1956 Lotus Eleven
Pilots: R.Bicknell, P. Jopp
Team: Lotus Engineering
Race: 7th GC (1st S 1.1 class) at Le Mans in 1956
Spark - S2188 (resin)
Produced from 1956 to 1958, the Eleven came from the pen of Colin Chapman himself. And Frank Costin created a very aerodynamic body, that guaranteed a very low drag . You could buy it in three distinct specifications, ranging from the basic “Sports” model to the top-of-the-line “Le Mans”. It became a quite popular car among privateers, with a total of 270 units built. The car’s chassis, derived from the Lotus Mark 9, was a tubular space frame that was covered by an aluminum body. The engine usually was a 1.1 or 1.5 l by Coventry Climax, but privateers used different power plants. The car was absurdly light – fully loaded, it weighed only about 450 kg (1000 lb)!
At La Sarthe in 1956, for their three cars, the works team used the Coventry-Climax FWA engine. It was a 1098 cm³ SOHC inline-4 that produced a feeble 83 hp of power. However, on an ultra lightweight car, those puny 83 horses were enough to make Eleven #36 (chassis #210) finish in 7th place overall. And, as a bonus, 1st place in the S 1.1 class. Another oddball for my collection, and this time a pretty ugly one. Honestly, I think this is one of the ugliest Lotus that I’ve seen, so ugly that it’s cool. And in 1:43 it came out great, and one more win for Spark. Although this looks like something I would expect from Bizarre.