In 1957, a wealthy Swiss citizen asked the company Ghia Suisse SA designer Giovanni Michelotti (from Aigle. (Aigle (French for “eagle”) is a historic town and a municipality and the capital of the district of Aigle in Switzerland.) to design a grand-touring car based on a Lotus Eleven chassis , hence the name “Ghia Eagle Eleven”.
The engine was a 4 cylinder inline 1100 Conventry-Climax (1098cc ), mounted longitudinally at the front with a single carburetor. It developed 84 hp at 6400 rpm and allowed a maximum speed of 210 km/h thanks to the weight of the car, 572 kg.
Michelotti designed two right-hand bodywork projects: a roadster and a coupé. Its body, red color, is polyester. Dimensions: W: 3531 mm, W: 1543 mm, h: 813 mm, wheelbase: 2160 mm.
The Lotus 1100 Spider or “Ghia Eagle Eleven” was presented on Ghia Aigle‘s booth at the 27th Geneva International Trade Show from 14 to 24 March 1957.
If the “coupe” version was preferred, it was the cabriolet that was actually presented at the Geneva Motor Show on March 14, because the chassis and the engine were delivered to Ghia Eagle SA on February 12, leaving too little time to complete the car . It was presented unfinished, without the roof while the interior was not finished.
After the 1957 Geneva show, the spider returned to the Ghia Aigle workshops where a plexiglass roof was added to transform it into a coupé.
The “Ghia Eagle Coupe” was officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show 1958 (13 – 23 March). The interior is significantly improved compared to the spider of 1957, thanks to the leather upholstery of the seats and the disappearance of the tubular lattice which encroached on the space devoted to the passenger.
In 1970, the car was sold to a wealthy American owner and moved to the United States where it remained until the 1980s. It passed thru the hands of several owners, then in the 1980s, it returned to the United Kingdom. Only one copy was built of this atypical Lotus.
#60016 resin 1/43 scale