LISTS: 1957-1963 Lotus Elite

August 25, 2006
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0610 Z+1957 Lotus Elite+25 Most Beautiful Cars
Designed by Peter Kirwan-Taylor
Bean counters are often accused of screwing up car design, but the opposite is true here. Peter Kirwan-Taylor was an accountant in the City of London when he styled the Lotus Elite, a car for which he also arranged financing. The Elite's fiberglass unibody was revolutionary and provided for an absurdly low curb weight of just a bit more than 1000 pounds. But it also meant that electrical grounds tended to be in short supply (leading to the occasional fire), and the flexing of the body material sometimes caused suspension mounting points to fail. Although it was fast and light, the Elite's fragility led Lotus to build the Elan roadster that followed on a more conventional steel-backbone chassis.

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