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Lotus Carlton story - quite interesting

I found this quite interesting being a Vauxhall fan, one car I really wanted at the time but could never afford.


{typo in header amended - DD}


cheddar    on 12 September 2007

Stonking even by todays standards, the Carlton also had innovative flush side windows (also Senator IIRC), their attempt at low CD figures.

Shame its name conjured up images of average cheap hotels and ciggys

Chris White    on 12 September 2007

I quote - '.....the result was an increase in power from 177bhp to 377bhp - a mind boggling output for its day, especially when you consider that a standard Carlton in 1990 weighed about the same as a mid-range Astra does today....'

Chris White    on 12 September 2007

And with prices from £13k ono for a 1993 90k miles example ( ) to £40k (yes £40,000) for an example with less than 8k miles on it ( )


BobbyG    on 12 September 2007

One on ebay just now...

Looks good!

2007 Seat Altea XL 2.0 TDI (140) Stylance
2005 Skoda Fabia vrS

J Bonington Jagworth    on 17 September 2007

"Looks good!"

I thought so, but it failed to make reserve.

By contrast, this one:

is doing very well, despite the smokey exhaust! Just shows how people value mileage above everything, while I think the first one would be a better buy. It's younger, and it's been used...

injection doc    on 12 September 2007

3.0ltr 12v was 177 BHP 3.0 24v was 205 BHP which is what the lotus carlton was based on. Fantastic car but prone to timing chains & brakes used to cost into 4 figures when needing replacement. has anyone seen the police chase on You tube involving a Lotus carlton? When the police car reaches 200k the Lotus takes off into the distance

barchettaman    on 12 September 2007

is the lotus v. police chase.

spikeyhead {p}    on 12 September 2007

It provoked rage at the Daily --
I read often, only post occasionally

barchettaman    on 12 September 2007

is a Tiff Needell road test.

cheddar    on 12 September 2007

>>the lotus v. police chase>>

Nice road!

Stuartli    on 12 September 2007

I recall spending a morning driving the Lotus Carlton around the Hethel test track - quickest thing I'd ever driven by miles at that time and very entertaining.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by

J Bonington Jagworth    on 12 September 2007

Nice write-up, although I could have done without "akin to finding Sister Wendy grinning at you from the centrefold of Playboy".

As Frasier Crane said after a bit TMI from brother Niles about his association with Daphne, "Excuse me while I poke out my mind's eye."

Great car though - shame they made so few.

Number_Cruncher    on 12 September 2007

>>Great car though - shame they made so few.

I agree, although I can't help but think that the 3.0 24v would be a more practical car, attracting less hassle and perhaps more affordable insurance premiums. I'm another one who drooled over these when they first came out - I remember when one came into the Burnley branch of the garage where I worked for servicing, I soon "manufactured" an excuse to go over there for something!

One thing I don't know about them was if they were rust-proofed any better than the standard cars - now it's pretty rare to see a Carlton or Senator without frilly rear arches.


rtj70    on 12 September 2007

"Great car though - shame they made so few"

But they never sold all they made.... Cannot remember hoe many years ago (not so many) that some were still "available" ....

I bet today these would give some cars a run for their money and I include performance cars of course.

barchettaman    on 12 September 2007

has lots of info.

uk_in_usa    on 13 September 2007


Loads of info on there

injection doc    on 12 September 2007

>>Great car though - shame they made so few.

I agree, although I can't help but think that the 3.0 24v would be a more practical car, attracting less hassle and perhaps more affordable insurance premiums
!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had two because my first one was nicked & my 2nd one had several attempts although I always removed the fuel injection relay but got fed up with having windows or locks or steering lock damaged with attemted theft! Senator wasn't as much fun as my GSi 24v's but at least no one tried to nick it. Insurance was still a killer in the early ninetys just for the "24V" hate to think what it was for the Lotus.

SpamCan61 {P}    on 12 September 2007

The nearest I got to the Lotus version was a 3.0 12v CDX estate - well at least it had the same CD player as the Lotus ;-) Still the nicest car to drive I've ever owned.

injection doc    on 13 September 2007

Yep spamcan61 I agree I still think my GSi 24v's were the best cars I ever had Omega was a flop compared & always wished that straight six could have been in the omega, as my V6 omega was the most unreliable gutless gas guzzling piece of junk I ever had. Switched to Jaguar after that & left vauxhalls alone

retgwte    on 13 September 2007

Jasper Carrot has lots of stories about the Lotus Carlton being the best car he ever had

Nsar    on 13 September 2007

I recall being driven round the Harewood House hill climb course by a driver from JCT600 who did the whole thing at terrifying speed and with a fag in his hand.

I asked him if this was a specially tuned car "No lad, this'll be back on the forecourt later, we've got someone coming for a test drive...."

Martin Devon    on 13 September 2007

Yep spamcan61 I agree I still think my GSi 24v's were the best cars I
ever had.

Known as "The Hooligan's Express" in some parts!


DP    on 14 September 2007

An amazing car! Will forever be in my top 10 dream car list after a lottery win. I thought all the late 80's and early 90's performance Vauxhalls had something about them to be honest, but the Lotus Carlton was a monumental achievement. I will always love it as much for the stink it caused with the health and safety killjoys, as for its incredible speed and styling. There is always something appealing about supercar performance in a family saloon car.
I love the Ford Cosworths for much the same reasons, but the Carlton was and is just so exclusive. I have only ever seen one on the road!

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX

billy25    on 14 September 2007

Every time i look at the pictures of it I still drool down my shirt front! she's gorgeous!

>>as for its incredible speed and styling<< ::drool-drool:: now look what you've started!!!


barchettaman    on 14 September 2007

This kind of thread always gets me looking at the site (autotrader equivalent) for a nice, late model Omega MV6 estate..... dangerous. If you think about it long enough, you can justify it!

Chris White    on 14 September 2007

Didn't the traffic police use the Omega MV6 model in the UK?

billy25    on 14 September 2007

Snippet from an Omega owners forum:
>>the police wanted the 3.0 omega which was only available as an elite and full of toys etc so high price. So they asked for the same kind of thing with less toys and far cheaper, thus the MV6 was born<<


SpamCan61 {P}    on 14 September 2007

Yes, now we're drifting off topic a bit I cmae across a Vx price list form 2000 the otehr day, a top of teh range Omega was 32K list at that point....eek. IIRC the top of the range signum is much cheaper than that now.

Sofa Spud    on 15 September 2007

I don't know much about Lotus Carltons but I do remember being overtaken by a black on one years ago that had very wide rear tyres and a silver badge on the back saying '600 bhp'. Whether this was wishful thinking or a genine mod I don't know.

craig-pd130    on 15 September 2007

The late Russell Bulgin did a fantastic article in Car mag in '91 about taking an LC to Germany to see if it would do its claimed 175mph top speed in real-world conditions.

It started raining, so he only got to 168mph!

Pugugly {P}    on 15 September 2007

I've got that article in t'attic !!! I can feel a somewhat shorter trip to sample Bulgin.

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