1962 Lotus Elite
1962 Lotus Elite, Series Two. Vehicle I.D. no. PXEB 1387. I have owned this Elite for eleven years and purchased it from Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. The asking price then was $75,000. Photos and description are still posted on their site in their "sold" inventory. The history of the car begins, as do most Elites, with the sale of a group of Elites to importer Jay Chamberlain of North Hollywood, California. Records indicate it first being sold, registered and titled in 1962. Today the title is in my name, and it is a clean Kansas title. Years ago I had a phone conversation with Clay Vyzralec who gave me the following information. Fantasy Junction was probably selling the car for a William M. LaWarre. He purchased it from a Tony Ingram, and Tony purchased it from Clay Vyzralec. The day that Clay found 1387 sitting outside the fence of a salvage yard was the beginning of days and months of its rebirth. And how fortuitous it was for the car, if not for both. Clay owned and operated Advanced Vehicle Operations in El Sequendo, California, which was a special interest sports car shop with strong Lotus leanings. He later moved operations to Pagosa, Springs, Colorada, where his shop was almost exclusively Lotus. The car was restored utilizing a motor from John Street that Clay rebuilt. Block number FWE400-15, 8225. He is the one who upgraded it with twin weber carbs, and he created the airbox for it. The Lotus transmission case came from Hutton, and a gear set from England was ordered with the same ratios as the ZF box, so it has the tall first gear for a close ratio box. The rear end, I believe is the original Lotus unit. Clay did the necessary body, paint, wiring (also new from England), plumbing, brake and clutch systems, and on and on. Most importantly, he owned and drove the car for 20 years. That's as much of the history (about 35 years) as we know. I have replaced the shocks with Spax all around, purchased the correct windows from Mike Ostrov, added aluminum inserts to the door panels to match the dash, placed a "wrap" on the gorgeous coupe top, and replaced the original painted wire wheels with new chrome wheels, and new tires. The replaced wheels will be included with the sale, as well as a factory work shop manual. The Elite is in excellent running, shifting, and driving condition. It is perfectly easy to start, without a choke. And I have no problems with the reported "resonance at speed", although Clay did insulate under the carpet and in other areas. The car is now at the point where the paint and body condition is questionable. Were I to keep it, I would redo it to bring it up to its former glory, but it doesn't make sense for me to do it and then sell it. And it's funny how it still took best of show here in K.C. not long ago. Thank you for your interest.