1990 Lotus Omega

Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde 2021
Wednesday, 3 March - Wednesday, 10 March 2021
€51,750 ($61,583)
Sale Price
€60,000 - €80,000
Est. Range
10 March 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Visually maintained, largely original
Auction House
Chassis no. SCC000019L1175629; Engine no. C36GET30L50002. Imperial Dark Green over Anthracite leather. LHD, 3.6/377hp twin-turbo six, ZF 6-speed, limited-slip.

Evaluation: Represented as the second oldest Omega. Used as a promo car and displayed at the 1992 Paris Motor Show. Showing 103,000 km (64,001 mi). Repainted front bumper and rebuilt brakes, but otherwise only represented with “general maintenance.” Showing light general age under the hood and on the upholstery that matches the age and mileage, but no cause for concern.

Bottom Line: The Vauxhall Lotus Carlton (sold as the Opel Lotus Omega in Europe) is one of the all-time great sleepers. It looks like a slightly gussied up four-door commuter car, but has a twin-turbo straight-six with 377hp and 419 lb-ft, the 6-speed gearbox from the Corvette ZR-1, and thoroughly upgraded suspension and brakes.

At a time when German OEMs were limiting their sedans to 155 mph, the Carlton/Omega Lotus would do 176, making it the world’s fastest four-door for several years. Some people wanted it outlawed, a suggestion that was debated in Parliament. Just 950 were built (320 Carltons, 630 Omegas) but few led pampered lives—in the UK they were one of the most stolen cars of the early ’90s.

Over the past couple of years Carlton/Omegas have started to sell for more money, including one sold by Silverstone in 2018 for £78,750, another one sold by Silverstone in 2019 for £58,500, and one Coys last February for €63,000. This one fell short of its presale estimate, but the result is a reasonable balance between its early build date/factory promo appearances and its age/mileage.

by Andrew Newton
16 March 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
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