With the Lotus 14 of 1959 – better known as the Elite – Colin Chapman demonstrated that his skills as a racing car designer and constructor could just as easily be applied to production road cars.
Just as innovative as Lotus’s outright competition cars, the Elite featured a fibreglass monocoque body tub, independent suspension all round (based on that of Lotus’ racing monopostos’) and four-wheel disc brakes, the rears mounted inboard. Its engine was the four-cylinder Coventry-Climax FWE, a single-overhead-cam unit, while the gearbox, an MGA unit fitted with an alloy casing and modified bellhousing, was sourced from BMC.
The classically-styled body – the work of stylists Peter Kirwan-Taylor, John Frayling, and aerodynamicist Frank Costin – possessed an admirably low coefficient of drag, though it made few concessions for comfort or noise suppression. That is not likely to have bothered the Elite’s customers, for whom its 112mph top speed and superlative handling were of far greater importance than creature comforts. Indeed, so successful was the Elite on the racetrack that the car dominated its class well into the 1960s. Noteworthy achievements include five class victories at Le Mans and two wins in the prestigious ‘Index of Thermal Performance’.
One of the last Bristol Bodied Cars ever made,the car is original and virtually as it was when built,original Royal Blue Metallic with Silver roof,Silver wire wheels.Coventry Climax F.W.E engine on twin SU carbs with ZF Gearbox.
Prior to the Rally Monte Carlo Classique 2016 the following work has been carried out to a very high standard.The engine and Gearbox were removed along with all the Rear Suspention,Exhaust system,the Engine and Gearbox split and the ZF gearbox sent for specialist rebuild,the engine had the rear back plate removed to fit a new Rear main seal conversion.The Differential sent for a full Specialist rebuild,the ancillary components powder coated,with the engine removed the engine bay has been detailed including all new brake pipes new Master cylinders,Clutch pipe in braided to new Slave cylinder,and upgraded wiring to full Historic rally spec under the bonnet. The rear Lower arms have been replaced with the modified type to include Rose joints which allow the rear tow to be adjusted,New Competition rear Strut inserts which are adjustable and uprated rear Springs with adjustable race type platforms fitted.All rear bearings washed and re greased with new seals,the drive shafts serviced.The engine had a new Clutch assembly including Spigot bush and mated to the rebuilt gearbox and the full assembly refitted in to the car.The Dynamo has been removed and replaced with an Alternator which looks like a Dynamo with new larger alloy pulley and V belt,the wiring changed to suit. A new Steel Tubular exhaust manifold fitted along with the inlet manifold having been ported with rebuilt SU Carbs,new SU electric fuel pump and Filter bowl for reliabilaty.
A new Custom Stainless steel exhaust made with mounts.The headlamps changed to H4 to allow 100 watt bulbs which where fused and relayed and auxiliary wiring harness for Drive lamps,New 15″ Wire wheels with Pirelli Cinturato tyres,the steering coloum rebuilt with UJs,on the interior the Original Erwin belts used and on passenger side an auxiliary panel fitted on the parcel shelf which controlled the lights and trip,another upgrade fitted is a front heated windscreen.
This car is a true delight to drive with an unmatched litheness and balance and wonderful positive feel. Despite being essentially a racing car on the road, it is perfectly tractable and refined with perfect communication between car and driver. It remains in superb condition throughout appearing much as it did when new some 50 plus years ago. Rare to find such a spectacular car with such provenance and careful ownership.