Relieving any Maidenly Tensions
Contrary to some delightfully flattering folk tales, the Elite is not delivered race-ready. This myth arises, no doubt, from the factory practice of road driving each new car. By the same token, these factory jaunts do have virtues and one should not be deceived by the fresh, virginal appearance of a new Elite.
Colin Chapman’s crews have a bit of a go with each new one. It’s rather an old world tradition. nothing beats an English country road for relieving any maidenly tensions that might inhibit a new machine, and wilful tendencies can be discovered and corrected before they become evil habits.
The Chapman suspension has been thoroughly scrunched and wiggled till it carries through fast corners on all fours with the tenacious grace one expects from a Lotus. The overhead cam Coventry Climax gets a thorough-going physical on the test bench even before it goes into the car, and on the road the Girling discs get a brisk exercising along with the clutch gearbox combo to assure a proper assortment of changes.
In short, a new Elite has had at least a taste of the fast heel and toe work that lies ahead in high speed touring or prize competition. To the owner we leave the details of final break-in and the selection of various racing accessories, plus painting on the number. A dandy job for a decorative crew member. And if you do come off a winner, there is a comfortable inside passenger seat to carry off your trophy.
$4,780 in 1958 is about $36,660 today. Damnit.