Atlanta, GA — A restored version of the 1956 Lotus Eleven race special is coming from the Barber Museum to next weekend’s Atlanta Concours d’Elegance.
Introduced in 1956, the Lotus Eleven was primarily designed to compete in the 1100cc class where it was one of the most successful race cars during the mid- to late-1950s. In total, about 270 Lotus Elevens of all versions were built.
In 1956, an Eleven modified by Costin — a consultant to Lotus — with a bubble canopy over the cockpit was driven by Sir Stirling Moss to a class world record of 143mph (230km/h) at Monza in Italy. Several class victories at Le Mans and Sebring soon followed, making the Eleven the company’s most successful race car design.
The concours will be held in its new location at Tyler Perry Studios — between downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — giving the event room to grow its weekend of events, including this year’s first annual Caffeine and Octane Invitational and showcase of Bentley as the featured marque on the brand’s 100th anniversary.
“The move to Tyler Perry Studios provides an absolutely unique, history-rich environment that is conveniently located — while placing the entrant vehicles in a setting reflecting the time period during the earliest years of automotive production,” said CEO Bill Wallet. He added that the move is consistent with the show’s master plan to evolve into a unique concours customized around the city.
Wallet also noted that as the location builds upon the heritage aspect of the concours and instills a true “personality” for the show, several traditions will remain, including the annual Magnificent Seven Competition that debuted in 2017 and for 2019 will be the highlight of the first annual Caffeine and Octane Invitational.
The Oct. 19 invitational will feature up to 200 cars selected by the producers of NBC Sports Network’s “Caffeine and Octane” to be displayed and filmed on the parade field — with just seven stand-outs selected to be shown to the public in the following day’s concours. Those cars will then compete within their own Magnificent Seven class.
“We’ve tapped a unique opportunity to involve car aficionados who may not be car collectors in the strict concours sense but are still enthusiasts who take deep pride in the vehicles they own,” Wallet said.
Other activities include a “Reunion of the Thomas’s,” featuring a unique Brass Era collection from 1900-1919, encompassing the famous “Thomas Flyer,” which won the 1908 New York to Paris Race — considered the first and only around-the-world automobile race.