Dissecting the GT coupe created by the mind of Colin Chapman

It’s fair to say that in much the same way as Carroll Shelby did across the Atlantic around the same time, Colin Chapman regarded road cars as a necessary nuisance, a way to generate the capital to build the racing cars that truly energized him. That’s not to say a streetable Lotus from that era is any less a piece of Chapman inspiration. As proof, lots of people point to the original Lotus Elite, which debuted at the close of the 1950s as a flyweight coupe with exquisite handling. A new book from Veloce Press in the United Kingdom tells its full story.

What a profoundly beautiful car. I had occasion once to photograph one that had been freshly restored by Ragtops & Roadsters of Perkasie, Pennsylvania, to this day one of the most perfectly finished automobiles I ever captured digitally. The book is Lotus Elite, by the British historian Matthew Vale, another in Veloce’s list of titles on highly relevant cars.

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