Car Detail

1959 Lotus XI LeMans Series 2


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This Lotus XI was originally purchased by Pete Lovely of Seattle, Washington from Jay Chamberlain's Lotus dealership in California. The Lotus was then sold to Blake Lewark, and again to George Miller of Salem, Oregon. Bob Bentler purchased the Lotus in 1962.

During Bentler's ownership, the Lotus qualified for the SCCA Runoffs in 1969, and competed in the finals at Daytona. There it was timed at 143 mph on the banking. In the SCCA Nationals at Road Atlanta in 1971, this car was the fastest of the front-engined cars, finishing 10th overall.

The early 1970's marked the beginning of historic automobile racing on the West Coast. This Lotus XI became one of the first "vintage" racers on the West Coast in 1973, running with groups such as HMSA and CSRG. This XI is also a 25 year veteran of the Monterey Historic Automobile Races. It has run at that event more times than any other car. Interestingly, the Lotus won a 1st place cup at the very first Monterey Historics, the only year trophies were awarded.

This very nice, very original, car continues to be actively campaigned and properly maintained. It has an excellent finishing record. The Lotus also comes with full documentation and records.




The original tube frame chassis is in excellent condition, remarkably free of damage or evidence of old repairs. The only known repair was that of a single bent tube near the fuel tank, sustained in a minor shunt at Laguna Seca in 1998.

In 1995, a reinforcing cage was welded under the transmission tunnel to link the front and rear bulkheads and stiffen the chassis. This modification is not visible with the transmission cover in place. A new belly pan was installed in 1998 with rivets and aerospace glue to further stiffen the chassis.

The body is the original, all alloy body, with the full windscreen configuration. The car also comes with the alloy passenger tonneau cover. The car was re-painted green in 1998.

This Lotus XI is powered by a 1460 c.c. Coventry Climanx FWB with a five bearing camshaft. It has Carillo rods and 40 DCOE Weber carburetors. It produces approximately 110 h.p. at the flywheel, and 80.3 h.p. at the rear wheels.

The gearbox is a Volvo P1800 four speed. It has overdrive operating on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears. The gearbox was rebuilt September, 1999. The clutch is a hydraulically actuated, 10" diaphragm Formula Ford clutch. A new throw-out bearing and 1" clutch master cylinder were installed when the transmission was rebuilt.

The rear suspension is the proper De Dion limited slip arrangement. The rear hub assemblies were rebuilt in July, 1998. The car also received new front suspension uprights and spindles in 1998. The brakes are Girling discs, with Carbotech competition pads. The rear brakes are inboard, with outboard front brakes.

The rear wheels are 15X5 original Lotus Wobbly Web. The front wheels are 15X5 aluminum reproduction wheels made by Kent Aerospace Castings, in Kent, England. These replaced the original Wobblies up front in 1992. All wheels are shod with Dunlop Racing 500L15 tires, which have only one race on them.

A considerable spares package acquired over 27 years of racing, as well as a trailer, are available with the car for an additional $5,000. The spares package consists of multiple boxes of parts and bits, including such items as a 1220 c.c. crankshaft, cylinder liners, and even a complete FWA Elite engine. A more detailed list of spares can be provided upon request.

This is a highly documented, highly original car with complete ownership history and all receipts. It is a well proven, reliable, front-running, Series 2 Lotus XI that is race ready. The car has already been entered in the premier HMSA events for 2000, and can be seen in action at these upcoming events.

Chassis Number: 531
Engine Number: N/A


Price: Sold          Currency Converter

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