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Lotus 6 (1953 - 1956)

Last updated 29 November 2013


Buying Guide



  • Not enough power in standard 118 bhp form for the track, but BBR (01280 702389) did an Interceptor 2000 for better mid-range grunt. 'Sport' version's 190 bhp almost too much for the road.
  • Minimal weather protection. Not a 'girlie townie' fashion accessory.
  • Not for wimps.
  • Expect roof to leak. Snap oversteer in the wet hard to predict and catch on first acquaintance, especially on slicks in the wet.
  • 2001 facelift not nearly as attractive as original car.
  • S and T platers 17th from bottom in 2001 Top Gear / J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.


  • Typical track day 'off' damage underneath, bent suspension, crunched ends.
  • Cat damage from misfiring off rev-limiter.
  • Won't pass advanced emissions test at first MoT if cat has been removed.
  • Head gasket failure common because very low coolant capacity of engine means small leaks rapidly lead to overheating. Weakest point is Rover K Series engine's water heated inlet manifold gasket failing leading to head gasket failures.
  • Bore liners can also drop. Website link
  • Don't use in winter road salt.
  • The Elise and subsequent Exige and Europa were all designed on a non repairable aluminium chassis.
  • But this has steel suspension wishbones and steel washers that act as the spacers to adjust the castor and camber of the suspension. They form an electrolytic corrosion battery with the aluminium suspension mounting points. Lotus insists all dealers use a coating compound where steel is in contact with aluminium. The problem is when wet, especially when there is salt on the road, the steel washers corrode and then the form a battery with aluminium chassis, corroding the chassis where exposed, which is the edge of the suspension mounting bush. The suspension mounting points are particularly susceptible to this as not only are they exposed, but are the first place to get wet and the last place to dry out and even in the summer will suffer from condensation
  • The fact that the chassis is non repairable means that when this happens the car is dead as it costs several times the cars value to replace the chassis and rebuild the  car. So inspect these areas carefully when buying/maintaining one of these cars.
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