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Lot 565: Lotus Elan Roadster

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

An Elite-type glassfibre monocoque having proved insufficiently rigid when applied to an open car, Lotus boss Colin Chapman came up with a simple but effective steel backbone frame for the company's new Elan sports car. Launched in October 1962, the Elan was available as a complete car or as a kit at reduced price. Suspension was independent all round with unequal-length wishbones at the front, while a wide-based lower wishbone and modified Chapman Strut, as used in Lotus Grand Prix cars, was employed 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 1,498cc (later 1,558cc) Ford Cortina unit incorporating Lotus's own twin-camshaft cylinder head, and both the gearbox and differential came also from Ford. As one would expect, given its background and specification, the Elan proved to be a highly capable circuit racer, and capitalising on the numerous successes achieved by privately entered cars, Lotus introduced their own version - the '26R' - in 1964. This left-hand drive, matching-numbers Elan is finished in Lotus Green with red/black interior, the latter featuring bucket seats, and comes complete with hardtop. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry invoices from various specialists, Belgian Carte Grise and FIA Historic Technical Passport. It should be noted that the latter shows the engine fitted with Weber carburettors, whereas SUs are fitted at present.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number565
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€23000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€26450
Condition rating0
Registration number
Chassis numberSB1698
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors