Lotus hit the big time in 1962 with the introduction of the Model 26 Elan; it was a tiny, lightweight road car that brought all of designer Colin Chapman’s racing lessons to the street, at last. The fibreglass, monocoque Elite Coupé of 1958 had been a successful race car, but it was harsh and uncompromising on the street. Car & Driver described the cockpit as being “as noisy as the boiler room of a tramp steamer”.
By comparison, the Elan Roadster was small and solid. It was only 12-feet long and weighed only 1,485 pounds. The steel backbone frame was bonded to the fibreglass body, the suspension was soft and compliant, and it had disc brakes all round. The 1,558-cubic centimetre Ford twin-cam engine cranked out 115 brake horsepower in Special Equipment form, and 0–60 mph came up in 7.1 seconds, with a top speed of 120 mph. The Elan’s glamour was assured when the Emma Peel character (actress Diana Rigg) drove one in The Avengers spy-spoof TV series.
Chapman wasn’t interested in racing the Elan, as he was in pursuit of his first Formula One Championship with the Lotus 25. But privateers like Ian Walker and Chequered Flag modified the Elan’s steering and brakes, and soon Chapman uprated his own cars in the same manner. The little cars turned out to be giant killers, and Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, and Sir John Whitmore were very successful racing them from 1963–1964. The Lotus Elan was homologated in 1964 as the 26R, and it continued to be competitive for about 10 years, with John Miles winning 15 races and the Autosport championship in 1966. An estimated 97 Elan 26Rs were built, and many of them still dominate vintage racing.
Registered on the 14th January 1965, this Lotus Elan has an uprated 1595cc motor, and is offered with French title papers and FIA documentation, showing eligibility for FIA Class GTS 10.
These Elans really fly on the track – what a great way to enjoy competitive historic motorsport.
Immatriculée le 14 Janvier 1965, cette Lotus Elan est orésentée avec ses documents Français et une documentation F.I.A. montrant qu’elle peut prétendre à la F.I.A Class GTS 10 Ces Elans volent littéralement sur la piste . quel plaisir de profiter d’une voiture de sports de collection.