S1 Elise

1998 Lotus Elise

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 20, 2022

Photo – H&H Classics

The Elise is one of the most vaunted cars to be produced by Lotus… ever. The Series 1 launched in 1996 and remained in production until 2001. It was never sold in the United States (the Series 2 was). It was a light car – just under 1,600 pounds – with a fiberglass body and an aluminum chassis. It’s pretty much the direct descendent of the Lotus Seven.

The base model was powered by a mid-mounted 118-horsepower, 1.8-liter Rover inline-four. A five-speed manual was the only gearbox option, and all cars featured a targa roof. This car has small hidden upgrades, like S2 suspension and upholstery.

These cars are very active track day participants and are still used regularly. So whether or not they have officially become collectable is debatable, but I think these early cars are just on the cusp of it. This one has 28,000 miles, and that mileage is likely to be kept very low by future owners. It should sell for between $27,000-$29,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,642.

Lotus 340R

2001 Lotus 340R

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 27, 2013

2001 Lotus 340R

The Lotus 340 was based on the first generation of the Lotus Elise. They were built in 2000 and offered for the 2000 and 2001 model years (although there is an unusually-titled 2004 offered alongside this car at this sale).

So why is it such a special edition? Because look at the thing, that’s why. There is no roof. There are no doors. I hope it’s sunny when you go for a drive. Short of an Ariel Atom, have you seen something so out there? I’m pretty sure they aren’t even road-legal in the U.S. (although they are in the U.K.). Most see track duty and many probably just sit in collections. Only 340 were made.

The engine is a 1.8-liter straight-four making either 177 or 187 horsepower, depending on the extra Lotus goodies you have installed. Top speed is 130 mph but it will hit 62 mph in 4.4 seconds – it only weighs 1,550 pounds. The price was about $40,000 brand new, and this one is expected to sell for between $35,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Silverstone’s sale.

Update: Not sold.