It was nice to see the Lotus Mark IX, with the Vic Berris cutaway, featured in the May issue. But a few corrections are needed to what was said.
It was suggested that the Lotus Mark X, with the Bristol engine, was a development of the Mark IX. The X was actually a development of the Mark VIII.
The works Mark IX, with the MG engine, carried the registration number 9 EHX, not 9 ENX. After this car was sold to America, the registration 9 EHX appeared on several Lotus Elevens.
The disc brakes on the works Mark IXs, 9 EHX and XPE 6, did not become a “standard factory fitment on top-spec IXs”. Lotus fitted disc brakes to only one other Mark IX, the chassis exhibited at the 1955 London Motor Show. A private owner, Bryan Hewitt, also retro-fitted disc brakes to his Mark IX, XPJ 932, after studying the layout and hydraulic pipe runs on the Motor Show chassis when it was afterwards displayed at the Coventry-Climax showrooms in Piccadilly.
The statement that the “Mark IX’s spaceframe has been eulogised as an exemplar of the art”, with a pointer to the tubes in the Vic Berris cutaway drawing, needs some clarification. The two works cars, 9 EHX and XPE 6, did have quite elegant spaceframe chassis which were the forerunners of the Lotus XI chassis. But the cutaway drawing which is referred to actually shows the standard production Mark IX chassis which was based on the old Lotus Mark VI frame. It is a simple and rugged frame, but no-one would eulogise about it — and it isn’t even a spaceframe!
I am, Yours etc,
Mike Marsden, Rangeworthy, Bristol
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