Record Gathering of Australian Lotus Elevens at Sydney Retro Racefest

By: Oscar Hammond

lotus elevens lakeside 1961 brier thomas lotus elevens lakeside 1961 brier thomas

Eight of Australia’s eleven Lotus Elevens will make their way to Sydney Motorsport Park this June 11th and 12th for a record breaking gathering.


Sydney Retro Racefest 2016

Sydney Retro Racefest, Lotus Club Australia (LCA) and Lotus Eleven owner Ed Holly will bring together these rare Elevens in both a special marquee and a regularity event in celebration of the classic sports car racer’s 60th anniversary.

Holly who owns Chassis 538 (known as the only Lotus Eleven to originally be sold in Australia), along with LCA President Ashton Roskill organized the Queen’s birthday weekend event out of love for these unique Lotus’. It's a significant achievement given only 15 out of the 270 Lotus Elevens built made their way to Australian soil.

"The idea was really based on the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Eleven at Watkins Glen in the US… I kicked the idea around with Ed (Holly) for a bit and we started having conversations back in March last year. We’re now up to eight of the eleven cars here in Australia, which is amazing!" said Roskill.

The cars were extremely successful in sports car racing overseas and have only become more desirable as they’ve matured. Ed Holly’s Chassis 538 in particular has had a storied career complete with some good results under several Australian drivers.

After it reached Australia, Chassis 538 went to George Jamieson, who had previously been racing a Jaguar XK 120 with Les Agnew.

"They were both in awe of the car! It was much more of a race car than the XK," said Holly.

From Jamieson the car went to Bevan Flemming, who achieved some good results, then to Joe Hills and eventually to John Partridge who owned it for almost 40 years as a collectable, keeping it under lock and key and away from the track.

Ed Holly bought it from Partridge in 2010, restoring it to its stunning contemporary condition and taking it to the Lotus National meeting in Canberra in 2013. In its first run in 46 years, the old car acquitted itself well, running a 1:19 around Wakefield Park and winning the biennial event’s concours d’elegance.

Ed’s love for the car becomes obvious when he talks about it.

"The Lotus Eleven came from a succession of cars... They’re absolutely gorgeous with their flowing lines that are so iconic of the 1950s, when cars were designed by eye rather than wind tunnel."

This momentous occasion over June 11th and 12th at Sydney Motorsport Park will bring fans up close and personal to Ed’s car and the seven other Lotus Elevens in an unprecedented opportunity to see the classics in action.

See more iconic touring cars like the ex-Bob Muir Army Reserve XD Falcon Group C and the ex-Callaghan VL Walkinshaw at this weekend's Sydney Retro Racefest at Sydney Motorsport Park. Visit the website for more info.


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