Formerly the property of Colin Chapman, CBE 1979 Lotus Elite Series 1 Coupé Registration no. FAH 834T Chassis no. 7904/1484A
The current vendor first owned this Elite in 1987/89 before selling it to Mr Cooper, a friend. 'FAH 834T' was rumoured to have belonged to Lotus founder, Colin Chapman but little credence was attached to these claims at that time as many Lotus cars of the 1970s reputedly had 'Chapman' connections. Mr Cooper kept the Elite garaged, driving it for only 100-or-so miles up to the time of his death in April 2009, whereupon his widow agreed to sell the Lotus to the vendor. Removed from its garage home in November 2009, the car was in original condition although the engine had been partially dismantled and was despatched to a specialist for rebuilding. It was decided to trace the Elite's history and it was discovered that the car had originally belonged to Colin Chapman. Lotus Cars' letter on file explains that 'FAH 834T' was fitted with a 911-type Talbot Sunbeam Lotus engine soon after production in April 1979, possibly as a test bed for the forthcoming 2.2-litre engine, which became standard from May 1980. The car is Martini Green (Lotus colour L43) and is believed to be the sole survivor of only six such Elites. It is assumed that the 911-type was replaced with a standard 907-type 2.0-litre unit when the car was sold to the Norfolk Motor Company in 1980, although we are advised that a Lotus engineer has identified the ancillaries as those of a '2.2'. The original engine number remained unchanged on the V5. There are two other unique distinguishing features of note: the first being the coachlining between the wheel arches, which was not added to the Elite until the Series 2. When Mr Chapman owned the car they were blue and red to commemorate the Martini sponsorship of the Lotus Fl team in 1979/1980. When Martini pulled out after one season the lower coach line was hurriedly changed to gold, and traces of blue are still visible on the rear quarters of the car. Secondly, it is believed that the Constructor's World Championship badges at the top of the 'B' posts did not feature on the Elite until the Series 2's arrival in 1980. Described as in generally very good condition, the Elite is offered with owner's handbook, current road fund licence, MoT to March 2011, Swansea V5 and a file of history. The latter contains assorted newspaper cuttings, DVLA ownership history, Lotus Cars correspondence and Certificate of Vehicle Provenance, and a copy of the only known picture of Colin Chapman with 'FAH 834T', taken outside Lotus Cars' Ketteringham Hall research facility.