This 1960 Lotus Elite is a beautiful, correctly-restored example of the ‘Mk14’ model, which benefits from being a late-build Series 1 car with the associated improvements in the fibreglass manufacturing process. It is equipped with its original single-SU carburettor Coventry Climax engine paired to the original four-speed manual transmission. With only 400 miles driven since its total restoration, it is a stunning example that is equally suited to the show field as well as the open road.
An original right-hand drive car, but delivered new to the US, it had two owners on that side of the Atlantic before being purchased by the current keeper in the UK. The last owner in the US had the car for 47 years. He bought the car in 1971 and used it as a daily driver for 10 years before ‘retiring’ the car to use more sparingly. It was then taken off the road in 2005 to begin an exhaustive restoration.
With no rush to complete the work, the restoration was ongoing for 12 years, before the current owner acquired the Lotus as a 90%-complete project 18 months ago. At this point, the engine and gearbox were removed, and all of the major mechanical components were fully inspected. The owner took this opportunity to commission some subtle upgrades, including an electronic fuel pump, electronic distributor and coil, and uprated front and rear crank oil seals from Mike Brotherwood. SPAX adjustable shock absorbers were also fitted, along with new road springs.
The exterior of the car is in outstanding, near-concours condition. The red paintwork is bright and smooth, with a minor stress fracture near the driver’s door handle the only imperfection noted by the vendor. Pristine chrome knock-off spinners highlight the correctly-finished wire wheels, and all of the other body brightwork is also in excellent condition.
Inside, the cabin upholstery and trim presents in ‘as new’ condition. A full re-trim was carried out in consultation with the renowned Lotus Elite specialist Mk14 Components Ltd, which ensured that the work was done to period-correct Series 1 specification.
The Elite is in superb mechanical order given the recent restoration, and within the last 12 months was completed with a replacement diaphragm clutch and release bearing balanced to a re-machined flywheel, as well as a full gearbox rebuild and renewal of the water pump.
Accompanied by an extensive file of invoices documenting the restoration, this Elite also comes with all of the original components that were replaced with subtle upgrades during the last 12 months. This 1960 Lotus Elite is an immaculate example of an iconic British car, benefiting from known provenance and a recently completed, no-expense-spared restoration to make it one of the very best examples available anywhere.