In 1956, Colin Chapman and Frank Costin sat down and penciled a new front-engined sports racer to be powered by the tidy and powerful Coventry Climax 1100 cc engine. This new car, dubbed the “Eleven”, featured a 70 lb tubular spaceframe reinforced with stressed aluminum panels and slippery Costin-designed aluminum bodywork. Chapman’s Eleven was quick from the start and soon began chocking up race wins including a class victory at Le Mans with Bicknell/Jopp and even a series of closed course speed records at Monza with Stirling Moss and Mac Frazer driving. Over the next couple of years, the Lotus Eleven went on to become the dominant small displacement sports racer, oftentimes able to best cars with much larger displacement engines.
This month’s featured Web site is the official site of the Lotus Eleven Register and provides both a host of information on the sexy little Lotus, as well as serving as focal point for Eleven enthusiasts from around the world. Some of the features of this site include: A brief historical overview of the design and production of the Eleven; highlights of same of the great triumphs in Lotus Eleven history; a selection of early magazine articles on the Eleven; a special section examining some of the oddities and urban legends surrounding the Eleven; and an overview of the history and goals of the Lotus Eleven Register and their quest to fully account for and document every example of the 271cars originally built by Lotus.
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