bay is freshly detailed and restored. The FEW 1200 cc engine currently fitted does not match the original VIN tag. Seldom do these cars have numbers matching engines. It does have the appropriate Weber carburetors, DCOE40. Does have the correct MGA type rear end. The seller notes that the car has been sitting unused for some time and needs a proper servicing before using it in competition.
Upon inspecting the engine bay, the theme of a fresh and clean restoration is ever present. WeBe Autos indicats that there are no obvious signs of serious accident damage on the car, and all the various hardware and parts are correctly coated. The engine compartment is described as being “nicely restored, clean and without any major issues. The Lotus Eleven is no doubt an absolute purpose built tool to win, or to go fast and have fun on the track. While this car is nicely rstored an impressive in terms of quality, it should be noted that it has been sitting for some time.” They say it starts and runs in its current state, sounds very strong with good oil pressure and holds a steady temperature. It is no doubt a superb example of the Lotus Eleven, but needs standard updats and servicing. Going racing will mean some costs will be involved in weekly maintainence. There have always been some advantages to campaigning a Lotus Eleven because of its simple construction and minimal comparative costs to race.
This one may be the racy looking car for your collection.