Well I finally found my very own Lotus; missing only the the manual but having all of the little tools under the hood! Although very dirty, with lots of dried up tape on it, it cleaned up almost perfectly. I used TR-3 as recommended by my friend Julie and I think that it is a very good choice for cleaning and polishing with out damage.
For clean up I took ALL of the covers off and discovered a marvel of manufacturing engineering. Impressive right down to the bobbin case that has the most elaborate and detailed bobbin tension adjuster I have ever seen. The engineering creativity is second to none; all sorts of interesting solutions to complicated problems.
It has the electronic foot controller with the old Singer like button. The foot pedal has a + - switch on it that actually is a hi - low speed range, they don't all come with this.
And that brings me to the model designation?? I cant find anything on it that tells the exact model (or year) of Lotus; such as SP, TSP... It's usually on the front in big letters and I was instructed to look on the SN tag but nothing I can see. If the chart at THE NEEDLEBAR is correct then this is a very early 1968, in fact the model year chart indicates that it was made in 1967.
As far as sewing it has an unusual but good sound, and it seems to have outstanding stitch quality.
The hi - low speed adjustment isn't really very much of a range and this machine may have the slowest top speed I have come across, which might
be a problem for some users.
No review would be complete without a picture of it all closed up. As we
all know it was selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for
its "Design Collection". Styled by Raymond Loewy
the unique features like the storage in the top and the Lotus pedals
combined with the clean design make this machine worthy of the
So it is a friction wheel drive... no belt, both good & bad.
Oh I get it!
Hmmm, let's look at what else the great Raymond did, so the Avanti was a Loewy design launched in 1963, in 1968 the first Elna Lotus came out.
came across these rendering claimed to be by Loewy:
Pencil sketches, no PhotoShop here!