1975 Lotus Elite (503)

1975 Lotus Elite

Colin Chapman's bid for entry into the close-coupled, four-seater Grand Touring market resulted in a vehicle demonstrating classic Lotus handling combined with outstanding comfort.

Excellent performance is achieved from the two-litre, twin OHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder, light-alloy engine, creating a highly enjoyable and relaxing mile-eater.
This engine was the first four-valve-per-cylinder production engine sold on the open market.

As new safety and environmental regulations came on line Lotus anticipated the need of a car that would address these future concerns. The resulting Elite was a four place car with a glass-fiber body and a steel backbone chassis.

The ride and handling, from a four wheel independent suspension system, is superb.

  • five-speed, all synchromesh transmission
  • proper Lotus manufactured, 1,973 cc (Model '907') engine
  • restoration in 1995 including electrical system and components rebuilt or replaced as necessary, replaced entire vacuum and operating systems for headlight pods, new upholstery, headliner and floor mats, body repainted
  • new clutch and bell housing (1996)
  • engine rebuilt (1998)
  • twin Dell'Orto carburettors (rebuilt in 1998)
  • new tires and resonators (2001)
  • new chassis and minor repairs to body (2002)
  • new, adjustable front and rear shocks (2002)
  • original owners manual
  • some spare parts available
  • Serial # 75/060307-B

Read an original article on and an early road test with this fine car.
Elegantly Elite, published in ROAD TEST, August, 1974
Lotus Elite 503 Road Test, published in AUTOCAR, January, 1975

View Pictures
Front view
Rear view
Left side
Right side
Engine, left
Engine, right
Interior - front left
Interior - front right
Interior - dash
Interior - rear seats

Enjoyed for 15 years but, with some reluctance, passed on to another enthusiast in the fall of 2005.