Lotus launched a legend in 1962, the Lotus Elan. Following on from the previous Elite model, the new Elan offered improved handling and performance and had a less fragile feel to its overall design.
It was the first Lotus road car to use the now famous steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1,500lb all up, the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman 'less is more' design philosophy, paring weight to a minimum in a quest for the ultimate driving experience.
Below the bonnet sat an engine that would become a legend in its own right, the Lotus-Ford twin-cam with a Cosworth alloy head which went on to power other classic Lotus models including the Cortina sports saloons. Equipped with all-round independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the Elan could sprint to 60mph in 7.8 seconds and hit 122mph flat out.
Initially the Elan came as an open two-seater but from 1964 a fixed-head coupe was also available, and in 1967 a new Elan 2+2 joined the range which offered more comfort in a classic GT format. From 1970 a +2S version was available which raised the power from 118bhp to 126bhp. Light, powerful and with sensational handling, it proved an immense commercial success for Lotus, slightly fewer than 9,000 Elans of all types being produced by the time production ceased in 1973, of which 3,300 were 2+2 models.
First registered in March 1971, this +2S has been off the road for many years and is being offered here as a light restoration project. We are informed that much work has already been done to the car including the fitment of a new chassis; new light pods and vacuum pods; new dash; new carpets, doorcards and retrimmed seats with extra material to complete the trim. The chrome bumpers and door frames are in good condition, as are the tyres. The bodywork is also described as good although it could do with a repaint to make it really smart.
A new Auto Sparks wiring loom has also been partially fitted and the car comes with a wiring diagram to complete the task but until this is done the car cannot be started so the condition of the engine and gearbox is unknown. There are eight old MOTs on file, the last of which dates from 2000 when the mileage was 96,505 and as the clock is now showing 96,636 miles it is safe to assume that it has been off the road since 2000/2001.
Supplied with a bootful of useful spares, a V5C, various bills and the aforementioned old MOTs, it should not take too much to get it back on the road and will keep someone profitably engaged during the long summer evenings ahead of us.
AMENDMENT - Revised estimate of £7,000 - £9,000