24 Lotus Cars to Be Auctioned

One of the largest private collections of Lotus cars will be dismantled in June during the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the annual motoring celebration at the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England.

Lotus at Auction including Climax 11The collection of 24 Lotuses consigned by Bonhams is owned by the Dutch textile magnate Olav Glasius, who in addition to being a collector is a vintage-racing enthusiast and the chairman of Lotus Club Holland.

The British sports-car marque will be this year’s featured brand at the Festival of Speed, an honor rendered somewhat inelegant by Lotus’s financial troubles. This month, Dany Bahar, chief executive of Lotus Cars, told Evo magazine that development of new models was being held up for three months as the company awaited either an infusion of cash or a sale by its Malaysian parent, Proton.

In a telephone interview, James Knight, the group motoring director of Bonhams, called the Glasius Collection “a tremendous selection of what Lotus is all about, with competition, road and concept cars.”

“There is no duplication in the Glasius Collection,” he added. “Each car is a bit of Lotus history.”

The sale includes cars dated to 1954, two years after Colin Chapman founded Lotus Engineering in North London. Racecars among them include a 1955 Lotus-MG Mk VIII Sports-Racing Two-Seater, one of just nine built, with six surviving, according to Bonhams. The Lotus-MG carries a preauction estimate of £120,000 to £150,000, roughly $191,000 to $238,000. Another two-seater, a 1956 Lotus-Climax 11 entered with Team Lotus and driven by Cliff Allison and Keith Hall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956, is estimated to sell from £135,000 to £175,000.

Of the 12 racecars offered, however, a 1961 Lotus-Climax Type 18 Formula One car driven by Ian Burgess for Team Camoradi is expected to be the top seller, with an estimate from £175,000 to £225,000.

Three prototype or concept cars are to be offered as well, including a 1982 Lotus Etna V-8 Coupe concept, which is restored to operational order. The Etna appeared in 1984 at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham, England, but was never placed into production. Another fully operational concept owned by Mr. Glasius is a 1991 Lotus M200 Speedster concept, estimated to sell from £80,000 to £120,000.

Road cars make up the balance of the offerings from the collection and many are very low-mileage, left-hand-drive examples. They include a 1986 Lotus Esprit Turbo Coupe and a 1962 Lotus Elite Series II Coupe. Not without its quirky bits, the collection also includes a replica of the Thames Ford van used by Team Lotus in the early ’60s, which carries a preauction estimate of £15,000 to £20,000.

Bonhams expects the collection to bring £1.5 million.