・Excellent condition throughout ∙ Vegatune prepared engine
Introduced in 1962, the Elan featured a simple but effective steel backbone frame and all-independent wishbone suspension which used a modified Chapman Strut, as developed in Lotus Grand Prix cars, at the rear. Rack and pinion steering was sourced from the Triumph Vitesse and there were Girling disc brakes all round. The Elan's engine was a highly modified 1498cc (later 1558cc) Ford Cortina unit incorporating Lotus's own twin camshaft cylinder head and both the gearbox and differential came, likewise, from Ford. With the introduction of the improved S3 model in September 1965, the Elan became available as a fixed-head coupé for the first time, having previously been sold only in convertible form with a separate hardtop optional. Other civilising improvements included electric windows, a redesigned dashboard and better interior trim. Powerful, light in weight and endowed with exceptional road holding and handling, the Elan proved an immense commercial success for Lotus, slightly fewer than 9,000 being sold by the time production ceased in 1973.
This lovely Lotus Elan S3 is finished in bright Daffodil Yellow with contrasting black trim interior. The car was thought to have been built on 13th April 1967, and was first registered new on 21st April 1967 and the registration document shows only five owners since 1977.
The car has been fully restored from the ground up by a series of owners over the last 18 years. A new Spyder chassis was installed and a full body off respray in its original Daffodil Yellow was completed, having been taken back to gel coat. It revealed that at some stage the Elan was Pistachio Green which would explain why it is listed as green on the V5c. All new front suspension, brake discs, flywheel and complete clutch assembly was installed at a cost of £5,539, and the work was completed in January 2021.Now finally completed the Elan has only covered a handful of miles since the rebuild. and all details of the extensive work that has been carried out can be seen in the history file.
There is a good history folder with the Elan. There are invoices for the more recent work on the car, and further bills for parts from various specialist suppliers. There is a list of previous owners back to 1977, and a receipt for the Elan when it was sold for £3,800 in 2001 when it required complete restoration. There’s an MoT certificate from 2014 which shows it had covered 17,959 miles at that point, but no other MoT history available from the DVLA, so we can assume that it was likely to have been off the road for some time during its restoration. It appears to have changed hands as a partly restored project before finally being completed earlier this year. There is a series of photographs on file that show the Lotus at various stages during the restoration.
On the inside the Elan is in good overall condition, with nothing missing or broken. The wood veneer dash is all intact and has a good shine. There is an aperture for a radio although there isn’t one currently fitted. The black carpets are clean and tidily fitted. It should be noted there are a couple of small holes in the backrest of the driver’s seat, and small marks here and there on both seats. The roof lining is taut and shows no staining. There is a roll cage fitted although this does not intrude into the front seat area. Generally there is little that needs improvement. The boot carpets are clean and lifting the base panel reveals a newly fitted battery and fuel tank.
The new Daffodil Yellow paint has been well applied and the Elan looks bright and attractive. The troublesome pop-up headlights have been replaced with the more sporty fixed headlights behind Perspex covers in the style of the racing 26R version. The panel fit is good - actually for an Elan it’s very good, as they are not known for even panels and consistent shut lines!
The knock off steel wheels are all clean and unmarked and the shod with Uniroyal Rain Expert tyres, except the spare which has a Goodyear tyre. All look virtually unused.
Lifting the bonnet reveals a clean and attractive engine bay, as you would expect on a fresh restoration where so much has been replaced or restored. All the wiring is tidy, and overall the work has been completed to a high standard with a nice original look –no nasty blue hoses here! The Elan was performing well and drove briskly on the short drive to the photo location.
The epitome of the British sports car, the Elan is firmly on the top step when it comes to handling and performance. Its lightweight, combined with just enough power, gives it on-road poise that few other sports cars have ever managed to emulate. This particular example just begs to be driven, and is about as lovely as you could hope to find. With everything either replaced or restored including a neFreshly restored Elan ready to enjoy chassis the only thing it’s really missing is a new owner!
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