The Lotus 51 was a bestseller in 1967 for Colin Chapman and Team Lotus. 218 cars were built and sold (some sources speak of only a quantity of 150 vehicles being sold). The price for a vehicle was £955.
The car was based on the Lotus 31, a Formula 3 car. The race car was quick and agile, had a short wheelbase and a curb weight of 412 kg. In 1969, the car was replaced with the Lotus 61. In 1968, the unique 51R was built. The car was originally conceived as a concept for a potential successor. The car was sold at a price of £1095 to a U.S. collector who never entered the 51R in a racing competition.