In 1970 Tony Rudd, who had arrived at Lotus the previous year, proposed two new model development projects. The first, Project M50, resulted in the 1974 Elite. The second, Project M70, meant to develop a successor to the Europa which, like the Europa, was to be a two-door fixed-head mid-engined coupé.
Work began on the new car in mid-1971 with production of a 1:4 scale model. According to Italdesign, Chapman was disappointed with the wind-tunnel test results with the model and halted the project, but the Italian carrozzeria pressed on and built a full-size mock-up on a stretched, modified Europa chassis. That nameless prototype, often simply called the Silver Car, appeared on the Italdesign stand at the 1972 Turin Auto Show and convinced Chapman to approve further development.
This particular car belonged to Carlos Reutemann, the Argentine former Formula One racing driver. The car was originally registered to Lotus Cars and given to Carlos while he drove for Lotus F1 Team in 1979. The current vendor bought it in 2014 Amsterdam with 29,000 miles on the clock. Prior to this, the car had been in a Dutch private collection from 1995 to 2012. The car is in original condition throughout and has been maintained by GST Performance in Newmarket. The car has been regularly serviced with ample paperwork to support this, and is now tax & mot exempt with 33,100 verified miles. The car will be sold with Reutemann memorabilia including a signed photo, F1 programmes and a watch. The watch is a TS X2 F1 and was only issued to the Lotus F1 Team which makes it a rare piece of automotive history. This usable classic comes with lots of history and is ready to be enjoyed by its new custodian.