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  • Gearbox 


The Lotus Carlton was a Vauxhall Carlton upgraded by Lotus Cars to create a 177mph sports-saloon with acceleration to equal contemporary supercars. When released, it was the fastest four-door saloon car in the world. The external differences were minimal with the addition of a rear spoiler, air intakes on the bonnet, Lotus badges on the front wings and boot lid, a body kit and considerably wider wheel arches distinguishing it from a standard Carlton. The car was only sold in one colour, a shade of British racing green called Pearlescent Imperial Green, a very dark green that in anything but direct light appears black.

Lotus re-worked the 2969cc, 24V straight six used in the Carlton GSi and bored it out to 3615cc. In addition, twin Garrett T25 turbochargers were attached resulting in 377bhp and torque of 419lb ft. Power was transmitted through a six-speed ZF manual gearbox and supplied to the rear wheels through an LSD. The brakes were supplied by AP and were 330mm ventilated discs all round with racing callipers.

Be under no doubt, these cars are phenomenal machines, and they were so far ahead of their time that they are widely regarded as the reason that ‘hot' saloons exist today! This, increasingly rare, right-hand drive Lotus Carlton was sold new on 1st August 1991 and is the 134th example off the production line.

It has been with its current custodian, one of only five from new, since 2009 and the previous owner from 1997. In this time, he has covered very few miles and maintained the car regularly. There is a decent service history, including original service booklet with twelve stamps, and eleven previous MoT certificates, that substantiate a total mileage of just over 77,000 miles. There are also a large number of bills and receipts that record earlier servicing, work on the brakes, suspension, new gearbox and routine maintenance.

Cosmetically, this example presents well and has had bodywork repairs over the years. The paintwork retains a good shine and the panel fit is very good. The interior leather has been recently treated and the cabin looks fresh. The car is standard other than the splendid addition of a stainless steel exhaust system. 

Offered with a Cobra alarm, 3 sets of keys and an (unfitted) original radio, this is one of just 320 Lotus Carltons in right-hand drive configuration and one with many more years of motoring ahead of it. Sold with a current MoT test certificate, we feel the buyer of this car will have no difficulty impressing his or her friends, children, spouse or in-laws on a daily basis.



Silverstone Auctions Ltd
Silverstone House
Kineton Road
CV35 0EP
United Kingdom
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