The MONZA Cars
Lotus made three trips with the Eleven to Monza in Italy to set new closed-course speed records. The first of these was in September 1956, using an 1,100cc production Eleven modified only with additional aerodynamic improvements. The driver in this attempt was Stirling Moss, whose best lap of 138 MPH and 50 km at 135 MPH were the highlights of a day cut short when the bodywork blew off. A second trip was made with the same car just a month later. In this attempt the driver was "Mac" Fraser, who completed the planned laps and broke all the existing records, posting a fastest lap at 143 MPH. But it came at a high price to his health: blood in his urine from the terrible pounding he and the car took around the banked track.
In December 1957 another attempt was made, this time with a supercharged Climax 1,100cc in a Series Two Eleven and Cliff Allison driving. The track was frozen and fog so shrouded the course that Allison needed red lamps to mark where the banking began. The fastest lap was now up to 145 MPH. This trip was also remarkable for how the Lotus team trekked across Europe in the snow with their falling-apart transporter to make the round trip to Italy.
Two contemporary articles are available below. The first account written by Stirling Moss and the second, the Series Two attempt, reported by Mike Costin. Both are reprinted from Sports Car & Lotus Owner magazine.
Two additional links are provided to see what became of these two Monza Elevens.
|Record Attempt by Stirling Moss|
|Records Blown by Mike Costin|
|Racing the Record Breaker|