If you’ve always wanted a Lotus Carlton – Vauxhall’s 1990s BMW and Mercedes basher – now’s your chance, with two up for grabs at Silverstone Auctions this month.
A Lotus take on a mainstream car has always been a bit interesting, and now Lotus Cortinas are fetching serious money it’s perhaps time to look at a later take by Lotus on a mainstream car – the Lotus Carlton.
Built for a few short years at the start of the 1990s, the Lotus took Vauxhall’s unexciting executive saloon and turned it in to a full-blown hooligan, sporting a top speed of 176mph and a 0-60mph of just 5.0 seconds.
Lotus took the Vauxhall straight-six and gave it a complete work over, the gearbox came from the Corvette ZR-1 – the only gearbox which could cope with the power – and a set of AP stoppers.
If all that sounds hugely appealing – and it is – then Silverstone Auctions is where you need to be as they have two up for grabs in their retro race sale this month.
The headline act is a 1992 Lotus Carlton (pictured above) with just 42,000 miles and three owners from new, and is in very original condition (apart from a stainless steel exhaust). The estimate is £65-75,000.
If that’s a bit steep, there’s also a 1993 Lotus Carlton up for grabs with 100,000 miles on the clock, despite which it’s said to be in cracking nick and the estimate is a much more reasonable £28-32,000.
With just 284 Lotus Carltons built, it’s pretty rare to find one up for sale, never mind a choice. If either float your boat the 2019 Silverstone Auctions Race Retro Classic Car Sale is on 23 February