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Prototype Elise S1: born 03 January 1996


jep

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Congratulations Justin, a wonderful car to own :thumbsup:

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19 hours ago, jep said:

With thanks to the power of TLF and others in the Lotus community, this Elise S1 is now in my safe(-ish) hands:

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Technically not a prototype but a pre-production car registered on 03 January 1996 some 7 months before the first production car.  It is the oldest surviving RHD Elise. The chassis has a brass plaque fitted in period by Hydro Aluminium to state is is a proto chassis. The car was built in the engineering department not the production facility. Ruby Red Metallic (B23).

This Elise was used as a development vehicle to test Elise changes/improvements. It was the test bed for the 135bhp engine (which it still runs), it was the first Elise with steel brake discs when it became apparent that the MMC discs were unlikely to be available and it ran various other changes throughout its 4 years and 107,000 miles with Lotus Cars Ltd including tests for the close-ratio gearbox. 

It was purchased in 2001 by Dave Minter , a significant engineer on the Elise program and widely known due to his starring role in the Discovery Channel documentary which charted the genesis of Elise. Dave added 23,000 miles in his 20 years with the car from Dec 2001 to yesterday.

The car is showing its mileage visually but it drives superbly. I popped to the factory on the way home to take the snap.

I am over-excited and tingling to own this significant and very special Elise. Thanks to all who made it happen. You know who you are.

Justin

 

 

History and Art in motion.

With all the other RHD Pre-Prod cars now in the "Big Garage in the Sky" (RIP)...I'm going to have to help you take care of this one!    Tis now the "Mon-Elisa".

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I'd enjoy blatting the proto Vs your 160 @stephenwhyte. Proto had the first 135 engine mod - most achieved more bhp than the minimum and this one is, er, quite loose and yummy. 

I'll bring the 340R along also - to ensure I take the honours ultimately. 😁

Justin

 

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9 hours ago, jep said:

I'd enjoy blatting the proto Vs your 160 @stephenwhyte. Proto had the first 135 engine mod - most achieved more bhp than the minimum and this one is, er, quite loose and yummy. 

I'll bring the 340R along also - to ensure I take the honours ultimately. 😁

Justin

 

Ha - nice one!😉

My 160 is apparently pushing out 174bhp at 7000 rpm…..the first 50 SVA cars like your car, produced more than the standard 150 bhp quoted in the brochure. Whereas the WVTA 160’s were all around 145bhp. I nearly ended up with one of those but so glad I found this instead - it’s brilliant!👍

The 340R will spank them both…..but I’ve got the Exige for those days……but I really do love the purity of design of the S1!😎

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3 hours ago, jep said:

Mmmm - I best bring the LF1 as well to avoid humiliation. 

Justin

Ha - if I’d know this was a dick wagging contest……I’d have brought out the big-gun first!😂😉 I raise your LF1 with the sheer style of the Esprit😜😉

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The engine is the first ever version with 135bhp - it is not a VVC K-series. The metal manifold cover marked 'VVC' was preferred to the standard plastic one and the lettering was ground out for production heads and a sticker affixed. 

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Searching for all prototype/pre-production Elise. I have the following number plates, mainly from the Discovery Channel documentary. I have checked them all on DVLA website and only the press car has any recent history (2012).

I have asked Andy Graham at Lotus Cars Ltd, he says Lotus only hold records on production cars and he cannot assist further. 

N286 KNG: red, press car (Top Gear, Autocar etc…), registered June 1996, currently listed as SORN and no MOT since 2012.

N288 KNG: Blue, registered 01 June 1996. No tax, no MOT records held by DVLA

N576 GEX: white, registered 10th August 1995. No tax since 1996, no MOT records on DVLA site

N585 GEX: yellow, registered 13th September 1995. Untaxed, no MOT records on DVLA site

M203 BEX: silver, registered 31st Dec 1995 but possible May 1995, conflicting info on DVLA site.

PM me if preferred.

Justin

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Wiper parked in the centre of the windscreen was the preferred option for the Elise S1 designers, so I thought it fitting to snap the prototype thus.

IMG_20220312_102754.thumb.jpg.fc6aded0de355c94d09e5d77a44a052e.jpg

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