Rare Vintage Racer: 1957 Lotus Eleven S2 Le Mans

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If you’re someone who is in the market for a Lotus Eleven, chances are you already know what makes this historic race car so great. The Eleven, in many ways, was considered Colin Chapman’s crowning achievement. And while he had a tendency to always outdo himself on his next creation, the Eleven was such a transformative track car that few models – from Lotus or otherwise – have come close to threatening the Eleven’s position on top of the heap. The example shown here appears to be a competition car still in active use, and it is listed here on craigslist with all of the right details included for $125,000 near St. Louis.

The Eleven is a car that wears you almost as much as you wear it. You have to be a bit of a contortionist to even drive the Eleven, and once you slide into the low-slung cockpit (that’s an understatement), I’m guessing you can see Chapman’s view of the perfect sports car in full view. Of course, beyond the lineage the car enjoys is the sheer number of these Elevens that were used in highly-publicized races, earning it some of the best PR a company could hope for. The long list of drivers who used the Eleven for a major competitive advantage is quite lengthy, and counting yourself among them is perhaps one of the more compelling reasons to invest in a car like this one.

But really, it’s about the driving experience and access to some of the most celebrated historic racing events in the U.S. The Eleven shown here is described by the seller with great brevity, but there’s not a whole lot to say about a car like this: “Coventry Climax FWB with Webbers, wobblies, wishbone front, DeDion rear, discs, wrap-around windshield, tail fin.” That’s it; that’s the car in a nutshell. The seller doesn’t say much about how he has used it, or whether this particular Eleven can trace its history back to a driver or drivers of some significance. If it has been used competitively, the condition would seem to suggest otherwise given how clean it is.

While the engine was humble at best, the Eleven was still capable for a top speed of over 130 miles per hour. The seller notes this example is listed in the official register of historic Lotus Elevens, so there’s likely a story to tell in terms of its life up until this point. The Eleven is one of those models that will always be sought after and there will be little doubt as to its significance. If you have the means, I am sure this is a top 10 car for many folks who wish to assemble a collection of any significance while also having a specimen they can still wring out on the track on occasion.

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Beautiful cars. Missed a chance to buy a replica race car like this one only with spoked wheels. Good price but didn’t buy it because I didn’t think the Vintage organizations would accept it. Turned out I was wrong. Real bummer.

    Like 7
    • Fred Veenschoten

      Please be on the lookout for a replica that was stolen in Pensacola, Fl. It is silver with a Sprite engine.

      Like 4
  2. ace10

    Sixty five years old and sexy as hell.

    Like 16
  3. B302

    A friend of mine sold one mostly apart, but complete, for $80,000 about 9 years ago. It needed complete assembly, paint, etc. He had stripped it down to bare chassis etc. But the parts were all listed in a three ring binder and in which plastic container they were in. Each container also listed what parts were in it. I think he paid about $3,000 dollars for it in the late 60’s early 70’s. He always had at least 2 Lotus’s in his garage. He just got too old to put the “11” back together.

    Like 8
  4. mike

    Beautiful Eleven.Who doesn’t love yellow Wobbly Web wheels?? Wish seller would have stated any race history.

    Like 7
  5. mike

    And why list something like this on Craigslist???

    Like 7
    • B302

      Because it is the best way for the world to see it. This topic of Craigslist has been discussed many times on this site. Craigslist is like a good barbeque place, minimum wage folk to millionaires go there or are told about it.

      Like 4
    • Lee

      Cars on BAT sell for 6 figures every day. CL, not so much.

      Like 3
  6. Keith D.

    Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer! Gooooooo!

    Like 2
  7. Holden

    I bought one from Harvey Hess SCCA RRC Champ in a NSU TT in 1968. Spent money to get it running, painted it fly yellow then got married and traded it for a 544 Volvo for my wife to drive to work. The car is now bare metal and still racing in Australia.

    Like 0

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