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Period-Raced 1956 Lotus Eleven Le Mans

Posted by WindingRoad about 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This 1956 Lotus Eleven Le Mans (chassis #180) was originally delivered in the UK and campaigned by Club Lotus Team member Tony Ellis at Crystal Palace and Silverstone in 1956 and 1957. It was then raced at the Roskilde Ring in Denmark before being brought to the US in 1986 and restored by the previous owner. Since acquiring the car in 2000, the seller has driven it in 24 events, including the Lotus Eleven 50th Anniversary races at the Monterey Historics and Sebring in 2006, as well as at Watkins Glen, Mid Ohio, Road America, and the Pittsburgh Vintage GP. The 1,460cc Coventry Climax four was rebuilt in 2016 and features dual Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, Carrillo rods, and JE pistons. Shifting is through a Sprite close-ratio 4-speed gearbox, and additional equipment includes a Quaife limited-slip differential, adjustable Koni shocks, Dayton wire wheels, and Girling disc brakes. The car was serviced following its last race at Watkins Glen in 2017, and new tires were installed this year. This Lotus Eleven has been featured in several publications over the years and is now offered on a bill of sale in Ohio with a VSCCA logbook, SVRA certification, additional racing documentation, and spare parts.

Designed by aerodynamicist Frank Costin, the Eleven was constructed using 20-gauge aluminum over a multi-tube space frame with an 85” wheelbase. This Le Mans example is equipped with a wrap-around plastic windscreen and headrest fairing, and #41 livery has been applied to the exterior. The seller notes some wear from track use, and close-up photos of the body are provided in the gallery.

Painted 15×5” Dayton 72-spoke wire wheels are wrapped in new Dunlop L-series tires. The car is equipped with rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel Girling disc brakes, swing axle front suspension, a De Dion rear axle, and adjustable Koni coilover shocks at all four corners. The seller recommends flushing the brake fluid prior to track use.

The cockpit features a fixed seat, a 13” quick-release steering wheel, and Simpson six-point harnesses that are valid through 2021. The dash houses Stewart Warner and Smiths gauges, a stack tachometer, as well as separate ignition and fuel pump switches. Power for a Cool Shirt driver cooling system is provided under the dash, and the car is equipped with a centralized fire-suppression system.

A custom nine-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell is housed in an original Lotus fuel tank and mounted in the passenger-side footwell area.

The 1,460cc Coventry Climax engine (#FWB400-55) features dual Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, Carrillo rods, Pertronix ignition, and a forged crankshaft. The engine was rebuilt at MacEachern Motorsports of Flat Rock, North Carolina in 2016 with bored and honed cylinders, new JE pistons, ARP studs, new coated main and rod bearings, and a main bearing cap girdle modification.

The Sprite ribcase close-ratio 4-speed gearbox was rebuilt in 2010 and sends power to the rear wheels through a Quaife limited-slip differential.

A VSCCA logbook is included in the sale, and a spreadsheet of the vehicle’s race history is provided.

A walk-around, start-up, and driving video is presented below:

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