12. 1958 Lotus Elite
Back in the 50’s, fiberglass was used as an alternative to steel when building sports cars. It was durable, versatile, lighter than steel, and cheaper than aluminium. Fiberglass was the carbon fiber of the 50’s and Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, was all about using it. The Lotus Elite was built primarily out of the material. Weighing 1,100 lbs and powered by a 75 horsepower engine, the Elite was a very successful race car. It was also a very popular little coupe, that was until the suspension mounts couldn’t handle the strain of the vehicle and broke through the body. Weight reduction is a good thing in race cars, there is a line that crosses into the unsafe and the vehicle is no longer structurally sound. Chapman found this out the hard way with the Lotus Elite.