Gooding Amelia 2015 – 1951 Lotus Mk IIIB Was First-Ever Customer Lotus

The first car Lotus ever sold, and the first car to wear the revered yellow crest of the brand?! Yessir!

Colin Chapman’s stylized initials formed the basis of the emblem, but it was the most designed piece of the machine. The rest of the car is ruthlessly functional — with giant bulges in the hood exploding from the metal like some giant hematomas.

Along with the twin lamps forming nostrils at the tip of the narrow hood, the ONK license plate is more than a little tongue-in-cheeck. Oink, oink… like a pig….

But this car sung at auction. The sale price of $248,000 is at the bottom of its pre-sale estimate, but the car is sure to make its new owner very happy with its one-off details and sports-car handling focus.

1951 Lotus Mk IIIB

Gooding & Co.

Amelia Island 2015

Formerly the Property of Adam Currie | The Earliest Lotus Sold to a Customer

1951 Lotus Mk IIIB

Coachwork by Williams & Pritchard

Estimate: $250,000 – $450,000
SOLD: $247,500


Chassis: 151844



*Please note this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.



  • An Integral Piece of Lotus History

  • The First Lotus Built for a Customer and the First Car to Wear the Company Badge

  • Raced in Period by Colin Chapman, Adam Currie, and Tony Marsh

  • Correct and Authentic Car, Faithfully Presented in 1953 Livery

  • Eligible for Many Important Historic Motoring Events


  • 1,099 CC Ford L-Head Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
  • Single Stromberg Downdraft Carburetor
  • Estimated 50 HP at 6,000 RPM
  • 4-Speed Manual Gearbox
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Girling Drum Brakes
  • Split Front Axle with Transverse Leaf Spring
  • Rear Live Axle with Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

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