This year sees the storied British sportscar firm Lotus reach a milestone few other manufacturers can claim. 2018 marks 70 years of low-volume hand-made manufacturing for the marque, a point that Ferrari reached last year, and something Lamborghini will have to wait another 15 years for.
To mark the occasion, Lotus’ 100,000th car – a Edition Evora GT410 Sport – has rolled off the production line in bright red hue as a tribute to Team Lotus’s historic racer Jim Clark.
The special Evora was commissioned to support the Jim Clark Trust, and was given the tick of approval by Hazel Chapman, widow of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
“70 years ago, I never dreamt that there would be a 100,000th Lotus. I’m immensely proud of the company and Colin’s legacy,” she said.
“Today Lotus still builds such fantastic sports cars and I’m touched to be able to see the 100,000th car.”
The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport was hand-built on the same factory site that Hazel Chapman helped establish and, while a production milestone of 100,000 cars may pale in comparison to larger manufacturers, Lotus has long been a small firm dedicated to bespoke hand-built lightweight sportscars.
Designs such as the the Seven, Europa and the Bond movie star Esprit rose to levels of fame that defied their modest sales.
Lotus, and its motorsport arm Team Lotus boast an almost unmatched motorsport legacy – participating in Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Ford, IndyCar as well as Sports Car racing. It remains one of the most successful marques in history, with seven Formula One constructors’ championships, six drivers’ championships and wins at the Indy 500.
The height of Lotus motorsport prominance came in the 1960s and 1970s. Stirling Moss was among its stars, recording an impressive string of grands prix wins in 1960.
Lotus too has had its hands in the careers of numerous iconic racing drivers, including Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson, Nigel Mansell, Mika Hakkinen, Jacky Ickx and even Ayrton Senna.