1959 Lotus Elite Base 1.2L

Price: US $20,700.00 Item location: Mount Vernon, Iowa, United States
  • Make: Lotus
  • Model: Elite
  • SubModel: S1
  • Type: U/K
  • Trim: Base
  • Year: 1959
  • Mileage: 12,680
  • VIN: 1126
  • Color: White
  • Engine size: 1.2L 1216CC 74Cu. In. l4 GAS SOHC Naturally Aspirated
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: 4 Speed
  • Drive type: U/K
  • Interior color: Red
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1959 Lotus Elite S1

Offering for sale a running 1959 Lotus Elite S1. I bought this a few years back with the idea of a future restoration and have enjoyed bringing it back to driving condition from many years of outside storage. The previous owner had passed and the car was sitting outside his home in the Palm Springs area and was purchased in very poor condition and non running. Since purchase I began with a complete cleaning and removal of most all of the carpets and under lament as can be seen from the pictures provided. It took hours of vacuuming to get most of the desert sand out. You will still find some filtering its way out with every bump in the road. The fuel tank was removed and professionally cleaned and treated with a sealer. Fuel lines flushed and carburetors rebuilt. A new small electric fuel pump was wired thru the non used heater switch to prime the fuel system for faster starts. All oils were flushed and changed from the motor, gearbox and rear diff. There was no coolant or water in the system so it was pressure tested and coolant applied after a replacement lower coolant pipe was built out of stainless steel tubing. These are known to rust out and leak. The radiator was flushed and cleaned. The old exhaust system was totally rusted and a complete custom built system was built and installed with new rear mufflers as stock. Both the clutch and brake hydraulics have been flushed and rebuilt. The stock brake master cylinder leaked after a hone and new kit so a smaller cylinder was installed. Brakes work very well but should have a new stock master installed. Next I moved on to the ignition and cleaned and adjusted the points and plugs. Please take a look at the pictures as you will see it has the original Lodge pink plugs from the UK! After all of this it was time to get the motor up and running which was fairly easy to do. It runs well and with lots of tuning now starts very easily and holds very good oil pressure. Once it was back to life and running I moved on to checking all all the drive line parts and getting it ready for a test drive. The original wheels and tires hold air but are hard as rocks from the heat of the desert. The photos show wheels and tires from another Elite and are not included with this car. I will provide the originals with the tires as I have described, they will work for transporting but are not road worthy. All the shocks and bushings are original and could use replacement but are certainly in usable condition. So now off to a test drive. To my surprise the car drove very well and the motor pulls very strong. I have driven it for several short trips and have found a few issues and made some adjustments. As you can see from the pictures the paint and body has been baked by the outdoor sun. Some areas have had some repair which will need attention. When it was purchased the drivers door hinge bobbins had been pulled out and a major repair was done with new epoxy resin. The door operates and fits properly after the repair. I do have the original door panels and would point out from the pictures both doors have the wax pencil numbers to match the body numbers. The door glass frames are included with no glass or plexiglass. They will need some repair. Both wing glass are in good condition. The front windshield is cracked and has a hole as shown, new replacement will be needed. The rear glass is missing as is the seal. The desert heat and sun was not kind to this Elite. Most anything rubber is toasted or hard as a brick and needs to be replaced. The seats are baked and the foam is falling apart so please be aware many new parts will be needed or you could keep it as is and have it as a running original barn find. I do have the red door panels but they also will need new covering. I also have a few other parts to go with the sale and will take a couple more pictures and post at a later date. In 2010 I had finished another Elite restoration so I know what it takes and parts that are needed. All new parts are available from a great UK supplier as well as other suppliers of common parts. I will provide any needed details and suppliers if wanted. This project is not for the faint at heart and will take lots of effort and proper funding. I am selling this to recover my costs and to share the project with the next owner. If it does not reach my reserve I will just keep it and finish it in the next few years. Parts that are known missing, front and rear bumpers, window glass as described, small front parking lamps, interior carpets and padding, maybe a few other items but I have done my best to be open and honest in my writing of this ad. Feel free to ask for more details if you need and I will do my very best to answer any and all question. I will also assist with any loading for transport. This car was originally sold in California and I still have the original black plates as shown in the pictures. I also have a short video of the motor running if that is needed please let me know. If you wish to see this car in person that can be arranged, These are one of the best looking and driving cars of this vintage, hands down. If you have not seen one in person you should take the time for a look and a drive.

On Sep-10-16 at 08:18:18 PDT, seller added the following information:

I just added another picture showing some of the loose parts to go with car. I will take more and can send to anyone interested in seeing more, just can't load more to the add as the limit is full.

On Sep-11-16 at 05:38:56 PDT, seller added the following information:

I thought I should provide some details about the Elite in general. The Elite was one of the first road cars that Lotus produced and was introduced to the world in 1957 Earls Court Auto Show. Production began and first cars being sold in 1959 and most were built to be sold in the USA market. Total production was around 1000 cars and serial numbers started in the 1000 range, this car was the 126th made. As of today many are vintage raced and have a very strong following. The registry has record of approximately 750 cars or just a little less. Some of the unique things about the Elite, all fiberglass Monique chassis which means all mechanical's hang off the body shell with only small skies of metal in the front engine area which are laminated into the body shell. These cars are very light and weigh about 1100 lbs. Very quick with the original fire pump motor which is all aluminum, a Coventry Climax. The motor was built as a fire pump motor which in a small frame with a pump could be easily carried down to the river and used to put out fires from the bombing attaches on London of WWII. Motors in the Elite were provided in a few different forms, single SU, dual SU and then dual Webers and hp ranged from about 85 to the 105 Super. All cars had wire wheels and independent suspension and disc brakes. The rear end is an aluminum carrier with inboard disc brakes. Cars came in a few different color options and had a few choices of interior trim, black, tan, red and a dark blue I believe. There is a very good parts supplier in the UK which can provide many new and some used parts, MK 14 Components and can be found with a quick google search. There are lots of club support for these cars also, you will need to do a quick google search as Ebay does not allow links to be posted.