1958 RAC Rally Lotus X1

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1958 RAC Rally Lotus X1

Post  CDM on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:59 pm

After months with an overcrowded work I am finally begining to finish some!!

This was built for a customer after reading an article I wrote for the HRCR Old Stager magazine. Hope the photos are working here?

Lotus X1 XAR 11

So what do Le Mans and the RAC Rally have in common?

Well on the face of it very little. But unbelievably back in the late 50’s it actually happened. The car was a Lotus X1 reg no XAR 11 which had won the Index of Performance at the 1957 Le Mans and then in 1958 also took part in the RAC Rally.

The Le Mans car chassis 323 had a small bore FWA engine of just 743cc. This engine was put into a light weight body with a standard chassis and magnesium wheels. In this super light-weight configuration it won the Index of Performance driven to 14th overall and 1st in class by Cliff Allison and Keith Hall, beating all the more fancied French cars.

https://s749.photobucket.com/user/Seedy01/media/Lotus%201_zpsnvfbcidv.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4

https://s749.photobucket.com/user/Seedy01/media/Lotus%202_zpsfrwaa6py.jpg.html?sort=3&o=5

https://s749.photobucket.com/user/Seedy01/media/Lotus%206%20aa_zpss4i5twwk.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

This car was then entered on the 1958 RAC Rally in a ploy to satisfy the Le Mans organisers to allow participation in the 1958 race, in that the Lotus was indeed a car for the road. Car number 139 driven by Edward Lewis & Denis Pratt was a car least suited to the rigours of the RAC Rally, but it did do quite well on the race track sections. According to the Autosport report they struggled onto the finish in spite of holing the sump and a collision with a truck in the north east of England. A photo appears on page 366 of Autosport 21/3/58 and on page 21 of Autocar’s 50 Years of the RAC Rally magazine

Having said all this the history of XAR 11 is further complicated by the fact that there were five Lotus X1 cars which all took the same registration of XAR 11. It appears that the Le Mans car and the RAC cars were actually two different cars!! Have a look at
http://www.lotuseleven.org/DarkAges2/xar_11.htm  for the full story.

Spark do an excellent model of the Le Mans car, Partwork an excellent base model from their Mille Miglia Collection. I originally made this RAC Rally conversion on the old Corgi model, but having found the Mille Miglia version at a local swapmeet for £3 I have since done a better conversion on that base.

https://s749.photobucket.com/user/Seedy01/media/Lotus%204%20aa_zpswggfgbl7.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2

https://s749.photobucket.com/user/Seedy01/media/Lotus%203%20aa_zps6igklowk_1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

Chris

CDM

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Re: 1958 RAC Rally Lotus X1

Post  turn the wheel on Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:20 pm

Very unusual but georgous lines

turn the wheel

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