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1992 Lotus Carlton

Guide Price

£40,000 - £45,000

  • Mileage~72,473
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine3.6L
  • LocationIsle of Lewis


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ENDS IN: 56 Days 12 Hr 51 Min51 Sec




Glyn Parry
Professional Consigner

One of the most iconic saloon cars to come out of the 1990’s, in fact probably one of the most iconic saloons ever!

Launched in 1990, there was a new four-seater executive saloon on the market which was causing a stir, and it came in the form of a Lotus Carlton.

A real wolf in sheep's clothing, the Lotus Carlton had a few giveaway signs it was something other than a Vauxhall Carlton, such as the body kit which gave the car a wider look. Wider wheel arches and side skirts, and the bumpers were slightly deeper and had huge air intakes to the front, all from factory. A boot spoiler finished off the rear, two bonnet vents allowed some extra air-flow, and for those that could get close enough, you would spot the Lotus badges to the wings, bonnet and boot lid.

You then only had to hear it to realise the Lotus badges weren’t just there for show. It was fitted with a 3.6 litre 24 valve twin turbocharged, intercooled engine, and definitely put the Carlton on the map as one of the fastest production cars of the time. For some comparison, the E34 BMW M5 got from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds and had a top speed of 155 mph, whereas the Lotus Carlton came in at 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds and 180+ MPH, quite literally making it a super-saloon.

So super, it even caused some controversy in Parliament, after there were calls by the Association of Chief Police Officers to have the car banned following a spate of gangs stealing Lotus Carltons for ram raids, getaway cars and joyrides, because they were simply too fast for the police to catch.

This example is coming to the market from ~16 years ownership, a father and son project, they have worked on this car when first purchased to create a very nice example indeed. With the owner passing away, the family have now decided it's time for the next enthusiast to enjoy this legendary model.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting Mary the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

Owned by a true enthusiast - this Lotus Carlton has been rebuilt and enjoyed for years.

The custodian of this 1992 Lotus Carlton is Mary, after her husband sadly passed away. Her late husband, who was a huge fan of the Lotus Carlton, had purchased it around 16 years ago. With the car purchased, the owner, together with his son who is a professional in the trade, spent time rebuilding the Lotus Carlton back to its former glory after it was damaged and recorded as Category D insurance write-off in 2002 under previous ownership.

The son has told us that in the previous ownership, the car was spun and the body damage occurred, which back in those days was enough to be considered a write-off given the custom body kit. The car has been rebuilt using genuine parts and panels, and importantly the owners tell us that the geometry was checked to ensure that it was indeed just to the body panels and not the chassis. The end result after they completed the rebuild is awe inspiring, and having the knowledge and expertise between them, meant they had a car they had complete confidence in and have used as such on the Isle since.

Since her husband passed away a few years ago, Mary and the family feel that they are not doing the car justice with it mainly staying in storage, as he would have wanted the car to be used, and so the family have decided to part with it so that another enthusiast can get the full Lotus Carlton experience.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and Helen, Mary's daughter will answer on behalf of the family.

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Who would have thought all those years ago that Lotus would transform the Carlton to become the iconic car it's known as today.

Wheels and Tyres

The Ronal Monoblock wheels are in excellent condition, with just the slightest mark to the driver’s side outer rim, there is no corrosion to the wheels which we could see.

The rear tyres are Falkens which are in excellent condition, and have plenty of tread remaining, the fronts are in the same condition, but Dunlop Sports.


As the Carlton was an insurance write off, the bodywork has been replaced where necessary by the owner and his son. It all looks to have been done correctly from looking at the photographs in the history folder, and from what the family have said. The panels were replaced with genuine items, and things like the inner arch, which was damaged, was cut out as required, then replaced. The car has then been checked on a jig to ensure the straightness of the body and chassis/geometry etc.

As it is now, the car is extremely well presented. From the side, the doors align quite nice, they could probably just do with the smallest of tweaks to sit a little flusher. The bonnet looks to sit nice and level, with an even gap to both sides against the wing rails. The boot lid, like the bonnet, sits evenly to both sides.

The floor of the car needs a special mention, as it is in excellent order, as you can see from the image gallery. It has been coated in underseal, which is not too thick, meaning you can still see that it is not hiding anything untoward. It’s worth mentioning that the sills have also been replaced, but you can’t really tell as they are hidden by the side skirts.

Please see the gallery for more detailed images.


Available in one colour only, the Imperial Green Carlton presented extremely well.

The car was repainted 3 years ago for a bit of a freshen up, and since then it has completed around ~2,500 miles. With such little miles covered, it is, as you would expect, in very good order, with virtually no stone chips to mention.

The only small bit of anything we could find at the time of our visit, was the bodykit piece fitted to the driver’s side rear door has a crack in the paint, and there is a small 50mm scratch to mention just above the rear towing eye. Please see the image gallery for more detailed shots.

Glass and Trim

The windows are all in excellent condition, with no obvious scratches or chips which we could spot. The trim around the windows is in the same condition, with nothing looking out of place and all well fitted.

The black Lotus badge and yellow side badges are in place, just to let you know if you didn’t already, (which is highly unlikely), that there is something special lurking beneath the bonnet of the Carlton.

The lights to the front and rear are free from any splits or cracks. To the boot lid, the Lotus Carlton badges are in nice condition.


Big comfortable armchair-like seats fill the interior of the Carlton, offering immense comfort and luxury.

Seats and Carpets

The seats in the Carlton are in good condition in line with the mileage of this car, the driver’s seat bolster showing the biggest sign of wear, which has resulted in a small split on one of the creases. This may be able to be repaired by a leather specialist, but would need to be examined by them first. The passenger seat is in very good condition, with just a small amount of patina on the bolster. The rear seats don't look to have had much use in its life, and therefore look to be in excellent order.

The majority of the carpet in the car is in a good, clean condition, with some mats fitted to protect it. The only area that there looks to be any wear is the driver’s heel area, the over-mat fitted has worn ever so slightly.

The boot area is very clean, with the original tool kit and spare wheel present. Under the carpet, the floor is clean with no signs of any corrosion.


Very 90’s, the dash has no splits or damage to be seen. The glove box has a leather front, with the Lotus build number plaque, which is 0303.

The instruments are reported to be working as they should, with the engine management light correctly coming on with the ignition and going off once running. The odometer is displaying a reading of ~72,473 miles.

The air conditioning is not working and is reported to be needing a regas, obviously we cannot confirm this. Please see the interior gallery for more detailed shots.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel is in good condition with just some light discoloration to the leather. The horn push has a Lotus Carlton badge, just to remind you of the animal you are driving.

The gear knob has discoloured just like the steering wheel, patina that is in keeping with the use and mileage. The 1-6 plus R are clearly legible.


3.6 litre with twin Garrett T25 turbochargers pushing out 0.7 bar from just 1,500 RPM - this can only equal FUN!

Engine and Gearbox

The engine in a Lotus Carlton started life as the standard Opel 3.0 24 valve unit. To make it that extra bit special, it was enlarged to a 3.6 litres, and to top it off, Lotus attached two Garrett T25 turbochargers. The block was also made stronger, and a forged crankshaft was used in the later models.

With this Carlton, the engine was rebuilt at the time the accident damage, which you will see in the photo album. The car starts up just fine and sounds fantastic. There is a slightly noisy cam follower from cold, which does become less apparent as the engine warms up. It is reported by the son that it has alway been like this since the engine was rebuilt.

The car is reported to drive really well and it pulls with ease through the long gears quickly, very quickly! We went on a drive to some shooting locations, and we can confirm this car really does shift when the loud pedal is pressed.

Suspension and Brakes

The car looks to sit as Lotus intended after they re-engineered the suspension to meet the high Lotus handling standards. Looking at the suspension from the underside, it seems to be in good order with no leaking dampers and no surface corrosion to the wishbones.

Bringing the car to a halt are some AP racing callipers, which all appear to be in good order along with the discs. The Carlton is reported to come to a halt nice and quickly and in a straight line.

The Drive

A ~174MPH flying machine on paper, but commonly known as being able to reach speeds over 180MPH. The Lotus Carlton was, and still is, one of the most ground-breaking and iconic cars of the 90’s.

This one is no exception, and it's reported to drive just as it should with 0-60mph in around 5 seconds, and 0-100 mph in 11.1 seconds. You know you’re in something special, when on an open road where the Carlton’s long gears can be stretched, the turbos fully spooled up and away you go. Could this possibly be the perfect family saloon?

Electrics and Other

Everything in the car is reported to be working just as it should, apart from the air conditioning as already mentioned. The switch gear all looks to be in good order, with no obvious wear to the buttons.

There is a Sony CD head unit fitted for the in-car entertainment - but we’re not sure you really need any with the sound of the Carlton!

History and Paperwork

Owned for over ~16 years, rebuilt as a father and son project, this 1992 Lotus Carlton was saved from the point of no return.

Purchased around 16years ago as an insurance write off, knowing full well what was involved to bring this 90’s icon back to life, the owner and his son set about resurrecting the Lotus Carlton.

The reason it was written off we are told is that the wife of a gentleman who owned the car at the time, took the Lotus out one day and basically spun it, (maybe a little too heavy on the throttle, we will never know). The result was some damage to the front and rear of the car as pictured, but importantly nothing structural and so it was a Category D insurance write off.

As mentioned, it was put back together with genuine parts, repainted, and enjoyed. A freshen up 3 years ago saw the car looking at its best again.

This car is located on the Isle of Lewis, the sellers have offered to drive the car to the port of Ullapool for collection for the winning buyer, which is located on the mainland of Scotland.

We've actioned checks on; Seller ID, V5C, HPi - The car has a Category D write-off insurance marker as mentioned.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
02.04.2021 MOT 72,287
09.04.2020 MOT 71,255
02.03.2019 MOT 70,779
29.04.2015 MOT 70,418
30.04.2014 MOT 70,264
02.05.2013 MOT 69,137
03.05.2012 MOT 67,848
12.07.2010 MOT 67,332
02.06.2009 MOT 66,214
11.06.2008 MOT 65,035
16.02.2007 MOT 62,377
11.02.2006 MOT 61,869
Key Details
  • ModelCarlton
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date07.04.1992
  • CC3,615
  • Mileage~72,473
  • ColourImperial Green
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #SCC000019M1222510
  • Engine #30M70308
  • MOTExp 08.04.2022
  • HPi ClearCategory D insurance write-off
  • Former Keepers3
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~16 years
  • Key FeatureRebuilt with genuine parts

Auction Bidding

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Current Bid: £35,995

Ends : Tue 19th October

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Auction Views : 767
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Stephen Humby
Stephen Humby

Hi, where can I view the car?

Helen Macaulay
Helen Macaulay

Hi Stephen, car is located on the Isle of Lewis

£35,995 bid by Kingcredible 14.10.2021 @ 16:10:09

Hi are you fairly local to Stornaway?

Helen Macaulay
Helen Macaulay

Approximately 8 miles outside of Stornoway.

£30,000 bid by alanbobduncan 14.10.2021 @ 09:10:42

Good morning do you have any pictures of the car with the damage and during refurbishment. Regards adam

Helen Macaulay
Helen Macaulay

All the pictures of the damage are available in the photo gallery. Thank you.


Vehicle Location

Isle of Lewis

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