Lot 220 - 1961 Lotus Elite (Type 14) Series 2

Lot 220 - 1961 Lotus Elite (Type 14) Series 2

Lot 220 - 1961 Lotus Elite (Type 14) Series 2

Lot Number 220
Registration XZ 9399
Chassis Number 1558
Engine Number FWE9569
Odometer reading 65,779 miles
Result Sold - £50,400
  • Ex-works Elite in 1961 according to the Elite World Register
  • Comprehensively restored
  • Encyclopaedic marque and model history
  • Includes UK V5C, fluid service and a full one year MoT test certificate

The incomparable Colin Chapman re-wrote the rulebook with many of his sports and racing cars. His focus though, was always weight. Combined with body-stylist and friend, Peter Kiran-Taylor in 1956, they developed the Lotus Elite. New in so many ways, but primarily as a lighter-weight car, with much of the stressed chassis as fibreglass (GRP) with just a small amount of the load-bearing structure made of steel to support the famously spirited Coventry Climax engine. The Type II Elite Coupé proved a wonderfully agile driver's car, suitable for high-performance use on both road and track. The Bristol-bodied Elites were lighter and more robust than their Maximar predecessors and the Kiran-Taylor body form, fine-tuned by aerodynamicist Frank Costin, contributed to the car's low claimed drag coefficient of just 0.29.

Although production finished for these cars in 1963, this example was registered in 1965 and originally sold to a Mr. J. Cummings. It was the vendor who originally had an Elite in his youth and, despite a break where work and family took over, the hankering for an Elite never lost him. A very competent trained engineer, he eventually found a restoration project which, once purchased, was recovered back to Cornwall and stripped down. The bodywork was not too bad although the front subframe needed work. Indeed, a new one was obtained from Miles and Scott Bader followed by a Polyester powder coating and two coats of filler/primer and four coats of polyurethane acrylic finish applied to the entire car, including the engine bay and dash panel (although some attention would be required to now bring it back to showroom condition). The doors and windows have all been re-hung including all fixings and associated mechanisms. New front and rear screens and rubbers were also re-fitted as well as seals all the way round.

Suspension units, front and rear, were also stripped and rebuilt with new bearings and bushes with 14” wheels replaced with 15” polished chrome wire wheels with 155x15 Firestone rubber all round. The brakes were completely rebuilt as expected with new callipers, pistons, seals, pads and hoses/pipework fitted to all four corners.

After an oil pressure drop-off at 55,000 miles, the engine was stripped back and crank reground to -0.010” with a new big-end and main shells. New cylinder liners were fitted with new piston rings as well as an adapter plate modified to take a conventional lip seal. A new timing chain has been installed with re-cut cylinder head-valve seats and re-ground inlet and exhaust valves. 

The front and rear prop shaft universal joints have been re-built alongside a new crown wheel fitted with pinion bearings and half shaft bearings and differential mountings. A new clutch centre plate fitted with master and slave clutch cylinders was renewed in 1998 with a new diaphragm clutch cover fitted in 2002. According to the Elite World Register, based on the gearbox shift lever, it appears to have a MG Magnette gearbox, a not-unusual upgrade back in the 1960’s, as are the twin Weber carburettors.

The radiator has been flushed, tested and repainted with new hoses, thermostat and clips. A new stainless-steel fuel tank is now fitted with all new stainless steel, armoured/braid PTFE fuel hoses running throughout. A completely new wiring loom is fitted with new solenoid, starter and dynamo brushes all replaced as necessary with all instruments checked. A new battery has been installed, complete with isolating switch. The exhaust system is now a stainless-steel unit with lugs bonded into the body. New silencers are now also fitted with replaced manifold studs.

No expense has been spared with the interior as well; all the seats and trim have been re-recovered, a new carpet set fitted, plus new high-specification, four- point seat belts fitted with reinforced mounting points. Underneath the seats, the slide mechanisms have been stripped and re-plated, the dash panel stripped and re-painted and the boot area re-trimmed and carpeted.

The car's comprehensive paperwork is extensive and is provided in a huge 64 litre plastic storage box. This includes a file of service parts, a Type 14 handbook, ‘Lotus, the early years’ by Peter Ross, a workshop manual file, a Lotus Club information file and 1974 register. In addition, many Lotus Club magazines, two folders of Elite clippings and an extensive file relating to this car in particular. Finally, and interestingly, a boxed book entitled ‘Lotus Elite, Racing Car for the Road’ by Dennis Ortenburger. This is signed by the author on an actual ‘chassis plate’ inside the flyleaf alongside the actual chassis number, 1558.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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