Cheshunt Lotus Elite Works Chassis #1468

Written by Kirk Lockwood.

 Bristol Body Series 2 1959 Pulborough

Invoice # ELC 1143  1960* - 23/10/1962  

Lotus Components Chassis #1468 was an Ecurie Shirlee "Bob Challman" car sold in 1963, but the story doesn't end there ... nor does it begin. EB1468 is itself a one of a kind Lotus Elite. A car with more questions than answers. Originally invoiced in 1960 but remained a works car at Cheshunt Hertfordshire until Elite production ended when engine bay, interior, and boot were painted like all other series two Elites with a new Lotus Yellow exterior paint job. Why is that odd? Upon restoration it was discovered everything was originally painted bright Signal Red. Boot, interior, engine compartment, and yes even the dash! Dennis Ortenburger and Mike Ostrov know of no other Elite originally painted in this manner, not even these well known Elites. 


Press Photo Lotus Elite SPILLMAN AND RAMSAY Resize 

"In The Beginning - The Start Of US 63 EB 1468"

Chassis 1468  In The Beginning

 "Restoration Starting Point With The Car Nobody Wanted"

"As the New Lotus Elite World Register & This Far Fetched Story of My Very First Lotus Elite Unfold Please Read On But First ....


Let Us All Gaze At The Only Other Vehicle Of The Time As Out Of This World As The Elite!"

Chapmans only Competition

"Houston .......We Have A Problem!"  -  Any Questions? - Carry On ...! 

Colin Chapman caricature by Ralph Sallon 1956 signed resized

 "A Caricature Drawing By Ralph Sallon Signed By His Lotus Subject"

Elite Thickness Measurements 1468 

"The Thick & Thin Of Chassis EB1468, Thick Slate Filled Scuttle Area, Rear Windscreen Surround,&Top Right Wing."


The fiberglass is so thin you can see right through it in spots as it's only .033 - .060" thick depending on it's structural rigidity and forget about posing Diane Webber even on the Bonnet as it would give in from all that weight! I've found that "Standard Series 2" bodies were contracted to be built by Bristol at .060 - .200 of an inch thick dependent on rigidity which is a far cry from this chassis as the thickest part of the car the floor panel in engine compartment is only .130" thick!!! This cross section consists of two polyester random matt layers with an epoxy resin with slate particles for strength and is located in the Scuttle area in front of the Heater/Demister/Fresh Air Inlet vent. Perhaps to strengthen this area more on Lotus Components cars for extra rigidity and thus cause that inner front wheel to lift around hard corners when driven in AnGeR! (What?  Are you kidding me, who's Diane Webber?  Really? Diane is the starlet who posed with the Lotus Elite for a Western Distributors photo shoot that Lotus Cheshunt was absolutely not too fond of as she was only wearing a glove! But the gloved hand did hold the keys to that Lotus Elite. Ever wonder where the phrase; "Does the girl come with it" came from?) 

 "Oh Yeah , Who Could Ever Forget That Diane Webber!"

Diane Webber photo for Elite advertisement Reverse negative


"Of Course There Were Some Less Controversial Ones That Not Many Have Seen"

Diane Webber Proof

"And The Ones Every Person Knowlegeable Of Lotus Has Seen!"

A Royalite interior was installed with umbrella type handbrake which also shows that interior was added at a later point in the life of 1468 at Cheshunt Works with the spattered standard gray textured interior paint. Original engine #10820 has the early rare racing pistons, thin competition rings, steel timing gear, and a stamping on the oil sump windage tray "Engine #10820 Le Mans 1962", and the head has an unbelievable porting job. It also came with dual 1 1/2" Skinners Union Carbs & high lift cam...which I've been told could NOT have been original (but as you'll see later the engine stamping will in itself proove that it IS in fact an originally supplied dual carb. set - up) interesting right?

013 resized

"A Simple Model Shows Set-Up Of Elite Front Ski-Suspension-Engine Fitments"

DADIO2 Watercolor 1468 Resized small

"I Suppose I Have To Try My Own Hand At Water Coloring My Elite!"

Coventry Climax Engine Builder

"Coventry Climax Engine Worker"


Well I was told that Lotus Works Cheshunt did not build Engines for "Le Mans" Elites and thus I removed my image of the stamped windage tray that was originally here in this article but, here is a little excerpt I recently found from an article by Peter Lumsden right after winning the 1959 Le Mans 1500cc class in WUU2;

"After receiving our Golden Laurel Wreaths at Nurburgring on Holiday ...The following Tuesday morning Peter Riley had returned the Elite to Playfords of Thornton Heath who stripped it down and changed the Engine and Differential units, fitting ones loaned for Le Mans by the Lotus Works  subsequently stating "We had some difficulty in scrutineering explaining why the Engine number on our carnet did not tally with the one on the car!" After the first practice laps the spotlights were added to the front of the Elite to help on Indianapolis and White House. Playfords also made such slight modifications as fitting an oil cooler and small oil reserve tank mounted in the scuttle, then car was taken to Cheshunt for modifications of the fuel tanks and fillers. Incidently the reserve oil tank was never even used! After nearly 2300 miles in 24 hours they finished 5th place in the index and #1 in the 1500cc Class!"

(Excerpt From "Elite For Endurance", Sports Car And Lotus Owner 1959 Written By Peter Lumsden Himself! )

WUU2 In view retouched

 "Peter Lumsdens WUU2 After Scrutineering And Lap Practice And Before Winning!"

Playfords WUU2 Lumsdens Oil Reserve Tank

"Playfords Oil Reserve Tank Created For Peter Lumsden's WUU2"

This Tank Image Sent To Me From My Good Friend Bruce Mansell Who Is Now Proudly Restoring WUU2!

image1-27 Retouched 

"A Rare Color Shot of Peter Lumsden's WUU2"

 lemans stamping resized

"Thus I'll Re-Insert This Photo Of Original Windage Tray"

"O.K. It's 2/10/2013 And I Just Found This Link From LeMans-History.Com On Lotus Elite Entry Car #66. Drivers Slated Were Clive Hunt/Pat Fergusson (Select the PILOTOS button after clicking on link below to see drivers).  Clive Hunt Thus Raced With John Wyllie And His Team Elite -What Do You Think, Perhaps Trevor Taylor didn't make the race and Clive took his spot with Wyllie? At any rate car #66 was (as the French list it on the roster)  "Abandoned" for the 24 Hours of LeMans for 1962 with no Chassis# recorded.

1959 R Stoop redone

So as it seems the #66 cars fate was much the same as the #58 car of the 1959 LeMans on page #117 of Dennis Ortenburgers book with Photo stating the #58 car was a mystery as it too never raced at LeMans...but the car was wrecked the day before in a road run it was CBU#1037 owned by R.Stoop and to be raced by Graham/McKee body was later replaced with CBU#1076 Invoice #LC1063 to R.Stoop in Warren Kings List on 30/11/59.

Lotus Elite Scrutineering Lemans Geoff GoddardResize

1962 Lemans Entry #66 Team Lotus Engineering 

And Another

#66 Lotus Engineering at LeMans 1962

Lemans 1962 Brochure 

Graham Warner LOV1 4 and Chris Summers 3 Zandvoort 1960 Retouched

"Chassis # 1051 Driven By Chris Summers (#3) With Graham Warners LOV1 (#4) At Zandvoort"

***Update; On 11/6/2013 in helping Peter Joy find out who raced his chassis# 1051 from the chat group I stumbled on this website searching Bing for Zandvoort as Peter had a photo of his car and Graham Warners LOV1 at the Paddock. As it turns out only 2 Elites were entered for that race LOV1 and a car driven by Chris Summers!  Both White #3,and #4. In checking out the rest of the site I found this;

1962 Lotus Elite Lemans Entry #66

"Peter Joy has also since wrote to tell me he believes that Chris Summers' Elite was more than likely the powder blue Elite seen in the far left hand side of  this image and not of the white #3 Elite he now owns seen here with LOV1."

John Wagstaff Clive Hunt SPA 1960

"John Wagstaff & Clive Hunt At Spa 1960"

 Team Elite 66

 "John Wagstaffs Team Elite Car #66 At Montlhery 1960. One Other Team Elite Car Wore #66 At Mallory Park. If Anyone Has An Image Of The #66 1962 Lemans Car I Would Love To Acquire A Copy Or An Original Photo As Clive Hunt & Pat Furgesson Never Did Race It,Thanks."

Pilote Medal LeMans 1960 John Wagstaff

"John Wagstaff's Pilote Medal From 1960 LeMans!"

Team Elite 62 restored with Elite behind

"1962 Team Elite Cars And Could That Be Lotus Engineerings #66 Elite Behind On Way To Le Mans?"

Known Lotus Race Car Chassis Numbers By Type

"Another Link To Racing Chassis #'s Of Lotus Cars By Type/Model #'s" 

 Img01526636Bob Challman Literature 

"Grand Opening Invitation, Complimentary Gift Card, Envelope & Stationary From Bob Challmans Ecurie Shirlee"

Many Thanks To My Good Friend & Author Dennis Ortenburger!

Well engine #10820 is on the Invoice ELC-1143 as the original engine for #1468 to Ecurie Shirlee but here's the catch as the car was never raced at Le Mans in 1962 that we do know...but was it there? Was the engine in a Le Mans car? Coventry Climax's Geoffrey Densham, Ted Hewitt, and Syd Emerton states the FWE's supplied to Lotus for the Elites were ALL supplied with STAGE ONE CAMSHAFTS EXCEPT A FEW RACING PREPAIRED BLOCKS WHICH CENTER PAIR OF ENGINE NUMBERS WERE STAMPED "30"! They also stated a FACT of great interest to all Elite owners that FWE production started with FWE 400/15/7500 & proceeded with FWE 400/41/10972 (built October 1963) and the MIDDLE SET OF NUMBERS DENOTES ORIGINAL CARBURATION SET UP OF FWE for Lotus Elites!


 "Original FWE Engine ID Stamping #10820 Showing #41 Dual Carb. Set-Up"

Blocks with Center Number "15" were issued with ONE SU CARBURETTOR and those with a center Number "41" were issued TWO CARBURETTORS (Not stated whether they were SU's or Webers But I've found Coventry Climax only supplied SU's on the FWE's) and that Lotus works installed the stage 2 cams on the SUPER SERIES CARS! (See More Important Information On The Coventry Climax Engine By Mr. Geoffrey Densham In CEN Volume 3 #6 September 1973 Robin Read (Sales Manager for all of Lotus) says that Chapman in his "money making ways" made cash from "Sponsors" like Esso & Lucas, etc. on how many cars actually started the race so they could use totals for advertising (sponsorship was an illegal type of thing back then in the rules of most racing circuits. Or at least sponsorship as we all know it today. You see then "Sponsors" could only give "FREE" parts or product, and "FREE" technical advise and you couldn't advertise your sponsor on your car at most circuits. They even frowned on having your team name on the cars so that fans could read them & this is why "Team Lotus & Team Elite" were always so small on the cars so to make cash from a sponsor was not allowed and illegal much like the Team Elite "fire extinguishers" of the day, besides who else but "Colin Chapman" could get reimbursements from a car "Starting" a race instead of "Finishing" one! ;o) So perhaps it was to be ... the more Lotus Elites that started the race the more monies Chapman made and some only went a lap or two on certain circuits and the cash was off the books. 

B C Lotus Recording Register EB1468 Resized 

"Limited Trade Extract From Recording Register Dated January 16, 1960 From Lotus Works

Signed By Works Foreman Len Street, SE With ZF Driving Impressions In France Anyone ?

Bognor Seems To Be A Shipping Port.

Perhaps She Went To Jabby Crombac For A Few Months To Run-In At The Early April LeMans Practice Meeting!"

It also appears the engine number is higher in numerical value then chassis #'s of the *original build date  of  #1468 (1960) which puzzled me not only about 1468 but several other Elites which had "older" original Invoice "build dates" since Coventry Climax engines were done in numerical order unlike the CBU's at Lotus.(*not to be confused with whatever Chassis number was grabbed next at Cheshunt during normal production).

Bristol Bodies being loaded for transport to Cheshunt

"Bristol Bodies Being Secured For Delivery To Cheshunt"

Robin states that these last few "higher numbered blocks" from Coventry Climax were taken into Lotus and stripped down and meticulously balanced & rebuilt in the works department. He stated that the first few of that bunch were so out of balance they feared the fork truck division at Coventry Climax had assembled them as issues between Coventry and Colin were getting "Strained" toward the end as the FWE was the ONLY engine that Coventry made for a production vehicle in it's history. The saying to Chapman was; "No Money - No Motors"(as Warren King points out this was not directed at Lotus per-say but to all car makers that Coventry built engines for. Seems many received engines with a "promise of payment" during or after the racing season which often times did not materialize leaving Coventry with a slight cash-flow problem). Robin Read wrote he personally remembers Keith Duckworth yelling up the fiberglass stairway to Colin "No Money.....No Bloody Engines!"

Lotus Ghia

"Lotus - Ghia"

Cars With FWE Coventry Climax

"Other Limited Production Or One Off Cars With The 1216cc FWE Coventry Climax Engine"

I suppose that #10820 could've been "set-up" for a Le Mans run with it's over ported head, thin competition rings, high lift cam, steel timing chain, that "stamping" on the windage tray after reading this excerpt as it could've had a higher horsepower rating from the Coventry Climax Engine Factory and I would think that Coventry would've been using the larger piston rings at this point at the very end of the FWE production (think perhaps the ones Colin sent back ended up in the Ghia, Turners, Fairthorpe Electrons and the like? ;o) Img01526253

"These Are Custom Made Stainless Steel David Vizard designed Rimflo Valves I Made Up For EB1468

From A Set Of  Slightly Used Valves Out Of DADIO I Received From Robin Longdon 

They Will Add About 8 Horsepower On The Dyno To your FWE's Output!

Made By A .040" Radius Located .010" From Outside Edge Of Valve And .025" Deep

They Too Will End Up Ceramic Coated By Swaintech Before Assembly Of  FWE 10820"

Swaintech Ceramic Piston

"Want To Add Even More Horsepower To Your FWE? Ceramic Coat Your Head, Valves, Ports, Bearings, And Pistons At SwainTech!"

We know David Buxton ran into some "troubles" and disappeared for awhile from sales, racing and the Team Elite as it was said he was under suspicion he possibly was taking race cars and re-invoicing them as new after re-furbishing them. Kind of like the practice at Lotus after he joined them with the company cars with Royalite interiors, perhaps 1468's Engine #10820 was at Le Mans in 1962 after all!


" David Buxtons 1960 Team Elite Cars Getting Those Last Minute Attentions!"

Robin Read also stated that the very first "initial run" of Series 2 Elite bodies from Bristol Aeroplane in September of 1959 were made very thin skinned for weight savings much like the series 1 Elites. They were also assembled away from the public eye and painted by Lotus Works at Maximar in Pulborough. The Double Dimpled Elite bodies toward the end of series 2 production were stated weighing in at 300-330 lbs and these first body shell offerings were comprised of just a little under 280 lbs. of fiberglass & resin. Much lighter and very thin skinned where structural rigidity wasn't an issue. They were also issued Components tags for obvious reasons and painted "at Lotus" in the works department which would explain the interior of chassis #1468 being  completely Signal Red and the reasons for the body units being unpainted is so they could inspect the quality of the bonds, lay up, and box sections of Bristol bodies before signing the contract for Bristol Aeroplane to produce the Series 2 CBU's.

Bristol to Cheshunt

"Production And Transportation To Cheshunt Comes To Fruition" 

Colin Signing Bristol

Oh and if you don't believe that Lotus would take an Elite and refurbish it to then sell it as a road car again?   Well then here's an interesting email message for you;

"To add to this particular part of the discussion, my car #1471 which
is a series 2, but runs with alloy rear calipers and an S1 interior started life
in Jan 1961 as a racer with a stage 3 tuned engine. This car has a Lotus Cars
plate, assuming that it was not changed when it was returned to Lotus to be sold
as a road car. The engine and ZF box were changed at some point - possibly by
Lotus when it was returned to them. It did not last long as a racer as the
driver, Keith Green, deemed it too dangerous. On one occasion he had a rear
wishbone pull out of the ball cup which resulted in an 'off' half way through a
corner, and the final straw was when the long range tank broke free of its
moorings and its only attachment to the car was via the filler neck. At this
point it was sent back to Mr. Chapman, and was then sold as a road car and
registered in Dec 1961."
Will Blacklidge


"Signal Red Paint Underneath The Standard Gray Textured Interior Paint Inside 1468 Below Chapman Strut Towers"

 According to the original Bristol contracts all CBU's were to be sprayed with self etching primer, and 2 coats of epoxy primer, and voids filled, smoothed out, primed again, smoothed, with a sealer coat layer before paint under the whole bottom tray. Chassis 1468 was painted from front only back to the sump and from the rear to the differential with the rest of the underside completely bare fiberglass.  The first few "initial run chassis" were issued numbers from the beginning of the series 2 production run for test vehicles.

Bristol bodies being built

"Bristol Bodies Being Produced"

The others oddly varied in chassis numbers sporadically within the mid range of the total production run and that one CBU went to the most favored dealership during his tenure "Chequered Flag Competition cars in Edgware" and was to become DAD10 as Les Leston wanted a racer that would be able to run well against LOV1 and a thin skinned series 2 with improved rear suspension with stiffer springs with adjusted perch height and series1 front springs was in order for Les Leston to be purchased through Chequered Flag. At the end of 1962 David Buxton re-appears and later took over Robin Reads position at Lotus, as Robin was kind of forced out because of the 1% total sales bonus clause that was in his contract and with the Elan showing great promise Chapman thus wanted to keep more of "HIS" money, or at least this was Robins personal take on the matter. It was however David Buxton who came up with the idea of the "Super Series Elites" in which supposedly 35 original Super Series versions were made; 23- Super 95's, 6- Super 100's, and 6- Super 105's were created by Lotus in Davids attempt to market a high performance track ready Elite to answer the Porsche Super Series cars!


"Hand Crafted Badges Were Made As So Few SUPER Cars Were Issued By Lotus Complete With Tool Marks!"

59Sebring-45ElitePit Jay Chamberlain Car 

"Colin Chapmans 1959 Sebring Elite Which Became Jay Chamberlains After The Race, Chapmans Car Had 3 Of The Small Running Lights In The Front Extra Light In The Middle On Top Of Air Inlet, Chamberlains Car Had 3 Turn Signal Lights Extra One On Bottom Middle Of  Air Inlet And Like All Other Prototype Cars Had The 3 Piece Bumper & Air Inlet Pieces Welded Into 1 Single Piece Unit With Sharp Angles At The Joints. These Two Cars Of Sebring Also Had Roundel Number Light On Doors In Different Locations 1 In Front, 1 At The Rear Of Number"


One chassis remained a Lotus Works car. Was it intended for Jay Chamberlain? Bristol ran batches of 14-15 CBU's at a time so was the initial early first run Chassis numbers 1259, 1261, 1266, 1367, 1440, 1448, 1460, 1468, 1474, 1485, 1495, 1533, & 1610? #1468 is a left hand drive car so was the engine #10820 itself intended for another car ... for Buxton's Team Elite now under the new leadership of Clive Hunt for the 62 season with engine builder Cyril Embrey still on board at least to start the year.

John Wagstaff Bill Allen Silverstone 1961

"John Wagstaff & Bill Allen Silverstone 1961 Note; Transporter Is Still Painted Orange & Large Costin NACA Ducts"Team Elite Wagstaff

"Team Elite Cars Under Clive Hunt Prior to the LARGE NACA DUCTS Being Removed In 1962"

Upon reading this excerpt from Great Britain reprinted in the CEN  (check out the very last sentence about Colin Chapmans experimental Elite at Silverstone)What would be the odds? How much lighter or thinner? I'm guessing it was one of these lighter and thinner experimental series two chassis numbered Elites that Colin raced at Silverstone. We'll never know what moves a genius to his creative best I suppose, but as I've said "Chassis #1468 leaves us with more questions than answers!"

first footprints feb.2011 

"As Delivered To Franklin, N.Y. -Yeah Right On The Highway (Good Thing There Was No Traffic!)"

Robin stated as well that after the initial run of the thin bodied Elites in 1959 the first couple of standard shipments of 15 or so bodies came in from Bristol and around mid-year 1960 Lotus wanted production ramped up to 20-25. After the body unit lay-ups were figured out and the jigging issues worked out to a science by the technical staff at Bristol they hired quite a few "Women laborers" to help lay-up the rest of the production there. Perhaps they could be hired at a lesser rate which was the norm back then and be able to maneuver around the molds easier then men. He said that at the end of MAY 1962 there remained only 30 Elite CBU's at Lotus that were to be "SOLD". Warren Kings list accounted for every single CBU that Lotus received and that 6 or so that were rejected by Chapman remained at Bristol which were eventually burned for "Fire Extinguishing Practices" (can you imagine).***( He said as well in a non-related note that Chassis #1712 was his personal driver while he was here in the states and that from January 1960 to May 31st 1962 there were exactly 685 Elites sold which with the 30 remaining Elites to be sold would be 715 Chassis. Why is this an exact number?? Because Robin had that "BONUS" of 1% and kept close track by writing totals on the back of his business card every month!

Robin Reads Business card Front and back

"Robin Reads Business Card With Sales Totals Tallied On The Back!"

Now how many were sold from the beginning til December 1959 as that would give us a total production number of completed Elite cars sold -minus- the CBU's used in the repair or replacement of damaged vehicles which narrows it down quite a bit - Any takers?) Upon taking the MG transmission from 1468 to a well seasoned pro he said "There's NO WAY this tranny has only 22K miles on it - if it DOES it was raced very, very HARD or badly abused!"  This makes me believe that Engine #10820 may have made the ID TAG for Invoice #1143 for California in late 62, but I don't think it was the 1st or only Engine to grace #1468. (This was written before I read Robins book and discovered it to be true as previously published in the CEN) There also HAS to be reasoning behind the car being painted Signal Red Inside & Out. We know it couldn't possibly be confused with, or lost amongst any other Elite in the works department.... As this is the obvious point of it being done.

Homologation Papers1Homologation Papers2

" Homologation Papers 7 Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, London, N.8 "

Robin Read also stated that the Lotus "WORKS" cars were usually sold within a years time (again another oddity that 1468 went from early 1960 - October of 1962), and all went to far away places such as Australia, the U.S.A., Sweden, France, etc. as Colin did not want to be plagued with engine, tranny, suspension, final drive and other "problems" associated with a works car that was put under it's many paces while at Lotus. This is also the main reason when these first thin bodied Bristol/Lotus works CBU's were "assigned numbers" they were issued numbers where they could later be "phased into" where they thought the production numbers would be around a year later and could be invoiced along with the normal production run without raising too many questions when they were through with them. They didn't have a good supply of parts to complete customer orders at Lotus let alone fix any other CBU's thus Jay Chamberlain was forced to "part-out" many new CBU's to repair customer cars and supply his own racing needs.

Img01526831Jay Chamberlains business

" Jay Chamberlains Lotus Cars Of America North Hollywood California"

Img01526820Jay Chamberlain Portrait Resize

 "Portrait Of Jay During His Much Happier Days When Things Were Always Looking Up!"

Jay Chamberlans new elite RESTORED 1kcrop

"The Very First Elites In America Flown In On Flying Tiger Lines By Jay Chamberlain!"

Img01526819 Jays License plate frame Resized

"There Are Some Who Will Swear Jay Chamberlain Never Made A License Plate Frame!"

$$$ If You Ever Come Across One Remember They Are More Rare Than Hens Teeth $$$

(For A More "In-Depth Story" On Jay Chamberlains Contributions See Link Below)

Jay also had "invoicing problems" and resulted to changing numbers and such to appease disgruntled people awaiting the Elites they had ordered. With having to fix differentials and repaint fading Elites at his cost without reimbursement from Lotus it's not a secret why he and Chapman soon butted heads. Ahh the Genius of Chapman passing expenses & problems to others even though he tried to intervene by placing his own people into "Western Distributors" to sell the remaining stock left by the ousting of Jay Chamberlain it also proved to not work out mainly due to the untimely death of Peter Hessler racing around a local track behind the wheel of a Lotus Jr. I believe it was. Some have stated he was wanted in Canada for a financial business scam in the tune of over a half a million dollars and decided to meet his maker in a Lotus. This was the end of Dr. Jack Briggs' financial backing of Lotus Cars and the California Dealers for a bit and Lotus was nearly bankrupt around this stage, and if it wasn't for Dr. Jack Briggs' last order of 100 more Elites through Peter Hessler before his death Lotus would've been "Belly-Up" as well. (see Photo below and "The Thirty Day Party" in Robin Reads book where Colin sent him and Fred to the states and told them "Not to come back until you get a significant order or Lotus is DONE!)

Peter Hessler Lotus Business card

"Peter Hesslers's Business Card From Western Distributors"

Western Distributors Fred Bushell Robin Read Peter Hessler  Jack Briggs

"Robin Read, Fred Bushell, Peter Hessler, & Dr.Jack Briggs (Decendent Of The Briggs And Stratton Family Briggs')"

Western Distributors RESIZE

"Display Of Western Distributor's Sports Cars Of Distinction" 

Mistress America Western Distributors

"Unlike The Diane Webber Ad Campaign,& Others From Western Distributors This Is One Of The FEW Non- Controversial Ones!"

(unless you're someone's "mother in law")

He then bargained with Bob Challman to take over the remaining inventories with the promise that Bob & his "Ecurie Shirlee" would have the sole Western dealership just as Jay did .. & then later offering Lotus Cars, service, & parts through the BMC network of dealerships which really hurt Bob & his business financially. (I guess if Colin wasn't such a "Genius" business wise Lotus couldn't have possibly survived, but to me it's to all who worked behind the scenes in all aspects of Lotus around the globe that we "ELITE" owners owe much of our gratitude to. Especially those who worked around the clock or long after quitting time without pay to get the jobs done! Warren King says this is what he called the "Spirit of Lotus".)

Western Distributors press release packet 2

"Western Distributors Press Pack"


Bob Challman  Sign Resized with CARD 

"Bob Challmans Famous Shot In Front Of Ecurie Shirlee Lotus Sign With Inset Of  Bob's Own Business Card, If Sign Looks Familiar Where It Reads "Ecurie Shirlee Corporation" Used To Say WESTERN And What Reads "2301 Sepulveda" Used To Say INC. The Old WESTERN DISTRIBUTORS INC. Sign!"

#1468 has a few other oddities confirmed by Dennis Ortenburger as well as Mike Ostrov such as the stamping of the chassis # on the door hinges, with differential straps and step repair. #1468 wears a Lotus Components tag thus built originally for competition use at the works department. There is also another unusual & peculiar issue with the engine compartment. Although #1468 had a cable type throttle the undercut on the firewall for the mechanical type was damaged and worn very thin through the fiberglass! Also the floor of the engine compartment appears to come in ONE single piece and is one of the 3 major molds that make up the Elite, but it appears that 1468 has been "seamed in" at slight 45 degree angles from the inside wing wall (opposite back of oil sump opening) straight up to and possibly including the firewall. Does anyone know how an Elite was changed at Lotus works from say a Right Hand Drive to a Left Hand Drive Elite? Since the fallout between Colin Chapman and Jay Chamberlain (as some thought the chassis may have initially been intended for Jay) it may have then been pulled as a "WORKS" car and used for differential, and step repair trials as #1468 wears both repairs which were done at the Lotus Works department when the differential issues arose from Bristol and David Buxton phoned Colin of the lower wishbones pulling out of the bobbins on the Team Elite cars as both repairs bare the finest quality SPARTS British made bolts at the beginning of the series 2 production (original 1960 Invoice and build date). Besides wasn't Colins other "Main Series 2 Elite" Signal Red he most often drove after the original CBU #1007 car burned beyond recognition at LeMans while loaned to Vidilles/Malle in 1959?

Bob Challmans Elite Restored  Resized

"Bob Challmans Restored Elite -minus- Ye Ol' Fox Tail"

Challman 2

"There It Is!"

I also believe that the "stamping" of the door hinges reflect the fact that they removed the doors from a select few cars to do these trials with as to not put them on opposite chassis #'s  as you need to remember the back windows were all in from Bristol and thus it was probably easier for the works to re-glass and grind out bobbins and install the "irons" for differential repairs with the doors off and seats removed for access and that future "revamped company cars" adopted this "hinge stamping" when all were fitted with the "Royalite" interiors as to not mix the custom fitted doors to a different chassis numbered CBU.

Hinge Stamping 1468 resized

 "Lotus Components Works Chassis Number 1468 Stamped On Door Hinges"

"The Original Cheshunt VIN Plate US63EB1468 Which I Was Told I Must've Made Up From A ReManufactured Plate! (This From A Guy From Lotus) It Is The Original As Harlan Himself Has Testified To It Being The One Taken From The Car When He Started The Restoration In 1966-67. Mike Ostrov Also Remembers The Elite When Harlan Owned It As He Purchased His Super 100 From Harlan. Lo & Behold I Find This Information From Dennis Ortenburgers 1977 CEN On The Only Chassis # He Knows Of Starting With US63 On April 19th 2014!"

"Seems To Be Many Years Before My Purchase In January 2011! There's Much To Say About Research."

It Is My Belief That These VIN Tags Were Filled Out By Dealers As Lotus Wouldn't Have Known What Year Or Country They'd End Up! Around 62 (when 1468 arrived) Most Countries Started Using Longer Vehicle ID #'s For Registrations Thus Plates Were Engraved By Dealer. Since writing this I've found a receipt that shows that Lotus also used "Longer" registration numbers. This supposedly never happened at Lotus but of 1961 it shows it did!

Racing Engines Invoice RESIZE

"This Is An Invoice From Lotus For A.N.E.Bates To Build A Hi-Performance Engine By D/Bux (David Buxton) Chassis# EB1391846"

And At Bob Challmans Ecurie Shirlee....

 "Bob had some kind of a deal with the bank across the street.  I have no idea what went on between those two, but the results were strange and persist to leave me wondering to this day.  Almost every time we got a shipment of Elites, Bob got his checkbook and walked over to the bank.  When he got back he would take three by five cards and write a serial (VIN) number on the card and tape it over the factory data plate.  When the car was sold we put the serial number from the 3x5 card on the sales contract, not the factory number."

Gene deRuelle - Sales Manager, Ecurie Shirlee

(Excerpt From Dennis Ortenburgers Very Excellent Lotus Elite Journal)

Cherokee COLIN

"Colin Also Wronged Bob The End As Can Be Seen On The Rear Deck Of Bob's Customized Blue & White New Type 30 Cherokee!"

Could chassis 1468 then be the car Colin Chapman revved to 6,000 RPM's and dropped the clutch on back and forth in front of Cheshunt works to test the diff & step repairs with? Perhaps both repairs were done as a precautionary step if the car was to be ran at Le mans in 62? Could Frank Costin used it as well for his wool tuft experiments with the NACA Duct he was developing for the TEAM ELITE cars of David Buxton & Lotus Le Mans entries? I know that's a pretty good stretch but upon restoring the Engine Bay I found a very hard white plastic type (asbestos type?) heat resistant resin molded into the fiberglass directly across from where the Header pipe comes down the side where heat shield was placed down through the bottom tray. Perhaps another experiment since some S1 cars caught fire there? Mike Ostrov has never heard of another chassis with it, so again I took pictures. He insisted it must be a white sealer type primer, but as I tried to sand it to bare fiberglass it sanded through so it was "Molded" in as a thick solid resin.Img01525705

"Hard White Asbestos Type Heat Resistant Resin"

Heat Resistant Foil TEAM ELITE CARS

"Could This Be What Lotus Was Testing As A Flame Retardent? Team Elite Used Foil"

Mike also thought he had the chassis numbers of what he knew to be the earliest CBU's with the differential and step repairs but 1468 has both and predates them and it's hard to argue the British "Sparts" bolts done at works. Could it have been a test bed for the SE version engine? Maybe since the transmission tunnel was cut and altered for a Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen AG transmission (Say that one time fast like a stray cat hackin up a hairball cause I know you're going to) or "ZF tranny"  for short, but when purchased "new in 63 to date" it's only had the MG box (that terribly abused one) ... they had to alter it at the works department. Judging from the wear and tear around the "lip" of the tranny "box section" in the engine compartment it appears that 1468 has had more than the ONE & ONLY engine and transmission removal by the second owner in 1967. I've also read the ZF was tested early in 1960 in a new SE Model, so if the initial run of Bristol Elites arrived mid-year what car was used for the test bed? Not to confuse the issue more but there is that thing of the dash being cracked as if a fist was hammered down on it in anger! This while it was still painted RED as the cracks in the fiberglass there were filled in haste with a great deal of a "Bondo" type of filler before it was painted the standard "flat black" as all other Elites.


 " Unusual Signal Red Interior Paint Underneath The Flat Black Standard Paint Of Any Other Elite Dash"

As you can see in one or two of my extra photos at the end of this article the red paint pigmentation, and the missing "spot" in the black dash photo when I first received the car (on the top just ahead of the steering wheel). It was purely by luck that I was on the phone with Mike Ostrov while I was sanding down the dash that what I was telling Mike did not fit the normal criteria of an Elite. It was from that point on we started finding many more oddities with the car like that it had to have been fitted with a ZF transmission at an early point. Colin had approached the ZF company in 1959 to develop this close ratio all synchronized transmission specifically for the Elite. ZF replied with the S4-12 and what would be sweeter than to test it in a light bodied S-2 Elite!  The SE was actually developed early in 1960 to please motorists who wanted to experience a little more power from the Elite, but Colin had not released this version until after inventories were nearly depleted from Western Distributors following the ousting of Jay Chamberlain as Chapman feared the early release of the SE version might keep the standard Elites at a stand still there and at the docks for as we know Chapman had gotten credit for those cars to borrow against, but still hadn't received any monies until they were actually sold. Some know Chapman also had a falling out with the scrutinizers at Le Mans in 62 as well over the 2 model 23's he was entering and swore he'd never enter another of his cars at Le mans (also covered in one of Dennis' books). With the Elan on the way, issues with Jay Chamberlain, head aches with Bristol lay-ups, Elite production nearing the end, losing money on every Elite sold, and monies being tight with the new factory I think it came to "paint it, throw an interior in it, a new Speedo, and send it to Bob for some much needed $$". All this with a car I purchased and thought was just a standard 1963 Elite that nobody else wanted as the price was too high and there were too many missing parts!

"Trevor Taylor At The Exact Moment Works Chassis #1468 Was Pulled Out Of The Le Mans Race Of 1962"

      Trevor Seems So Sad & Colin SOOO MAD! -Sorry, Got a little carried away there- 

   (This is actually a photo taken at Watkins Glen, N.Y. 1962  just seemed to fit the scenario so well ;o) - O.K. Back To Reality!          

So how did I end up with the Elite that nobody wanted but now wished they had? No records have been found to tell us who the first registered owner was. We know by Lotus invoice records the car went to Bob Challman’s Ecurie Shirlee. Dave Thielke who was service manager at that time remembers these cars coming into the business as there was much discussion over how the chassis numbers were so much older and quite sporadic than the normal invoices. Dave had also purchased one of those Elites but chose one into the 1900 range perhaps #1977 as he likely wanted a "newer Chassis number". Many questions flew even from customers that took notice of the "OLDER Chassis Numbers" this might be one reason why some thought there was some shady number switching thing going on at Bob Challmans. We've established that 1468 was one of the First series 2 bodies made at Bristol but originally painted at Lotus and that brings us to when it was "Re-Invoiced" on 10/23/62 on Invoice #ELC- 1143.

Dave Thielke Bob Challmans

B C Lotus Behind the scenes shot

"Diamond Dave Thielke After Pulling An All Nighter On Bob Challmans Lotus 30 Behind The Scenes At Ecurie Shirlee"

"Rest Easy My Friend"

B C Lotus page002 Dave Thielke Business card

Dave Thielke Bob Challmans 1178

"Dave Wasn't Just Bob's Mechanic Either & Was Bit By The Elite Bug Since He First Seen One!"

(He Actually Passed At Buying EB-1468 New & Bought This SE Instead Looks Like He Was Having Fun!)

You see ELC-1143 & ELC-1144 were the very "LAST SHIPMENT" of Elite cars to Bob Challmans Ecurie Shirlee in 1962 after Dave told me that Bob went to England to acquire any cars he could get that remained to yet be invoiced. Colin sent works chassis #1468 in October as it was just "Finished" in time to make the Invoice of ELC-1143 and thus went to preparing many "spare/previously invoiced or company cars" for the next Invoicing to Ecurie Shirlee as Bob had several buyers lined up to purchase these "Lotus Cars" that were to be revamped with Royalite interiors,etc.

Bob Challman dealer invoice resize

"Bob Challmans Ecurie Shirlee Lotus U.S.A. Dealers Invoice"

Warranty Card for Lotus Elite

"Lotus Warranty Card For Elite"

Bob also personally guaranteed Colin if he'd work with him on these program cars he would go directly to the bank and deposit his share of the take as soon as they were purchased with the buyer information, & updated chassis registration VIN numbers. As Robin stated the Works cars were usually sold Far & Away and the "COMPANY CARS" were much the same for Colin. The first Invoices of 1963 at Ecurie Shirlee #ELC 1167 & #ELC 1168 were a slew of 10 out of 11 refurbished company Elites as agreed! Original customer invoices of "Lotus Cars of America" (which I believe were to go to Jay Chamberlains originally before Jay was ousted and the business desolved by Lotus) and "ELITE CARS" (which were to be sent to Western Distributors, but also remained at Lotus when that business was as well desolved) were written over with "Ecurie Shirlee" in the Chassis list when they were "in turn" later sent on to Bob Challmans  with new "Royalite" interior upgrades as the SE models and some were even fitted with newly numbered engine blocks from Coventry Climax with Dual SU carburettors and were possibly driven by the heads of Lotus (in the mean time) who got a "company car" for use in their contracts,  vehicles loaned for road tests, road impressions, or showings, running errands as well as customer "test drive & courtesy cars". Robin Read said that these "ELITE CARS" received a little more attention to detail because of the poor fitting doors, bonnets, and boots as they wanted to put a little extra time in making these vehicles "fitments" to look "top notch" for the sales pitch and to be able to monitor maintenance, lubrication,and service problems that arose with the series 2 CBU's and most importantly since they were inevitably in the public eye which reflected the Quality of the Lotus Elite. When it was the END of the beloved Elites production run these vehicles had been Re-Finished in time for those "extra" last shipments to Ecurie Shirlee that Bob had worked so hard to get. Most of these cars are comparable to EB1468 and very discernible since they were "UPGRADED" to nice NEW ROYALITE interior panels, Umbrella handbrake and other options as seen on later series 2 Elites (Chassis#1483 of Larry Darwins that Dennis wrote of, Eric Jewett with #1497, and Will Blacklidge with #1471 to name just a few).

Img01526685"Lotus Works Patch Over Original Handbrake Fitment On Chassis #1468" 

Most of these Elites I've later found were actually refreshed with those "NEW Coventry Climax Engines" the ones that were rebuilt and rebalanced at LOTUS with those higher numbered blocks. It's also very obvious from the start that this was the plan at Lotus from the beginning as Warren Kings "Invoice List" had NO ENGINE NUMBERS for most all of these Elites....The category where the engine numbers were written was "Intentionally Left Blank" and only "FILLED OUT LATER" when they were RE-INVOICED "AS NEW" late in 1962 (1468) and first of 1963 (1337, 1348, 1359, 1373, 1416, 1465, 1467, 1483, 1497, 1504)  when vehicle ID Tags were filled out with fresh new engine numbers and "ECURIE SHIRLEE" was written over the original Invoice's ....."Lotus Cars of America" and "Elite Cars" ..... these cars obviously did remain at Lotus till all was sorted and Bob Challmans "Ecurie Shirlee" came along to give Lotus another stronghold in Manhattan Beach California!

Lotus Components Personel Cheshunt

"Lotus Developments Personnel Circa 1967 Cheshunt"

If you are not familiar with the Cheshunt layout. The two main buildings are the matching pair at the front, opened in 1959. The left one is Lotus Components where Sevens were made on the ground floor and racing cars on the first floor. Access for vehicles to the top floor was via the gantry projecting from the open doorway under the the peak of the roof at the front. The small group of offices at the front on the right was primarily for customer access to Car Parts and the Buyers. Team Lotus were in a section on the right corner at the back and you can see transporters behind at the back. Mike Costin and his engineers were in offices and workshops ranged along the back of the building. The building at the back by the fence was the Directors' Dining Room at the right and a maintenance store at the other end.

The building on the right was Lotus Cars Assembly, initially for Elites and subsequently for Elans. The building behind was a later extension with Lotus Cars Service on the ground floor (before they moved to Panshanger) and Cortinas on the first floor complete with access ramp. Ron Hickman had his office and workshops for Lotus Developments and his staff ranged along the back of this building. At the front of the building are the offices, with Sales offices on the ground floor to the left, and the showroom on the right. Upstairs from the left was ACBC office and one for his secretary, Fred Bushell's office, Team Lotus Manager's office (at first Stan Kennedy-Chapman, then Andrew Ferguson), John Standen's office as Purchasing Director, and then Accounts at the end on the right.
[Warren King]

 Lotus Factory Delamare Road Cheshunt Hertfordshire

So it's quite Ironic that Chassis #1468 one of the First series 2 Elites made was also one of the Last ones Sold!  These 10 company owned cars with Chassis #1468 of ELC-1143. So to me it is obvious that Warren Kings "Last Page" of the invoice list was a list of Chassis, Works cars, and remaining CBU's to be built, rebuilt, refurbished, invoiced, or re-invoiced. My educated guess was around December of 1961 as I traced several of the chassis # that appear on the "Last Page" to when some of them were eventually invoiced if at all (some went to manufacture some "B" cars of chassis #'s already used). So I had to ask Warren what his take was on the "Last Page" if he could remember, and this is what he wrote on the subject;

  "I cannot now remember exactly the purpose of the last page.  Unfortunately it is not dated but I am pretty sure that it was to reconcile the unused CBUs shown in the Register with those that were known to exist.  So I probably used the formal stocktake list at 31 December 1962 for the purpose and almost certainly the letters represented my shorthand indication of where the CBUs were located, but although I can guess I cannot now recall the meanings." 

(As I stated I think it would have been the Stocktake List of 31 December 1961 as #1468 still appears at Lotus on this "Last Page"  and several of the other chassis #'s there were invoiced in 1962, {My guess at Warrens Shorthand notations on "Last Page" are as follows ... "F"-Finished? "SF"- Semi Finished awaiting components? "FK"-Finished as Knocked-Down? (Lotus' phrase for KIT FORM) "X"-CBU? "PS"-Private Sale? (a few of the last cars Colin might have promised to others personally at a certain price) and Chassis numbers that were left Blank (no notations) are previously used or previous to stocktake list  of claimed CBU's for insurance claims or to make some "B" and "C" cars with same chassis numbers that have been already used which I believe is correct as the last column on far right seems to be all CBU's and where they went that have "NO" Shorthand Notations next to their chassis numbers on the "Last Page". The numerical additions on top Left of the page are the exact numbers of remaining CBU's in each single column Left - Right plus the 1 remaining Maximar Body added up 40, 41, 39, 1 to a total of 121 CBU's Left} so I'd say that's a darn good memory for almost exactly 50 years ago! Thank You Warren! I also believe that any remaining CBU's NOT invoiced on Warren Kings Original Invoice list when Elite production ceased were issued "NEW NUMBERS" from Chassis #2000 and up until they were gone. I'm just lost for an explanation as to why the numbers are so sporadic, perhaps Double Dimpled replacement CBU's for the Team that were never accounted for at the time they were sent to the Team?

Ecurie Shirlee Plate Frame and Plaque 

" More Rare Than The License Plate Frame Is This Bob Challman Plaque Issued To First Few Elites Sold @ Ecurie Shirlee & Now One Of The Last"

We also know from Dennis' book, club records and the original registration that I received with the purchase that Harlan Schwartz is the 2nd registered owner. In my phone conversations with Harlan he said he'd purchased the car from Westland Motors with 15,000 miles on the ticker for around $2,700!, $2,995. with tax and tags,etc. he quickly corrects himself. (How it got there I'd like to know, any takers?) Harlan shared several stories of cruising Sunset Blvd, "the strip", and Thousand Oaks with the Elite at 24 yrs. young and his gal in the passenger seat on top of the world! Harlan had valve & valve seat problems with engine #10820 in 1967 (darned problematic works cars anyways) and decided to get the car restored at some point changing the car from its other 2nd "factory" original yellow to a 69' Corvette "Sunfire Yellow" (Which may date the body restoration time). I don't believe the restoration went as smooth as anticipated with the engine rebuild as the Elite got her fresh yellow skin but the engine is still in bit form to this day. Harlan said he was very pleased that I'd purchased his old ride and was planning to restore it. He also stated he'd found some Lotus Keys he was sure went to #1468...seems he was right! He said he may even fly out when it's done to look her over when I'm finished. I said,"Well you can't stop there you'll have to take her for a test drive too!" So I'm definitely looking forward to that reunion when the day comes..I'll take alot of photo's and be sure to share them with everyone! 


"Original Paint Layers Left of  Chassis #1468 Taken from Wheel Well"

Life we know all too well...and thus eventually priorities had changed for Harlan as well. He sold his Super 100 he said came from the Sinatra family to a very good friend I'd just made in California who seemed to know everything "Elite" by the name of Mike Ostrov (yeah that guy!). He can also verify how the car came originally from the factory. Harlan also sold his Lotus Seven to someone in Illinois ... but the catch was this guy had to purchase this "Lotus Elite in Pieces" with it as a package deal. Hard pressed on wanting the Seven in 2005 the deal was struck and even though the Elite was unwanted, both cars were soon on the way to the Chicago area. Enter 2011, I'd seen a few ads on the Internet in different areas and sites but was always behind the posting dates and have always wanted an Elite since I'd seen them race on the old black & white set! ( I remember being very young and sneaking out to the living room after Mom and Dad went to bed and turning the contrast down on that big console TV so the light wouldn't flash so much and wake them up and put my ear near the speaker watching all the races & re-runs on late night.) I was trying to find a contact for a car near me in PA (Bob Arp’s S1) but could find no information when I came across this listing from Illinois. The rest as they say is history well almost.


" Harlan Schwartz $4.00 California Registration Pink Slip Dated 10/14/1966"

The 99% complete Elite I purchased was 99% completely in need of many things including several that were listed as in perfect working order. NOTE TO SELF.... Remember Dennis Ortenburger wrote Not to buy one sight unseen! (but the gravity of seeing Tom Dunns Elite grace the cover of that auto restorer just ignited that OLD FLAME again ;o)  I was quite concerned as I'd taken a second mortgage to fund this dream project and feared the cost and availability of those very rare pieces that needed to be built, rebuilt, replaced, repaired, or purchased. Oh yes, and one of those deals with more hassles of getting the car from Illinois to my place in upstate N.Y. between snow storms and pain in the backside trucking outfits. With that out of the way I looked through the parts, bits, and pieces to see what all was missing thinking to myself "Man you've bitten off maybe just a little more than you can chew on this one!"

1468 and Harlan 1966

 "Second Registered Owner Of  Chassis #1468 Harlan Schwartz Circa 1966"


"The Following is Original Advertisement for Chassis 1468 from 3rd Owner George P. to the Public"

Shaded areas of text are... well.. shady or interesting areas of text

This concerned me deeply at first, then I started finding the oddities, next I found many friends!

It was then I realized " I'll get by with a little help from my friends!"

Series 2 Lotus  Elite    Left hand drive 1963 Stage 2 Lotus Components  Vin Plate

Chassis # EB 14xx Engine # 108xx ,  Fwe 400 41 Matching number plate

 Bristol body Tag EB 14xx , NUMBER MATCHING

Calif pink slip/ registration / certificate of ownership dated 1966,  blank for new owner

Mileage: 22,700 orig miles

Vehicle sold in as is, as described condition.

Full serial numbers are not listed as there are just too many scammers out there !


History: I bought this car from 2nd owner. A friend of mine in Los Angeles knew this car for many years and saw it almost weekly. This Elite is a California car that has been driven very carefully and sparingly by ex Lotus club member. Previous owner decided to have car painted and restored to new condition. Paint lifted in spots on body. His mechanic wasn’t much better. At this point, owner severed relations w/ painters and mechanics. Previous owner did not have the ability to restore the car on his own. Car sat in his dry garage till I bought the vehicle. Car is 99% complete.

My intention was ground up restoration to concours standard but I have too many others car restoration  nearing completion including a race car. This car is at the perfect stage to restore to show quality in your choice of colors. Car located in Chicago Western suburbs. 35 minutes from O’Hare or Midway airports. I welcome any inspection.
In my opinion this car could be a 60-70K  car when finished since one would start w/ a very nice car w/ low mileage and many new parts. This car is known to members of the Lotus Elite club for ages...

Body: No major or minor accidents. Only a scrape or two and the usual inside nose hairline cracks. Minor stress cracks have been repaired, Only fiberglass used, no bondo anywhere, ever! Interior has been sanded about 90% to bare glass or smooth surface to rid awful Lotus ‘sand paint’. Original color was red, repainted pale yellow, then sanded to thin coat primer.

I sanded all paint off to orig primer or smooth f/glass. Engine bay has been completely stripped and primed and painted gloss Imron black epoxy by previous owner. Small area of paint lifted on right top portion of engine bay and needs to be feathered and repainted .All gutters are sanded for bonnet/ trunk as well as undersides of bonnet/ trunk.  95% of door sills have also been sanded .

Wheel wells and some areas of underside of fender wells have not been sanded. 3 to 4 days of work to get body ready for epoxy primer is estimate. Few small gel hairlines and finishing of inside lip of nose and  small area  near rear wheel arch need minor attention.

Gray spray can primer has been used to visualize how the body lines / surface appear. I had planned on epoxy primer this Feb. Since car is for sale I prefer to leave as is so the actual surface/lines can be seen easily.

Carpets:All carpeting and padding has been removed and discarded. Some small bits of padding remnants remain in trunk and foot well. Most of trunk has been sanded to bare f/glass. My goal was bare race interior w/ no carpets.

Glass: all excellent and original. Side plexis are very good to exc shape. Chrome upper surrounds are complete and very good as are chrome door window frames.

Interior/Seats: original, vinyl /tracks are excellent. Some stitching has come undone. Plastic tunnel orig and excellent, door panel inserts are excellent and look almost new. Floor, roof, tunnel, door insides stripped to bare f/ glass. Spare tire cover still in orig gray. Door plastic inserts are black and in excellent shape, no cracks or wear. Chrome trim strips for door locks excellent. Black main door panels look almost new. No lower pocket type. Locking mechanisms complete.
Steering  wheel: orig, wood stripped refin w/5 coats varnish. Perfect plastic Lotus center.

Wheels: previous owner had 4 wheels rebuilt by Buchanans, painted silver, now fading .  Tires are old  orig  but hold air well. Previous owner’s mechanic lost his 5th rim so I have added a spare rim, but it has not been rebuilt.. Knock offs are orig  vg to excellent condition.

Radiator/ Cooling: Orig Lotus Elite radiator stripped , boiled , no leaks, damage, just normal wear. All metal tubing to motor is included and is stripped and painted gray. Orig complete  stripped / nose mount fan.

Lighting: Orig tail lights, turn signals, complete and excellent condition. All units are complete.

Manual: Orig Lotus Elite Series 2 manual, not a reprint.

Gas tank: new alloy w/ vintage  alloy large rare racing alloy Monza filler cap.

Motor: Serial number matching orig motor that came w/ car. Block has been meticulously cleaned and much sanded w/ Dremel to remove casting marks and pebble surface. Motor is almost ready for tumbling or more sanding if a polished finish is desired. Head and Godiva valve cover in similar condition. Valves guides are exc. Cam is in near perfect w/ new shells. Cam carrier has been sanded and de burred. Crankshaft is orig unground and shows no signs of damage or heavy wear. Sump cleaned and sanded very smooth. I was aiming towards all polished alloy pieces. Complete orig oil filter system. Distributor shaft is near perfect. Oil pump and screen filter are excellent. Tappets are mostly new. Assortment of valve shims.  4 exc rods, 3 pistons and 3 liners. Previous owner’s  mechanic misplaced the 4th liner and piston. Orig motor mounts. All valves and springs keepers. Many new  bits.

Distributor: orig exc, complete,clean, plug wires discarded.

Front motor mount: orig, excellent, plated

Pulleys: I have had exact copies of originals made in billet alloy on CNC machine.

Water pump: stripped cleaned and lightly sanded to bare alloy

Carbs: Orig dual complete SU w/ Derrington alloy intakes. Carbs complete but not rebuilt. No air cleaners.

Spark Plugs: 4 new old stock, plus some of the orig bakelite boots

Presure plate, Flywheel , clutch disc: complete, orig to car ,vgc to exc shape

Generator/ starter: Original tach drive generator/ w/ orig cable . Factory starter.  Both complete and clean. Not rebuilt, painted gray.

Brakes: orig calipers,  front calipers stripped, cleaned ( outside and inside) new bleed screws installed. 4 new pistons  & 4 new cad plated pins 10 minute clean up and paint  & assembly required. Rotors near new w/ light surface rust from sitting. Orig master cyl, misc needs rebuild w/ resevoirs.  Have been media blasted. Hard lines are untouched and in car. New brake master rebuilding kits are included. Misc brake pads w/ lite use.  Rear brakes are still mounted and will require rebuilding.

Exhaust pipes: surface rust, perfect for pattern ,w/orig poor mufflers.

Bumpers: Complete front and rear orig stainless bumpers in exc condition w/ only slight small dings easily tapped out.

Gauges: All gauges are complete and original and have always worked.Tach speedo etc are still in dashboard in car.

Dash Knobs: Orig, all very good condition, even rare flasher indicator in exc shape w/ handle.

Transmission: orig MGA cleaned and working w/ orig and spare trans to motor adaptor plate, both stripped & primed. One very small chipped piece at edge of trans needs to be welded. My guess is previous owners’ mechanic set it down on edge to fast and chipped edge. I have chipped piece. New gasket set included. Trans has never been taken apart.
Clutch Slave: orig  not rebuilt.

Working transmission

"Inside Pieces Of  The Working Tranny"

Brake master: Orig, needs rebuild

Id plate: orig  Lotus Components vin plate and Bristol body plate.

Windscreen rubber trim: all new replacements for front and back w/ new inserts 

Door Rubber Trim: Pretty sure I have all new / some new replacements.

Rear axles/ diff: orig clean. Never removed from car

Lotocones: solid and orig. not loose, no repairs. Never removed from car.

Wiring loom: orig and untouched , no repairs or splices that I noticed.

Door handles/ locks,trunk handle. Emergency brake handle: all original/ complete w/ very good chrome.

Hinges -door bonnet, trunk: all stripped and painted gray

Suspension arms front : All  exc orig and cadmium coated by previous owner.

Bolts: large box of Lotus bolts, previous owner had cadmium plated

Heater unit: very good unrestored condition w/F/Glass holder surround w/ doors

Heater Core: Orig unit, vg, untouched

Wiper motor :complete        Regulator: orig  alloy/ cleaned

Bulkhead vent screen : clean. Chrome is good.

Pedal assembly: stripped painted gray. Driveshaft: stripped painted gray.

Horns: 2 orig , painted gray. exc

Steering column: stripped painted gray. 

Headlights: 2 new old stock headlight buckets w/ orig paint  2 new old stock silver inserts . 2 New old stock Lucas PL 700 trident w/ new bulbs.

Floor jack: complete, orig

Seat Belt mounts: 2 stripped , no seatbelts.

Outside mirrors: none

Rearview mirror: yes, not sure if orig.

NOT INCLUDED: motor gasket set, plug wires, coil, new donuts, gas tank to filler hose, rubber hoses for rad/ motor.

Last bits: Many new parts , too numerous to list. When the previous owner had his mechanic misplaced parts.The missing were bought from the Lotus Elite club, many in fact last of the rare available parts.  All parts that pertain to Lotus Elite go w/ this car. I have no other Elite to use them on so I am not keeping anything to go w/ this car!

There may have been some amount of bolts that are missing , but w/ engine bolts etc I planned on new bolts for a 100 point motor , so this was never a concern to me. In my opinion there are no hard or critical parts missing.

This car is a the perfect stage to do a ground up concours restoration . Every part is visible . Buyer will know exactly what kind of car he is buying. No surprises!

Shipping/ Pick up: I will be happy to assist in loading and boxing and labeling each box of parts that go w/ car. Please pick your own shipper so you are confident in your choice. I cannot do quotes for shipping. I do have one guy I have used in Arizona who was great . I will pass his info to you and you can decide. He brought the car from California to Chicago to me.

Payment: Payment in cash or wire transfer or cashiers’ check. Car and title will only be released upon clearance of funds.

Title: California pink slip registration w/ space left blank for new owner. Any question for foreign buyer I suggest you check w/ your shipping agent.


1468 At Harlans 1966 JAU 575

"Another Shot Of Chassis #1468 With JAU-575 Black Plate & Lotus Yellow Paint"

"Thank You Harlan For Sending These Photo's Out With The Original Set Of Elite Keys They'll Be Treasured!"


For another interesting view of what others think of #1468 I found this site after purchase;

Comments on BAT for #1468 while posted on E-bay  

Back to Chassis #1468

And The Best Friend An Elite Owner Could Have....

Mike Ostrov the early Elite days

"This Wonderful Guy Has Been Instrumental In Helping My Restoration Along...Do You Know Him?"

Mike Ostrov says...(in one of our 1st of a thousand great conversations) ... "Not to Worry... we'll get you what you need to make her right again, she's never been wrecked and has been garaged since at least 1967 so it will be an easier restoration than most." He said, "Write Greg Paris editor of Lotus Club Elite Newsletter and he'll post I was in need of 2 door hinges in the next newsletter so I could get the doors hung and at least get started on the body."


"I now appreciate your task " - Robin Longdon

I received an e-mail shortly after from someone named Robin across the "Big Pond" who'd seen my need in the newsletter. Anxious to help someone in need he said he'd had a hinge somewhere in storage and thought he might actually have the 2 that I'd needed. Well it ends up he had just the one which I was very grateful for. (It took me a few months to figure out that Bill Hutton had been holding onto the other one for me for all these years...who knew?) I then wrote Robin back and asked him, "If you have anything else Elite related you may not need and would be interested in parting with to please let me know". He replied that he had a few other bits he was thinking of maybe getting rid of at some point as his vintage racer would probably remain that way since it's quite well known "over there" so he wouldn't be needing most of the interior bits and some other now very rare items he'd saved through the last 30 or so years. He stated that someone else might better get some use out of them.... and for the life of me I couldn't think of anyone better! He asked me what else I was in need of. So I sent him a picture and stated that he would probably be better off letting me know what he had as I could more then likely use all of it! He soon wrote back and said, "Thanks for the photo, I now appreciate your task."

DAD10 at Kendal Hall Farm 1982RETOUCHResized

 "Our Beloved DAD10 As Found on Kendal Hall Farm!"

DADIO at  Kendal Hall Farm

 " More Popular Shot Of DADIO When Found"


Robin Definately Remembers The "Task At Hand" As DAD10 Is Restored To It's Former Glory By Tony Bates!

-Thanks To My Good Friend And Author Dennis Ortenburger For These Wonderful Period Photos-

He then wrote with a list of bit's...3 or 4 different emails and lists of things he had dug out of dry storage and I'd e-mail back what I needed from his list and some things I was in need of that weren't on the recent list. This in between him racing at Donnington, Goodwood, Brands Hatch, and other circuits with the Lola & Elite which I thought was really nice that he took so much time out of his very busy schedule to help me. He also gave me 1st choice on everything he had. Customs officials had riddled the second shipment and I was very surprised that more wasn't missing than the valve spring retaining washers and Robin wrote me not to worry as he had a few more and replaced them in the next shipment at no charge! This just shows you how incredibly great this guy truly is! I took most of his items and needed them in the worst way, honestly never thinking I'd find half of them especially from one source. He even offered some unique Elite period race items he used on his racing Elite, can you say "Bonus?" He then had Greg Paris publish the rest of his bits in the next edition of the Club Elite Newsletter. I remember him sending a final listing of all the bits as I'd always looked forward to the next e-mail from Robin since this guy was saving not only my backside, but my Big gamble on that 2nd mortgage! I remember writing back to clarify all the parts on the list to be shipped and asking "With all these items do you think we're up to the 1% of things I needed that were missing from my 99% complete Lotus Elite I'd recently purchased ?" ;o)


First of three “care packages” from Robin Longdon

In fact after that e-mail he called me out of the blue, (5/18/2011- 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time), a very pleasant man and conversation ensued with that British accent as warm as the sun. I asked him how it was that one man would seem to have all these hard to find "Bits" I needed that I never thought I'd find? He said he's raced Elites for years as he stated in his e-mails and had kept the interior carpets, vent's, switches, fuel pump, air cleaners, and other now rare bits in dry storage all those years so much is like new as he figured he might put the car back together after he retired it but decided it was too well known and should always remain a vintage racer. He even offered an original but burnt and damaged Frank Costin designed NACA DUCT BONNET! (Actually Dennis Ortenburger had shared with me that he liked to be called by his given name of Francis, Now how ironic is it that in the whole wide world of aerodynamics EVERYONE knows who Frank Costin is!)

Francis Costin

"A Few Shots Of Francis Costin Smoking Up A Storm And Still Searching For That Engineering Technical Perfection!"

Francis Costin to Dennis Ortenburger

"This Is An Edited Correspondence From Francis Albert Costin To Dennis Ortenburger On The LeMans Elite Revisions"

costin Mr. Francis

Francis Costins Obituary card


"The Original Frank Costin Designed Large NACA DUCT Bonnet...In Before Race Proven Condition And Restored Versions!"

When I asked him about the cars he's raced through the years and while he was responding he was the owner of "DAD10" it hit me real hard that "Robin" had thee last name! The most well known vintage racer of the most recognizable Lotus Elite in history of GT racing, the last name that has also helped so many people restore many a Lotus in need through the years and an Eleven here or there purchased even from his own collection so they could be restored. I'd been writing and corresponding with thee "Robin Longdon" all this time!

"DAD10 himself coming in for a landing at Cholmondley 2009"

I told him of all the times I've read about him and seeing articles in the overseas newsletters and images of him and his lovely wife working right along with him and how my girlfriend and I were just talking about how great it must be to be able to drive Les Lestons old car at all the vintage circuits and how great that must feel at times (when the differential shafts aren't breaking) and here I stand on my back porch talking to Robin & now I know what it's meant for him! So after pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming until the packages arrived I was beside myself (with my bruises) thinking of just how lucky I truly was. When I opened these packages from Robin it was like a step back in time. A time capsule from 50+ years ago with most things in original packaging, or looking exactly like they were taken off a brand new car yesterday! With a little elbow grease even the very rare used original items cleaned up like new and I'll be forever grateful! He even gave me a few custom made bits that used to be on DAD10! To me this seemed like a once in a lifetime dream come true, and I was truly honored to have these pieces from Les Lestons old ride, then A year later almost to the date the news that Les Leston (Born; Alfred Lazarus Fingleston) had sadly passed this May 13 2012.

Les puttin on the numbers

Les Leston ROUEN Medal


5035467 Les Leston PhotoResized for EWR

I felt it only right to pay Tribute to him and his career, to Lotus and to Robin Longdon for keeping the DADIO Dream and Lotus Elite visible on race circuits and thus the memories alive for all these years and of course to Francis Costin for his contribution to the Elite success story, So I had to ask Robin if he would be O.K. with my ideal Tribute and It Is with his blessings I am honored to be able to pay Tribute to the "Legendary Lotus, Leston, & Longdon 50+ Years of Elite Racing History" with my restoration of #1468 as "DAD102". A Brands Hatch 1961 pre-Costin nose road /race version of "DAD10"! Like I said, "You can't make this stuff up!"


"1st Primer Coat Awaiting The Tedious Wet Sanding With Freshly Restored Frank Costin NACA Duct Bonnet"

Francoise Malle

"The Jean Francois Malle Team Utilized The Skill Of Jabby Crombac To Prepare It For LeMans And It Was As Well The Very First Elite To Receive The Custom Francis Costin LeMans Front End Adding Another 20+ BHP By Dropping The Co-Efficient Drag Even Lower Than The Incredible And Totally Unheard Of 0.29 Of A Normal Elite, Now That's A Team I'd Want!"

Francis Costing getting right to those measurements

LeMans Front End Revisions by Francis CostinRESIZE 

Francis Costin Lemans Front end

"Since I've Acquired Many Of The Notations, Correspondence, Dimensions And Most Of The Images Of Francis Costins LeMans Revisions From Author Dennis Ortenburgers Collection I Should Be Able To Accurately Duplicate Costin's Perfection Adding Some Of That Extra 20+ b.h.p. To EB-1468 As Has Been Done To The First Costin Enhanced Elite EB-1448!" 

Figureing out those darned headlight covers

"Now How Do You Suppose Those Headlight Covers Were Molded?"

Chassis  1468 Lemans Headlight Cover Conversion

After Many Months And Many Disapointments I Finaly Got It Right Carving A Set Of Alfa Romeo Covers!

Lemans Headlight Covers 1468

 Lemans Headlight covers fitted 1468

"Had To Recess The Headlights For Clearance , But I 'd Rather Do That Then Raise The Front Wings As Francis Costin Did"

So with the wonderful generosity of my good friends and first and foremost my DAD ( who's also a 1 0 ) Lefty Lockwood for floating me the downpayment to hold the car until the loan came through. (I'll always remember him asking me "How much for this car? Are you sure you thought this through enough? How you going to get it here from there? Are you sure you know what you're doing? I've never seen one of these...Do you know how many other known cars you could get for this kind of money?" I said "Yes Dad, but they'll always be just a Vette, just a Chevelle, just a Pontiac, just a Street Rod, they'll never be a LOTUS ELITE!" He stood by me and gladly helped me out and judging from the last few Elites sold and judging by the smile on his face I believe he now realizes the difference!) DAD10 himself Robin Longdon from across the "Big Pond", the Original Genuine Article DADIO Les Leston, and the DAD who looks after us all  in this big "ELITE WORLD" Mike Ostrov, Julia VanSteenburg, Lance Lockwood, Don Lockwood, My wonderful son  John Lockwood, Warren King, Harlan Schwartz, David Mousley, Lyle Henage, John Hawthorne, Brian Caldersmith, Greg Paris, John Mullen, Peter Morgan, David Blacklidge, Dave Nicholas & the "Barc Boys", Peter Morgan, Truett Lawson, Mike Flanagan, Bill Orr, Andy Graham, Kees Houtzager,Terry Stillman, Bruce Mansell, Hans Mulder, Noel Falconer, Howard Dare, Joe Marchione, Dave Hutchison, Gary Anderson, Bill Hutton, Michael Gue, Robin Read, Jorge Pesante, Eric Jewett, Jim Goodman, John Frayling, Tony Vaccaro, Foster Cooperstein, Steve Bolton, Charlie Null, Jim Goebler, Alasdair McNellan, William Nighswonger,  Andy Bradshaw, Peter Joy, George Paulus, Dan Davy, Bill Decocker, Robert Lincoln II at Van's Machine Shop For the excellent engine machining, balancing, fitment and headwork! Swain Tech Ceramic Coatings, Cometic Gaskets, Quick Marine & Powersports (for the wonderful LeMans period metal fabrications!), John Brown, Ken Gray, Dave Thielke for all his interest in my project and parting with the rarest of bits and wonderful stories of his days at Bob Challmans the lounge chair image is my all time favorite! ;o) , Will Blacklidge, John Hellings, Don Christopher, "The California kid!"... Austin Kincade, and most importantly (and very sadly now) the late Author Dennis Ortenburger helping me with the last few needed bits, all the wonderful Elite Bibles, Ecurie Shirlee Collectibles and much needed advise & guidance! Which means we've come almost full circle...the car that nobody wanted is 1.Rare 2.Odd 3.Contains half of its bits from the most recognizable historical Elite on the planet 4.Is going to be restored with bits & advise from the who's who of today’s (and sadly yesterdays) Elite world & 5.Be a car that everyone will love to see together again!

My Friends And Heroes of 1468

"A Few Of My Friends And Heroes Of  EB-1468, Thank You All For Your Guidence!"

Les Lestons driving suit and gloves wording

"Les Lestons Original Driving Suit & Gloves"

52c DAD10

Quite honestly I could never have gotten by without the help of all my new friends around this Great Elite World! A special "deeply appreciated THANK YOU" to my great friend Mike Ostrov for making all the "GIANT STEPS, little ones." Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and soul for making my dream come true. This is a remarkable community to be a part of! All in all I'm happy with finding what I've found out about #1468 and content somewhat with what I might never know about her. But I can still hold out some hope that someone out there somewhere might still remember a story of the little red "inside and out" Elite that graced the works at Cheshunt for a few years in the early sixties.


Img01526581Right arm missle

"The Only Serious Choice In A Right Arm Missle!"

This ZF Came From George Simmons' Elite Bob Green Crashed In The Tire Wall At Monterey Historic Weekend

(see page 219 photo by Marlene Ortenburger in Dennis'  "The Lotus Elite" oh heck I'll just post it!)


"That's George From Left, With Mike Ostrov Pointing Out Where Accident Happened, And Is That Dennis Ortenburger?"

(Look Close As Dennis Informs Me He Had Lost A Bet And This Is A Beardless Dennis Ortenburger In Fire Suit!)


Has anyone ever wondered why DAD10 was restored with it's interior painted red? .. I did & thought if no other Elite was ever painted in this manner well maybe "someone" had heard of a Signal Red inside & out Lotus Works Elite thats existence had been unknown forever ... at least until that add for Hinges in the most recent CEN by the new owner! So I thought to myself that this is "Super Uncanny" that of all the people in this world helping me with these rare "Bits" I am now friends with DAD10's owner and can personally ask Robin myself, How cool is that?

It doesn't get any better than this from my bucket list!   

(Even if it's still mostly in buckets ;o)

Img01526816 World register resize

"Yeah That's My Kitchen, Mike Ostrov Say's It's Thee Greatest Place To Rebuild The FWE Coventry Climax Engine!" 



What's that? Did I end up asking Robin? I sure did, but if you were to ask him he might just sum it all up and say... "I know of only one Lotus Elite Works car that was originally painted Signal Red inside and out and that he was happy to give a helping hand to his good friend from across the BIG POND in restoring it to it's former glory in the small town of Franklin, N.Y. U.S.A.  Lotus Elite Works Chassis #1468". Also Known As......

Robin sent this along with his "Blessings" from thee Genuine DAD10 Les Leston ..Isn't it Ironic! 

If your going to dream...DREAM BIG!

"Somebody Pinch Me!"



Kirk Lockwood, Franklin N.Y. U.S.A.

Lotus Works Elite #1468

Copyright © 2012 - 2016 Kirk Lockwood  All rights reserved.

Bob Challmans Business card

"Bob Challman-Ecurie Shirlee Business Card"

BOB CHALLMAN Business card 2

"Another Rare Challman Card, Notice New Signs, Fresh Building Paint, Elans, & Europa"


 "Very Rarely Does But One Man Emerge From His Elite,

  But When He Does, Sasquatch Takes Pictures Of Him!" 

Other Links That Relate To Our Wonderful Type 14 Lotus Elites;



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