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.