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Lost Lotus Elevens


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#1 David Beard

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 21:21

What happened to the Lotus Valiant.....?

http://www.valiant.org/lotus.html

http://lotuseleven.o...pen_exhaust.htm

or see the latest edition of "Historic Lotus".....

http://www.historicl...ne/magazine.htm

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#2 David Birchall

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 17:27

David, It seems unlikely that a Lotus Eleven would remain undiscovered in the SanFrancisco area with all of the historic racing that has been going on there since about 1970. Have you been in direct contact with people in the SF area? I am assuming it is still undiscovered....

#3 David Beard

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 20:12

Originally posted by David Birchall
David, It seems unlikely that a Lotus Eleven would remain undiscovered in the SanFrancisco area with all of the historic racing that has been going on there since about 1970. Have you been in direct contact with people in the SF area? I am assuming it is still undiscovered....


I've not been in contact with anyone (although I'm sure others have)...just read about this in the latest edition of "Historic Lotus", and thought it was a good one with which to test TNF.....
Very interesting car too.....but what where they thinking about with that carb and air cleaner . :eek:

#4 David Birchall

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 22:02

No mention of a serila number in any of the articles that I can see. Any idea what it was David? That would be the most useful information.
David B

#5 gmw

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:43

As one of the original builders of the Lotus Valiant, I can only echo your question. We have been looking for it for almost 40 years. The last record we can find of it is that it was entered in the 1964 ARRC race driven by a John Jewett. Apparently it was a non starter.
The air cleaner and carburetor were a problem from the beginning, but the configuration that we raced with was a last minute fix at the first race. The Lotus 11 body just clears the Valiant valve cove in the center of the car. Out at the edge of the body the complete carburetor and a good portion of the outer end of the manifold are outside of the body. The ideal fix would have been three Weber 40DCOE carburetors. These could probably have been fitted inside the body. This would have taken more time and money as well as not using a stock Valiant Hyper Pak, which was one of the aims of the car. Originally we had a scoop on top of the carburetor to get some ram air help, and with the scoop it didn't look quite as ridiculous as the air cleaner. But in the first practice session we found that the ram air was causing the carburetor to change the mixture with speed, and we were not able to fix it at the track. So we took the air cleaner off of the tow car and put it on the race car. This fixed the carburetion, and we ran it that way for the rest of the season. (We did put a new air cleaner on it for the second race and returned the original to the tow car.) I agree that it didn't look very good, but it did the job.

George M. Wallace

#6 M bennett

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:34

When I met Russell Shreve in a very cold Detroit in early 2001. I encouraged him to go away and see if he had a record of the chassis number. After I returned to Australia he advised me he had sorted through papers raised for the initial bank/finance loan and had found the chassis and engine number ( of the original Climax unit)
I presume for the obvious reasons that Victor has not published those numbers. Show us the car and Victor will confirm the number!!!
Russell was a charming man, very much of the old school engineer (maybe what Detroit needs now?) He told me many stories of John Posselius, the team of engineers who built the car, meeting ACBC and having a fast food hamburger with him. I wonder what Chapman thought of the car?

#7 David Beard

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 12:50

Originally posted by gmw
As one of the original builders of the Lotus Valiant, I can only echo your question. We have been looking for it for almost 40 years.
George M. Wallace


George, I had no idea we had one of the original builders already aboard TNF when I started the thread with a question on the Lotus Valiant! Amazing.

Yes, I was imagining some DCOEs nestling in there when I saw the photos...

#8 gmw

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 22:21

I am continually amazed by the wide range of very knowledgeable people we have on TNF. There seems to always be someone with some information on the most obscure vehicle or race.

#9 David Birchall

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 22:47

I recall a Lotus Eleven running in California races in the seventies with a Volvo gearbox and o/drive but I recall it had the Climax engine! Old racing cars tend not to get scrapped as often as people seem to think-I bet its out there somewhere....

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 23:59

Originally posted by David Birchall
I recall a Lotus Eleven running in California races in the seventies with a Volvo gearbox and o/drive but I recall it had the Climax engine!.....


Wow! That's one way to improve the weight distribution!

#11 David Beard

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 16:36

The other Eleven I was thinking about was that of Mike Anthony. He installed a Bristol engine at a very inclined angle, I understand. He sold the car without the engine, but its subsequent history seems to be unknown.....

#12 275 GTB-4

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 23:38

I found this picture lying on the track at Wakefield Park last year.....hope it isn't a vital part of the cars provenance/Cof D :blush:

Posted Image

thank you photobucket for the hosting....

#13 IAM

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 04:50

Not what you are looking for but Posted Image

and Chassis number Posted Image 622-3

This was at PIR last weekend.

Ian

Sorry about the size! :blush:

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 06:29

Originally posted by IAM
Not what you are looking for

Note even a Lotus XI ;)

#15 David Beard

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 09:14

Originally posted by David McKinney

Note even a Lotus XI ;)


The racing number gives it away?

#16 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 09:17

Originally posted by David McKinney

Note even a Lotus XI ;)

Gibsons' - Green, Matich's - White, Palmer's - Polished - who had this one?

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 10:38

OK, if we're going to turn this into a Lotus XV thread...

I don't have a note of any XV numbered 622 which - I hasten to say - is not meant to throw any doubt on the provenance of the car in the picture

Five cars went to Australia or New Zealand in period:
Both of Jolly's were numbered 608 (though the second one had been 626 in an earlier life)
Ann Thompson's was 609
Palmer's was 621
Matich's was 623

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 11:47

As I recall, Ann Thompson's was crashed, rebuilt with a new chassis...

The owner of the original chassis, which was lighter than a production chassis, having been a works chassis (IIRC), set about rebuilding the car around that chassis. Hence there is or will be two Ann Thompson cars.

Which is all some kind of a side track to the thread... as IAM didn't say this car was at Phillip Island... rather at 'PIR'.

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 12:02

Originally posted by Ray Bell
As I recall, Ann Thompson's was crashed, rebuilt with a new chassis...
The owner of the original chassis, which was lighter than a production chassis, having been a works chassis (IIRC),


Not a works chassis, but the John Coombs car, driven in 1958 by Roy Salvadori, Ron Flockhart, Bruce McLaren and Syd Jensen

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#20 Brian Lear

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 13:04

Originally posted by Ray Bell
As I recall, Ann Thompson's was crashed, rebuilt with a new chassis...

The owner of the original chassis, which was lighter than a production chassis, having been a works chassis (IIRC), set about rebuilding the car around that chassis. Hence there is or will be two Ann Thompson cars.

Which is all some kind of a side track to the thread... as IAM didn't say this car was at Phillip Island... rather at 'PIR'.



Ray
The car mentioned above - that there are now two of - was an Eleven (#552) owned at the time of the crash at Lakeside in May 1961 by Charlie Whatmore.
Ann Thompson's Lotus 15 (#609) is alive and well in Newcastle. It is the car shown in 275-GTB4's
posting (No 12) in this thread.

Brian Lear.

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 15:03

Ah yes, thanks Brian... you appear here far too infrequently, let me say...

That's right, of course, I was confusing myself with Queensland Lotuses. So the original (repaired) chassis car was ultimately finished?


David, now I've thrown everyone off the track, to clarify things, you mean the Ann Thompson car was the John Coombs car?

#22 David McKinney

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 16:49

Originally posted by Ray Bell
David, now I've thrown everyone off the track, to clarify things, you mean the Ann Thompson car was the John Coombs car?

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#23 David Birchall

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 17:42

A bit late in getting back to this thread but the car pictured at PIR (Portland International Raceway, Oregon) is almost certainly not a lotus as someone pointed out. There is a "manufacturer" of Lotus XV replicas based in Portland! Judging by the size of the rivets, the dashboard finish, the gear shift arrangement etc, I would say this is one of those-(fibreglass body)
David B

#24 Charles Helps

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 12:02

Originally posted by David Beard
The other Eleven I was thinking about was that of Mike Anthony. He installed a Bristol engine at a very inclined angle, I understand. He sold the car without the engine, but its subsequent history seems to be unknown.....

From a report by Graham Capel on Mike Anthony's talk at the Club Lotus Avon area at the Compass Inn, Tormarton (jn 18 of the M4), 5th December 1995 reported in the Historic Lotus Register's magazine, Easter 1996:
After Mark Lund was killed testing for Aston Martin, Mike lost some enthusiasm for Motor Racing. The Lotus was stripped of its Bristol engine and De Dion rear axle. These were replaced with Ford 1172 equipment and RUF 100 was sold to South Africa.

This was the car which travelled to races on the converted Standard transporter.
Any comments from South African TNFers?

#25 Bill Colson

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 15:35

Post 12 is definitely Barry Bates' ex-Coombs Mark 15, chassis no. 609.
Post 13 is the ex-Roy Pierpoint/George Dixon Mark 15, no. 622-3, now resident in USA.
Post 17 is almost correct. 608 was an entirely different car to 626 and was scrapped after its December, 1958 crash. It's number was used 'for Custom's purposes', in getting the new 626-3 into Australia. The only commonality between the two cars was the owner.

#26 David Birchall

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 03:14

Originally posted by Bill Colson
Post 12 is definitely Barry Bates' ex-Coombs Mark 15, chassis no. 609.
Post 13 is the ex-Roy Pierpoint/George Dixon Mark 15, no. 622-3, now resident in USA.
Post 17 is almost correct. 608 was an entirely different car to 626 and was scrapped after its December, 1958 crash. It's number was used 'for Custom's purposes', in getting the new 626-3 into Australia. The only commonality between the two cars was the owner.


So There!! :blush:

#27 Ted Walker

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 07:35

Can the title of this thread now be called "lost lotus elevens and fifteens"

#28 Stephen W

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 09:51

Originally posted by Ted Walker
Can the title of this thread now be called "lost lotus elevens and fifteens"


Surely that would be lost Lotus 26s!

:rotfl: :lol: :rotfl:

#29 David Beard

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 20:57

Originally posted by Stephen W


Surely that would be lost Lotus 26s!

:rotfl: :lol: :rotfl:


If you mean 26R, certainly not. There are more of those in existence than there should be, as well you know, Steve ;)

#30 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:24

As part penance for highjacking the XI thread....I notice that the XV looks to be a scaled-up XI....if this is true....what was the reason?? to cater for a wider range of (larger) engines???

#31 Stephen W

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:48

Originally posted by David Beard


If you mean 26R, certainly not. There are more of those in existence than there should be, as well you know, Steve ;)


Wot u tryin' 2 say?

Nothing to do with my latest acquisition?

#32 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:18

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
As part penance for highjacking the XI thread....I notice that the XV looks to be a scaled-up XI....if this is true....what was the reason?? to cater for a wider range of (larger) engines???

At first glance the photo you posted at post 12 looked like an Eleven......... the Fifteen despite its bigger engine had a frontal area less than the Eleven. From what I have read the engine [2.2/ 2./1.5 Climax] was canted to the right?
The bulge in the bonnet came about when they set the engine 17degrees to the other side to give a better inlet tract.
getting my coat ready

#33 David Beard

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 20:35

Originally posted by Stephen W


Wot u tryin' 2 say?

Nothing to do with my latest acquisition?


Tee hee!

#34 Exact10

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:19

Don't know if you've noticed but I found an unrestored Eleven in the Bay Area.
It belonged to Howden Ganley, ex BRM F1, it wasn't his first car (which is in a museum back in his New Zealand home) just one he aquired along the way and didn't get round to restoring.
It's chassis number 207, belonged at one stage to David Whiteside and retains the FWE he ran in the 80's. If anyone has any info on this car I'd be very grateful




Here are some more pics, sorry for the quality

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Posted Image

Thanks
Ian

#35 David McKinney

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 04:59

Apparently a US car, sold originally via Alfred Momo in 1956
In 1988 an XI with this c/no was listed at Laguna Seca in the name of Barbara Blackie

#36 Exact10

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:53

Thanks David,
I have a letter from David Whiteside selling the car to Nate Johnson of Mountain View, California in December of 1986, Barbara bought her Eleven in 82, it can't be the same one.
The car Barbara Blackie had, according to "The Lotus Eleven" by Ortenburger had chassis number 255 and the number 207 stamped on several of the panels.
The car I have has the Chassis plate stamped 207 and has continous scca history back to 1970.
Does your info tell you anything more about the car in 56, like it's destination or color?

#37 David McKinney

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 08:13

Originally posted by Exact10
Does your info tell you anything more about the car in 56, like it's destination or color?

I'm sure I would have noted its destination if it had been available. Don't think the colour was there either, but I'll check later
Thanks for clarifying the Barbara Blackie car - I was deliberately careful with my wording :lol:

#38 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 08:42

Originally posted by Exact10


Posted Image

Ian


Scuse my ignorance (again :confused: ) but how much suspension movement did that front end have??

I imagine that some coil-overs were utilised..... but cannot see those long trailing links allowing much excursion from the swing arms :blush:

#39 Exact10

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:33

That's a typical Chapman special, an ingeniously simple way of constructing an independent front out of a live axle. First take a Ford Popular front drop beam axle, chop it in half and weld to the inner end a rubber bushing carrier at 90 degrees. Now pivot it in the middle of the chassis and connect it to coil over shocks mounted at the edge of the tube frame and win everything in sight.
It worked very well but was changed in the series two models for what is now conventional A arm suspension, this was to cure a lot of the handling probelms seen in the series one, mainly I believe, associated with high speed stability.

A pic of the panels hung on the new chassis

Posted Image

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#40 cosworth bdg

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:57

Originally posted by Brian Lear



Ray
The car mentioned above - that there are now two of - was an Eleven (#552) owned at the time of the crash at Lakeside in May 1961 by Charlie Whatmore.
Ann Thompson's Lotus 15 (#609) is alive and well in Newcastle. It is the car shown in 275-GTB4's
posting (No 12) in this thread.

Brian Lear.

I sincerely hope the eligibility people are reading this post ..........???

#41 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:03

Exact

On the subject of the Lotus Series 1 front ends with floppies you wrote above, "It worked very well but was changed in the series two models for what is now conventional A arm suspension, this was to cure a lot of the handling problems seen in the series one, mainly I believe, associated with high speed stability.”

As one who spent a lot of time racing a floppy equipped Lotus and other cars with similar suspensions I can assure you that there were neither handling problems nor anything wrong with highspeed stability.

My Lotus had no trouble taching out at 132 mph at say, Road America and was always rock solid even when being buffeted by passing Ferrari’ and Masers doing another 20 MPH or so.

I spent a lot of time dicing with very well driven S2 cars and never noticed even a smidgeon of corning speed difference over a wide range of corner attributes.

If any others have had any contrary experience I would be happy to compare notes.

Please, let's not get any gross inaccuracies established that might perpetuate themselves.

Regards

#42 Exact10

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:11

Hi Joe,
Thanks for your input, my description isn't based on experince, this is the first eleven I've owned, I'm just repeating what I have read about why the design was apparently changed

#43 Lotus11Register

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 18:03

On some tracks the handling differences between an S-1 and S-2 Eleven would be undiscernable. In the USA, S-1 Elevens were often preferred by club racers due to lower weight and sometimes higher speed than the S-2 cars. But the 'problems' associated with the S-1 swing-axle were perceived by Colin Chapman, Mike Costin and others within Lotus who raced the things. The camber-steer that occurs with an Eleven S-1 on a undulating track isn't something we imagine. Chapman in particular was known to confide with others he shared cars with that the swing-axle was long-in-tooth with the Eleven and so by the end of 1956 a new front suspension design was on the drawing board.

It would be a gross inaccuracy to say that the Eleven S-1 had bad handling. But it would be inaccurate to say that the S-2 wishbone suspension wasn't an improvement.

#44 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 00:10

joe-7-693x300.jpg
Here is my friend Joe Playan with Frank Monise hot on his heals in his Lotus 11. This photo is from the Joe Playan collection. Photo by Lester Nehamkin. Frank Monise sadly passed away. He was a great mechanic and competitor. Frank went on to run a very fast Lotus 23 in later years. If you want a great read on Lotus 11's go to www.lotuseleven.org Go from there to racing success and than go to 1957 and read the story on Joe Sheppard. He was called the Tampa Hot shoe. I was steered to this by Willem Oosthoek. It was written by Jay Sloane and is a fantastic read. Welcome to the forum Jay and I truly enjoyed your article.


Edited by Jerry Entin, 19 March 2020 - 14:08.


#45 coldplugs

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:45

My father & I owned an Eleven S2 car back in the 60's - serial was #324 and it had been a '57 LeMans factory team car (the one driven by Jay Chamberlain).

I still have a letter from Lotus confirming that it was a team car, but the car seems to have vanished. We sold it to a friend who indended to use it for autocrossing.

I've inquired here & there and have never found any evidence that it survives. If anyone knows where it went (or where it is) I'd love to hear about it.

#46 Jerry Entin

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 15:02

Posted Image
Richard Macon's Lotus X1. photo lent site Richard Macon

#47 Lotus11Register

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:01

Posted Image

The is the rear view of Richard Macon's Eleven, and it provided a big clue to finding the car recently. The eight holes cut into the tail section weren't standard, but were done by Macon's team. This unique detail helped in locating the car in England a few years ago.

There is a gap, however, in this car's history. If anyone has a photo or a recollection of this car in the 1965 - 2000 period, please share it.

Fairhope, by the way, is the name of Macon's lovely coastal Alabama hometown.

PS: If Coldplugs will contact me through www.lotuseleven.org we can talk about the whereabouts of his ex-LeMans car. It should be nearby.

#48 elvaMKII

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 19:38

Re. The Howden Ganley Lotus XI's. I saw the pieces being sold by Nate Johnson around 1998. I think he wanted $30K. I also saw the chassis plate he had. I believe he said he bought some of the pieces after two Elevens had crashed together at Laguna or Sears Point. Evidently his collection also included parts from David Whiteside and this included the plate. The newly built/refurbished chassis had a Series 2 "W" brace in the cowling area. Some S1 cars were given this bracing style by the factory if they were repairing a S1 chassis. (This was the case with the ex-Peter Ross Eleven Chassis 202) and I think that the S1 cars with chassis 377-390 or so were also given this updated and stronger "W" brace. The deDion tube that Johnson had looked like it came from a S2 car. The tube diameter of the S2 cars were 3 1/2" as opposed to the smaller diameter S1 tubes. Also, S2 cars had beefed-up rear hubs like the ones I see in the photos.

The Ganley cars were S1 body parts. When I asked Nate to help me place his new front aluminum body shell to the new chassis he was reluctant (in fact refused) and I can see from the photos that it does not fit the chassis with a cowling in place.

One possible confusing element with the number "207" is that Jay Chamberlain painted this number on body parts of car he imported. I've never heard why. At any rate, several extant Elevens have these numbers painted on doors and hoods and do not have anything to so with a 207 chassis number, as far as I can tell. Jay Sloan could verify or correct my memory on this. David Whiteside sadly was killed in an auto accident and his Lotus collection was bought by the Barber Museum.

As for the differences in S1 and S2 handling, I can say from experience that S1 cars corner nicely, especially if they have the deDion rear set-up, but that S2 cars handle better. I think the difference is more due to the stiffer chassis of the S2 (thanks to the "W" brace) than to the swing axle design of the S1, which worked just fine on smoothe courses. I had a S1 with a IFS (made in the late 50's by Dolphin engineering) and it was superior in cornering that the swing axle Eleven of my brother. Then again, maybe I was just a better driver, as I've been telling him for the past 40 years.

I think that HLR would have a record of who #207 was sold to in 1956.

#49 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 00:59

Posted Image
A few Lotus 11's at Cotati. Lester Nehamkin photo from Joe Playan collection

#50 Exact10

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 13:50

Thanks for your reply Elva Mk11,
I am sure that your memory serves you perfectly well but I have a set of documents from David Whiteside clearly selling 207 as a complete car, including repair orders and running costs detailing the cars use, I have also a set of polariod instant pictures of the car being dismanted. Rather than a "pile of parts" this is a car with proper history.
I discussed at length the W cross brace with Jay Sloane and he believes, I think, that the W brace was fitted by the factory in production, 207 being shipped to Momo for his own use and without an engine, possibly Momo ordered the car to put in his own type of motor.
Whilst I am sure that some of the panels come from other cars, I have several extras, to my simple mind the bonnet fits perfectly well and with a scuttle attached, we'll have to wait until the car is put together to see if there are any problems.
The rear hubs, as you noted being beefier S2 units is probably wrong. If you look at the crossthwaite and Gardner site, a noted supplier of Lotus parts in the UK, they sell replacement rear hubs both for S1 and S2 cars. The pictures of the S1 wire wheel unit is exactly what is on this car, the S2 units are substantially different. Look at page 3

http://www.candg.org...at_LOTUSGEN.pdf