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First ever Lotus Elite restored by For the Love of Cars – now up for auction

A very early Lotus Elite, recently restored for the upcoming series of For the Love of Cars, has been entered in Silverstone Auctions' next sale

After a very comprehensive restoration, undertaken as part of the next series of For the Love of Cars, the very first production Lotus Elite has been entered into Silverstone Auctions sale at the Silverstone Classic on 30 July.

This example wears the chassis number 1009, and was the first of the production Elites to roll off the production line. After it was put on display at the the Earls Court motor show in 1958, the car was purchased by friend of the Colin Chapman and jazz legend Chris Barber.

The car then went on to race for five seasons with Barber Racing, taking part in top level motorsport in the UK and Europe. This included three consecutive the Tourist Trophy races at Goodwood, as well as at the Nurburgring and in the British Empire Trophy.

Despite this excellent provenance – which also included some other occasional drives by Sir John Whitmore, Mike Beckworth and Bob Olthoff – the Elite has been stashed away in storage for many years. After being re-discovered, it was given a full and comprehensive restoration by Ant Anstead’s team at Evanta Motors, with a little help from a number of Lotus marque specialists.

> Take a look at the other racing cars consigned to the Silverstone Classic auction

The restoration included stripping the whole car down to its bare monocoque, a full inspection (which it passed with flying colours) and then re-painted in UDT Green. Fitted with a full FIA approved roll cage, Tillett B6F Carbon-GRP racing seat, TRS belts and a Moto-Lita steering wheel – this Elite is ready to race.

After it has competed at the Silverstone Classic event, it will be entered into the auction, where it’s estimated to sell for £75,000 and £100,000.

Speaking ahead of the sale, Silverstone Auctions managing director, Nick Whale, said; ‘This car represents a unique proposition for buyers wanting to race in top level historic motor sport or add to a stable of historically interesting cars. Its history and provenance make this Elite one of the most famous in the world and mean it would be welcome at any prestigious historic race meeting or show worldwide.’

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