Lotus XI

 

The Lotus Eleven is a sports racing car built in various versions by Lotus from 1956 until 1958. An Eleven with a bubble canopy over the cockpit, was driven by Stirling Moss to a class world record of 143 mph (230 km/h) for a lap at Monza. Several class victories at Le Mans and Sebring followed, and the Eleven became Lotus' most successful race car design, seriously impressive for an 1100cc engine. A 750cc version won the Index of Performance at Le Mans in 1957. Perhaps the car's most notable race result was 7th overall at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Reg Bicknell and Peter Jopp

This is Corgi following its engineer's nose and seeking out the quirky and innovative. While Jaguar D Types were all conquering at Le Mans, this little car was doing remarkable things with Colin Chapman's mantra of making a car as light as possible, and then reducing weight further: "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."

151

This is the original 1958 release. It is identifiable by the metal steering wheel and the fact that the trailing edges of the windscreen are squared off, in the later1961 re-release there are round pegs holding the windscreen down. Interestingly while all the other make-overs in 1961 were given the 'S' suffix, for suspension, the Lotus got an 'A', because it was too small to fit suspension under the bodywork, so all it got was a driver, new decals and a revised windscreen.

The first release Lotus XI was added to the range in July 1958, it was revised to 151A in 1961. The early releases are either metallic silver with red trim, red or bright blue. The price guides list it in red, but that is not mentioned in the Great Book of Corgi, however it does exist, I've seen it! Most of the early cars are silver, a very few are red or blue and these get a very significant premium.

151A

The Lotus XI was originally released in 1958 as No.151, it was later re-released as 151a. In 1961 Corgi re-released all three racing cars from the previous few years with an 'a' or 's' suffix on the model number. This was to denote the addition of suspension and or interior detail and a driver figure. They were never able to fit suspension into this tiny model however, there just wasn't the space, it just got the updated detailing. You can tell the 151a from the 151 by the ends of the windscreen, the newer 151a has round pegs on the ends, the original 151 has rectangular pegs, the 'no stripe' example below has a photo taken from above to show the round pegs.

The 1961 release was either bright blue or lemon yellow, some of the blue cars have a racing stripe on the bonnet, but this does not affect value. It is the yellow cars which are scarcer and worth more. The car was deleted from the range in 1965.

       
Corgi Toys 151; Lotus XI Le Mans Racer; Blue, Red Seats, Clear Windscreen; RN7 Corgi Toys 151; Lotus XI Le Mans Racer; Silver, Red Seats, Blue Tint Windscreen Corgi 151a; Lotus XI Le Mans (2nd release); Blue, Racing Stripe Corgi Toys 151a; Lotus XI Le Mans (2nd release); Bright Blue, No Racing Stripe
Corgi Toys 151; Lotus XI Le Mans Racer; Blue, Red Seats, Clear Windscreen; RN7

Corgi Toys 151; Lotus XI Le Mans Racer; Silver, Red Seats, Blue Tint Windscreen

Corgi 151a; Lotus XI Le Mans (2nd release); Blue, Racing Stripe Corgi Toys 151a; Lotus XI Le Mans (2nd release); Bright Blue, No Racing Stripe

 


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Last Edit: 12/06/2024 Page Added 20/05/2022