Lotus Eleven Register

Book Reviews

Lotus --The Historic Years  1956 - 1958

by Graham Capel


Published 1995 by Historic Lotus Publications, England.  ISBN 09525732.1.0

This book is subtitled The History of the Lotus Eleven, and despite some errors it represents a serious effort to define the car and what it did.  It was written at a time when Capel was secretary of the Historic Lotus Register and also editor of its magazine.  So the book draws not only on traditional sources but also on a wealth of original research done over the years by Capel and other HLR members. 

The series 1 and 2 Elevens are given several generous chapters of technical description, with two chapters devoted to publicity, memorabilia, and even book reviews.  Specification tables, excerpts from contemporary publications and previously unpublished photos abound.  An extensive index of drivers and races rounds-out this impressive opus.

Capel's emphasis on race history means that half the book (A4 format, 228 pages) is devoted to a sequential listing of the Elevens' formidable competition record.  These chapters can be mighty tiresome for the average person, but include such details as registration or chassis numbers wherever possible and can be worthwhile for the fanatic.

This book was privately published with a rather small print run, and copies tend to be in the hands of collectors already.  However it is well worth the search for this outstanding study of what Capel describes as: altogether a fantastic Motor Car.

-- Jay Sloane        


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