Just before Colin Chapman’s death in 1982, the Lotus founder and CEO commissioned a new sports car. The M90, or the Lotus Toyota X100 as it was known later in life, would become the new Elan, which had been discontinued from the lineup nearly 10 years prior. Sadly, just before the sharp-looking roadster could reach the production line, Chapman’s death and financial woes shelved the project for good.
Now, more than 30 years later, the car is up for sale on the used market. Having undergone a a thorough, frame-up restoration, and given a street-legal registration with a Texas title, the seller is asking $86,000 for the one-of-a-kind prototype on Hemmings.
Gallery: 1984 Lotus M90 Prototype
Though it borrowed a number of Toyota parts – including the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, the five-speed manual gearbox, and the suspension – the M90 prototype was a true Lotus product through and through. A respectable 123 horsepower came from under the hood, and its 1,973-pound (895-kilogram) curb weight kept the sports car true to form.
The car sat untouched for a number of years before prior to its restoration, and has driven just 1,250 original miles (2,011 kilometers) in its lifetime. The exterior is finished in a handsome silver/grey finish, with a complimentary red/grey cloth and leather interior. It remains in near perfect condition, and includes the original targa-style removable top.
Everything is in working order, says the seller, from the lighters, to the wipers, to the hazard lights. It doesn’t come with a stereo or A/C, unfortunately, but Included in the sale is a number of spare parts, extensive documentation certifying its authenticity, a bound owner’s manual, full photo documentation, and a log book detangling the entire restoration process.