Toad Hall Classic Sports Car Museum at the Simmons Homestead Inn
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The Lotus Cars. Colin Chapman started building his first car in a garage in North London in 1948. By 1953 he had built his first 'production' car the Mark 6. 1958 is when his first coupe, the Elite, made it's debut. Then till now, a great series of light, fast street cars were produced, with the Esprit and the Elise being the latest. All this was, of course, in addition to a great history of Formula One and other race cars. Here are the ones that I do have.  


Series 1 car, with the 1220 cc Coventry Climax FWE four cylinder twin SU engine that turned out 102 bhp in a 1700 pound fiberglass body. There were only 274 series 1 cars made from 1958 to 1960, all rhd. Completely restored in the 1990s. Really, the prettiest car Lotus made. I'll probably paint it red though.


A series 2 car, with a Ford 1500cc single cam cross flow engine. Twin webbers. Engine was rebuilt to racing specs. The series 4 car is a better one, but the aluminum series 3 was prettier. This one is right hand drive, and finding reverse with your left hand is an art form. New panasport, mini-lite look alike wheels. Great car.


Same 1600cc twin-cam as used in the Lotus Seven. One nice thing is a fully meshed 4 speed. Beats the Moss style in all the other early English cars. Frame off restoration and the body was hung on a tubular Spyder chassis. This is a fun car. Very quick, very light. By now, Lotus had roll-up glass windows.


Same basic car as the Roadster, but with a graceful body shape derived from the earlier Elite. Twin cam 1600 cc Lotus-Ford engine with twin Strombergs. Having a top, it solved the problem the roadster had with what to do with the window frame and channels.


Same 1600cc twin-cam Lotus/Ford engine with dual Stromberg as used in the Lotus Elan roadster and coupe. The body is elongated and there is a back seat in this little tourer. The nose is stretched out a little too, and gives the car some of the grace that the earlier Elite had. Both had the long low flowing lines of a very graceful car.


This was the first mid engine street car Lotus made. They were making mid and then rear engine Formula One cars, and thought they could work on the street. Good choice. Has the Renault 1600 cc engine that was used then. The car has great road feel with it's great suspension. Sitting in it is like driving a formula car. You are almost lying down flat.


A series 4 car, built in Sussex, England. Fiberglass body over a 'ladder' frame. Who needs doors anyway. Lotus twin cam big valve head on a Cosworth block. Roughly 135 hp out of a bored out 1600 cc engine. Top speed is about 130 mph. The car only weighs 1220 pounds. Makes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds.


Last year of the wedge body style, designed by Giugiaro back in 1974. This is the S3 with the same 2.2 liter four turbo as the 1988 listed next. The fiberglass body is a 2 piece clamshell type. Not as smooth looking as the later model, it was the classic design for upcoming super cars. The early body style was much more dramatic though.


First year of the new body style, rounded out from the original design. 2.2 liter four cylinder turbo, turning out about 280 horsepower, and a top speed of around 170 to 175 mph. A lot of fun to drive at speed, competition suspension, huge Brembo disks all around. Typical Collin Chapman car. "Make them light, and make them fast."

1991 LOTUS ELAN M100

Made in England from 1991 through 1993, but only imported here in the 1991 model year, and only 380 of them at that. This was the period Lotus was owned by GM. The engine is a 1600 cc Isuzu (GM) twin cam modified by Lotus, then Lotus Engineering added a turbo and really made a screamer out of it. Car turns out about 185 HP and weighs a tad over 2000 pounds.

1999 LOTUS ELISE 190

First year of production. Not available in the US, but Lotus shipped over 24 of them for race use only and tried to set up a Series like they have in England. Street version was 140 HP, race version 190 HP, this one 225 HP. Aluminum monocoque tub and fiberglass body. 1570 pounds. Mid-engine 1800 cc Rover 4 with Lotus twin cam head. I'm the third owner. The first two guys raced her. Took me a while to get it 'streetable'


This is the rarest I have. Only made about 200 in total and only 50 in the 'race version.' Of these only 6 came to America, and this is the only one red one! Basically same as the Elise, but a slightly upgraded engine. About 200 hp out of the Rover 4. Sophisticated body aerodynamics and simply awesome performance and handling.


This second series Elise is finally coming to these shores this coming Summer. Instead of the 1800 cc Rover Twin Cam, it will have a Toyota 1800 cc 2ZZ-GE DOHC turning out 190 bhp and almost as fast as the earlier race version. It has had the head and the V.V.T. reworked by Lotus, and a close ratio Toyota six speed gearbox. I also took the sport package with pretty much the same suspension, big brakes and wheels as the earlier race version, and the detatchable hard top.

Lotus MG Triumph Jaguar Austin Healy TVR Other English Cars Japanese Cars European Marques
Toad Hall Home Page The Simmons Homestead Inn Bill Putman's Home Page How this got started Directions
Toad Hall Classic Sports Car Museum
at the Simmons Homestead Inn
288 Scudder Avenue
Hyannis Port MA 02647
Telephone 1-508-778-4934
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