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						Lotus Eleven Tribute 2

Street-Legal Lotus Eleven Tribute

By Dean Larson

With the proliferation of the Lotus Seven design, you’d likely assume that it was the small UK firm’s most successful racer. However that title actually belongs to a much more radical design, the low and aerodynamic Eleven. In true Lotus fashion, it used all-conquering lightweight and superior handling to outrun more powerful cars. Sprinkle in some enhanced aerodynamics designed by Frank Costin, and the Eleven was a recipe for success specially brewed for international circuits like Le Mans, Monza and Sebring.

Lotus built roughly 270 Elevens between 1956 and 1958, and good examples can fetch between $140,000 and $200,000 — well out of the range for us mere mortals. And replicas are no easy feat either, as the Eleven’s ultra-low height and lightweight chassis are difficult to replicate. Coventry Climax four-cylinder engines most often powered the Eleven, and were mounted on a slant to reduce the height of the front bodywork. The cars were small in almost every way, and featured an 85-inch wheelbase and finished height of just 32 inches. The listed curb weight of 908 pounds is tough to wrap your head around, and is surly what made the Eleven so successful.

In the pursuit of building a relatively inexpensive Eleven tribute that could be easily titled, the builder of this car elected to use a Lotus Elan donor. Titled as a 1971 Lotus, it’s safe to assume the donor was a ’71 Elan, and its steel backbone-type chassis can be seen in the provided photos. The Elan’s 1.6-liter, twin-cam engine was also used, but it cannot be mounted on a slant like the original. A large hood bulge provides extra room for the four-cylinder above the Eleven’s hood line and doesn’t look horribly out of place. The Elan’s longer wheelbase is also reflected in the Eleven tribute, but that may come as a welcome addition to anyone who has ever driven an original Eleven. A polished aluminum section surrounds the cockpit while the front and rear clamshells are made from fiberglass.

Where the hammer will fall on this Lotus tribute is anyone’s guess, as there are so few examples to compare it to. With three days remaining in the auction, the current bid stands at $11,111.

See the ad here on BringaTrailer.com.

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Lotus Race Replica