Michael Banovsky of RM Auctions has been on a MK1 Lotus Elise kick. And why not? Canada’s more relaxed importation laws mean that owning a MK1 is a legal proposition, and the lucky guy has got the resources of one of the world’s best auction houses at his disposal.
Banovsky decided to pass on this documentary, which outlines the history of the Elise’s development in the aftermath of the Elan M100, which saw Lotus eliminated 300 jobs and lose a substantial amount of money. The end result was a monumental sports car that came to define Lotus for the next two decades and served as the unofficial benchmark for the segment.
The doc itself is also a nice look back at a bygone era – there was little concern for scale or volume, the word “brand” is not uttered even once, and there’s only a passing reference to emissions or the environment. The development team is largely concerned with making a car for a “really cool bloke” who might be a Ducati or a mechanical watch. That mentality would never exist today - nor would it be feasible. The current stasis that Lotus finds itself mired in makes it all the more interesting