The original Elan 1500 was introduced in 1962 as a roadster. After a very short production run of just 22 cars the engine was enlarged and the car was redesignated the Elan 1600. An optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two-seat Lotus Elan replaced the elegant, but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite.
It was the first Lotus road car to use a steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 726 kg, the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. Initial versions of the Elan were also available as a kit to be assembled by the customer. The Elan was technologically advanced with a DOHC 1557 cc engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, and 4-wheel independent suspension. Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1 supercar, reportedly said that his only disappointment with the McLaren F1 was that he couldn’t give it the perfect steering of the Lotus Elan.
The car presented here today was taken off the road some 38 years ago by the previous owner, awaiting the time for a full restoration. The then owner never managed to find the time and hence the car remained off the road for such a long period. In 2012 the current vendor liberated the Elan and set about a complete nut and bolt restoration. This extensive bare chassis rebuild took over two and a half years to complete, a testament to the dedication and precision of the work carried out.
The car is now said to be in excellent condition throughout and there is a large history file with supporting photographs for all the work carried out. Finished in Cirrus white with contrasting black interior, this is a near-concourse condition car ready to be taken to shows or used daily. The car benefits from a current MOT and UK V5C registration.