Sunday, 28 May 2017

Lotus Eleven Le Mans

This car competed in the Ten Lap Invitation Scratch Race for 1950's Sports/Racing Cars at the VSCC's meeting at Oulton Park in August 1996.
The programme of the event simply says that it's Gregor Fisken's 1956 1,098cc Lotus, but it is in fact the Lotus Eleven Le Mans, chassis no. 211 that was driven by Cliff Allison and Keith Hall in the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hour race. The car retired from that race after 10 hours when Cliff Allison was driving down the Mulsanne Straight - the fastest part of the circuit - and hit a German Shepherd dog that ran onto the track. Three works Lotus Elevens were entered in that race, two with the 1,098cc engine and one of 1,459cc. As well as the Allison/Hall car, the 1,459cc car driven by Colin Chapman and Herbert MacKay-Fraser retired, but the other 1,098cc car driven by Reg Bicknell and Peter Jopp finished in 7th place overall, winning the 1.1 litre class. The Lotus Eleven Le Mans differed from the standard Lotus Eleven in that it had a wider chassis frame in order to provide Le Mans regulation-width seats, and cockpit and footwell minimum dimensions, but the overall width of the bodywork was no different to the standard car.

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