- You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. Walt Disney
Own Lotus Elite (1958–1963)
The first Elite or Lotus Type 14 was an ultra light two-seater coupé, produced from 1958 to 1963.
Making its debut at the 1957 London Motor Car Show, Earls Court, as chassis 1008 , the Elite had spent a year in development, aided by "carefully selected racing customers", before going on sale.
The Elite's most distinctive feature was its highly innovative fibreglass monocoque construction, in which a stressed skin GRP unibody replaced the previously separate chassis and body components. Unlike the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette, which used fibreglass for only exterior bodywork, the Elite also used this glass-reinforced plastic material for the entire load-bearing structure of the car, although the front of the monocoque incorporated a steel subframe supporting the engine and front suspension, and there was a hoop at the windscreen for mounting door hinges and jacking the car up. The first 250 body units were made by Maximar Mouldings at Pulborough, Sussex. The body construction caused numerous early problems, until manufacture was handed over to Bristol Aeroplane Company.