Car thief crashes rare $59k Lotus

Car collector Greg Ellaway is relieved, if angry, to have his prized 1968 Lotus 41C back in his garage.

The one-seater in gold leaf colours was stolen on September 29 from his home in Northamptonshire, UK. Mr Ellaway posted an appeal on the enthusiasts' website, asking fellow buffs to watch out for the car.

In desperation, he offered a substantial reward for the automobile's safe return.

Ellaway's car has been described by one driver as "one of the most beautiful 41's I've ever seen." Lotus 41Cs have been known to bring up to $59,000.

It features a twin cam engine, rare original Lotus six bolt six spoke magnesium alloy wheels and a Taylor Race Engineering Gearbox.

Lotus 41C
Lotus 41C before the theft

 The car is also rare, thought to be the only formula B/formula 2 of its kind in the UK.

The theft prompted a wave of sympathy and anger among Lotus enthusiasts.

They offered to assist in various ways, even suggesting overseas contacts in case the car was shipped.

Fortunately, the theft turned out not to be a professional job, just an idiotic one.

The car was spotted driving at high speeds in a built up area on Monday morning (October 5). The cunning driver then crashed it into a curb.

Sadly, the damage to the Lotus is extensive. The body, three wheels and its radiator are smashed, there is substantial damage to its gearbox and even bends in the chassis.

Nevertheless, Mr Ellaway is pleased to have the car back in his possession, and determined to restore it to its former glory.

He is also grateful for the support that he received from other Lotus lovers, whose community spirit was an encouraging and heart-warming surprise.


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