The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus,1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. MKXI-171

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Lot 626
The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus, 1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. MKXI-171

Sold for £ 74,100 (US$ 88,821) inc. premium
The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus
1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. MKXI-171


  • We understand that this very well presented Lotus Eleven began life as the car sold to Keith Hall in March 1956 and raced by him under the Team Lotus quasi-works banner in partnership with Colin Chapman himself, and Cliff Allison. The car was road registered ‘YTN 444’ and was one of the first three Lotus Elevens to be entered at the Goodwood Easter Monday race meeting on April 2, that year.

    At that event Keith Hall drove Cliff Allison’s car in practice but ‘YTN 444’ could not be made race-ready in time. Consequently its competition debut did not take place until May 19, 1956, at Snetterton in Norfolk where its new owner/driver took second place in the Double-Twelve Trophy event.

    The following day, at Brands Hatch in Kent, Keith Hall finished sixth. On June 23 at Aintree, Liverpool, he set a new circuit lap record at 81mph and on July 1 at Charterhall in Scotland ‘YTN 444’ was driven by Hall to two race wins and a second place.

    At Crystal Palace on August 6 he won the August Trophy race, setting fastest lap after also winning his preliminary Heat. On September 8 at Goodwood the combination of Keith Hall and the Lotus Eleven won the Madgwick Cup race, and in the later Sussex Trophy event they set a new class lap record at 86.75mph. Overall during that 1956 season Keith Hall achieved six race wins, six second places and three third places from 16 starts.

    For 1957 Keith Hall was provided with a Team Lotus Series 2 Eleven, and ‘YTN 444’ was sold to Portsmouth-based entrant John Fisher, who was reported to be installing a Borgward engine in place of the original Climax FWA unit, which Keith Hall had retained. However, the car finally re-emerged with a normal-type Climax engine re-installed. M.J. Kingham acquired the car for 1958, and in 1959 Innes Ireland Limited prepared the car in their workshop at Elstead, Surrey, to be driven in competition by Derek Randall and Jimmy Steele.

    By the 1970s the car was in Dutch hands before being brought back into the UK by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd musical entertainment fame. In 1977 Keith Hall wrote to Mr Mason explaining that in his hands “The engine was originally supplied with S.U. carburettors and changed to Weber 35DCO3s before it was raced, and then very shortly to 38DCO3s”. It appears to have been one of the very first Lotus Elevens to use the Italian twin-choke carburettors.
    In the hands of its current vendor the car has been raced at the Goodwood revival Meeting and in 2005 it starred in the Lotus Anniversary Parade preceding the Le Mans 24-Hour event. Since that time we are advised that the car has been re-commissioned for track work by Ten Tenths Limited, the work including the installation of a new gearbox, and it is described by the vendor as being “on the button and ready to run”.

    The immortal – and sublimely beautiful – Lotus Eleven was the 1100-1500cc sports-racing model which really established designer Colin Chapman’s Lotus Engineering Company Ltd as a serious manufacturer of customer production competition cars.
    After some 150 Eleven ‘Series 1’ cars had been produced, a ‘Series 2’ variant was introduced in the Spring of 1957. By the end of production during 1958 some 270 Lotus Elevens had been completed.

    They were wonderfully successful, worldwide. This particular example’s Keith Hall history is attested to in a June 1996-dated letter from contemporary Historic Lotus Register historian Graham Capel. The car is offered with FIA Historic Vehicle documentation and it is accompanied by a considerable paperwork file chronicling its history.

The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus,1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. MKXI-171
The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus,1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. MKXI-171
The Ex-Keith Hall/Team Lotus,1956 Lotus-Climax Sports-Racing Two-Seater  Chassis no. MKXI-171
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