Classic cars don’t get much cooler than this. What you’re looking at is a rare 1962 Lotus Elite Super 95, originally owned by one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, Jim Clark. It’s headed to RM Sotheby’s London auction in September, where it’s estimated to sell for £150,000 to £200,000 ($198,000 to $264,000).
Clark was given this Elite in February 1962 as payment for his services as a works driver for Team Lotus. By 1962, he was no doubt familiar with the Elite, having won a number of races throughout the late 1950s behind the wheel of the little sports car. He even placed second in class at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Elite.
The Elite was an incredibly innovative car for its time, with low-drag fiberglass bodywork that acted as a load-bearing monocoque. It didn’t actually have a frame—instead, the engine and suspension are mounted to two metal “skis,” which are bonded to the body. This construction was radically different than any other car on the market then (or since), and it meant the Elite was incredibly light, just over 1500 lbs.
This construction also meant the Elite was expensive to build, which is why Lotus only managed to crank out a little over 1000 before production ended in 1963. Only 23 examples of the Elite Super 95 were built, each featuring a hotter version of the standard 1.2-liter Coventry Climax four-cylinder, and other upgrades. The car comes with an Hobbs Mechamatic gearbox, which was an early type of sequential transmission. It’s not installed now, but Clark used it while he owned the car.
Elites are very sought-after by Lotus fans the world over, and this car might be the definitve example. What’s better than a Lotus once owned and driven by one of the company’s greatest drivers?