1957 Lotus Eleven Le Mans Series 2
Mike Brotherwood estimates that he’s undertaken between 25 and 30 Eleven restorations in his time, but none has given him more satisfaction that the Series 2 Le Mans he returned to two-seater V-screen long-distance spec for Lotus collector and racer Barry Davison at the start of the present decade.
“The car required a lot of work when Barry brought it to me, but as we went through it, we kept discovering ‘anoraky’ details that gave an insight into its history,” says Brotherwood. “There was what looked like a baked bean tin riveted to the floor behind the De Dion tube, which was a catch tank for the differential. It was definitely a long-distance car, which we know had a toolbox that fitted just behind the radiator. This one had the brackets for the box.”
The car doesn’t have a chassis plate, but Davison put in the hours researching the car. That included finding a picture of the chassis being assembled in Lotus Engineering’s Tottenham Lane premises in London.
“The photo shows twin Lucas coils with silver banding around them,” says Brotherwood. “I managed to procure a set of them. It’s those little details that make the car special.
“It’s one of the nicest Elevens I’ve ever done and I’m very proud of it. A lot of that is down to Barry and the research he did, as well as to his patience. He never pushed me to get the car back ahead of time, because it was so important for him that we got it right.”
Mike Brotherwood, Calne, Wiltshire. Tel: 01834 831546, mikebrotherwood.com
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