Lotus Eleven Register

Book Reviews

Lotus-The First Ten Years

by Ian H. Smith


Published 1958 by Motor Racing Publications Ltd. London

The genesis publication - the first book chronicling the history of Lotus. Written by Ian Smith who not only was an early Lotus owner and founder of Club Lotus, but also a personal friend to Colin Chapman. Smith was not a professional writer or journalist, but a corporate executive, who after being caught up in the enthusiasm of early Lotus, decided to document the amazing story of the young company. Smith relied on interviews of Colin Chapman, Mike Costin and others that are now famous names in motor racing combined with his personal experiences to assemble the story.

This book covers the earliest history of Chapman, from his boyhood through the founding of Lotus Engineering and Team Lotus.

Intimate history of each car, from what is now referred to as the MK I through the type 14 Elite is recorded, a great deal of which was from personal experience and interviews with all of the early drivers, designers and developers – and even some competitors of Lotus

Of particular interest to Eleven owners and historians is the detailed description on the Eleven’s development and the workshop photographs. In addition to the press introduction (quite rare for the time), entire chapters are devoted to the International events of LeMans.

There are reports, stories and photographs of familiar circuit races at the famous tracks of the day such as  Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Aintree, Goodwood, Mallory and Sebring  -  even a long road test the length of England, from John O`Groats to Land’s End.

Although out of print for many years, this book contains many photos that have not been published since – well worth the search

-- Pat Dennis


Rescue & Restoration