The very first customer Lotus Elite.
The car was the first customer model and was first owned by jazz legend Chris Barber, a favoured customer of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
After first being shown at the London show, it was quickly made race ready for Barber who used it in competition across Britain and the rest of Europe for five seasons. During that time the legendary Sir John Whitmore also raced the car, taking a class lap record and victory at Spa-Francorchamps.
Once its racing career ended, the car was hidden away for some time, eventually remerging in 2016 when it appeared on the Channel 4 show For the Love of Cars with Ant Anstead. On the show it received a full restoration – completing the work of the previous owner who began to restore it but sadly passed away before he had a chance to finish it.
During the restoration, the car was stripped down and the engine was rebuilt, with a full FIA standard roll cage fitted. The original gearbox was also returned to the car after it too was rebuilt.
As well as being in impeccable condition, it currently has the latest current FIA HTP papers, Period E- 1947-1961, which are valid until 31st December 2026.
"This is a superb little Lotus that has had an amazing life. Just over 1,000 Elites were made and not many cars have this type of wonderful history and provenance, it ticks every little box," said Nick Whale, Silverstone Auctions managing director. "It has been beautifully restored by Ant Anstead, now a presenter and master mechanic on Wheeler Dealers. This car will give the next owner so much joy and fun."