Lotus Elite campaigned by ex-factory racer returns!
A 1959 Elite campaigned by former Lotus factory racer Tommy Dickson in the early 1960s is set to return – with some secret plans involving Goodwood…
An Elite once piloted by Lotus factory driver Tommy Dickson is being pressed back into racing service after a long restoration by DM Historics, with its return already set for the Zandvoort Classic at the end of July.
Originally piloted by Scottish racing driver Tommy Dickson back when the world was black and white, this special 1959 Lotus Elise S1 race car had been on the sidelines since 2014, awaiting a return to racetracks it once called home.
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Having already competed at the Le Mans 24-hours with Lotus in 1958, and raced his own Lotus 15 beforehand, future Ecurie Ecosse driver Dickson privately purchased and campaigned this 1959 Elite regularly. He scored podiums at major GT races at Oulton Park and Snetterton aboard his Lotus, before its most prolific appearance at the 1960 Tourist Trophy.
This is all covered in the extensive history file that accompanies the Elite – which DM Historics recently supplied to a new owner – including photographs of the car at circuits such as Goodwood and Mallory Park in period.
Following on from a crowning track career in the UK, the Elite quickly made its way abroad. It went across to America, where it fell under the custodianship of Bob Atkin, a fellow racing driver and proprietor of Bob Atkin Motorsport. He restored the Elite in the mid-1980s before campaigning it on American soil.
Raced until 2014, the Lotus retains valid certification for racing in the USA to this day. Now, after purchasing the car from DM Historics, its new owner has had the Elite prepared to FIA Appendix K regulations for a new season in historic racing.
The Lotus will make the first of several scheduled historic racing appearances this year during Zandvoort Classic in the Netherlands.
It will line up on the grid among a field of pre-1976 classic sports and touring cars. The scenic circuit will throw tight, cambered corners and elevation change in the vehicles’ direction – which should prove a test of the Elite’s rebuilt mechanicals. This should prove a fitting first outing for the vehicle renowned in period for its superlative handling.
After its Dutch debut, the Lotus will continue on an international tour, with two driver endurance events planned and a secret plan to return the car to Goodwood, where it was first raced in the 1960 Tourist Trophy. But you didn’t hear that from us…
Marcus Holland, co-founder of DM Historics, said: ‘This car is a prime example of what DM Historics is all about, with a heady combination of provenance, rarity and driving thrills. It’s a real pleasure to get this historic racer back on the track where it belongs and to start a new chapter in its racing career.’
Watch: 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans
Dickson got his Le Mans chance before his Elite was even produced, competing in a Lotus Eleven shared with factory Formula 1 driver Alan Stacey in 1958. Check out our archive video of 24 Hours of Le Mans: The Great History from 1958 for a full reminder of what happened that year.
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