Lotus Elan

Date of Elan racing debut?

PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:38 pm

Found these after a quick search, Pete:

Goodwood Easter Monday Meeting 15 April 1963
Aintree ? April 1963
Oulton Park, BARC Spring Meeting, 6th April 1963
Snetterton first club meeting held on March 17 then on Saturday, March 30

The Motor reported on race meetings at these circuits in April 1963: Snetterton, Oulton Park, Goodwood, Mallory Park and Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Aintree. In March they reported on races at Goodwood, Snetterton and Oulton Park.

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:25 pm

Tim,
I've seen the Motor Sport and Autosport reports for all three meetings on the 15th- none of them mention an Elan... because they were only interested in the first three places back then.

With hindsight (even discounting our special interest) it might seem remarkable that the racing debut of the Elan was not reported; however... Chapman was not really hands-on with the Elan and did not envisage it being a track car (this from many years of research and talking with Ron Hickman and others who were there) he was struggling with finances(!)- the Elite was his baby and cost a considerable sum, the Formula 1, 2 and 3 racing programmes were barely covering their costs, the arrangements with Ford could go either way. As it turned out the Le Mans work went to Lola/GT40 folks, the Cortina saloon work came to Lotus and, finally, put money in the balance sheet. At the time the Seven was about the only thing which was, just about, bringing in a regular income.
The Elan was almost a distraction but clearly the Elite was far to expensive to continue much longer, especially with the paint and warranty issues in the USA.
It would be a while before the 26/R (briefly) flew the flag as a junior Sports-Racing Car, thanks to, firstly, Graham Warner's (partly Lotus-funded) team and then a parallel arrangement with Ian Walker. Chapman, wisely, kept out of a full-factory team... just in case it went tits up.

Discuss... :twisted:
Last edited by elansprint71 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4114
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:38 pm

Wasn't Chapman's primary racing car of the period the 23?
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
User avatar
pharriso
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2977
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Location: Long Island NY, USA

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:43 am

pharriso wrote:Wasn't Chapman's primary racing car of the period the 23?


I have edited the post above so it makes more sense! Apologies. :(
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4114
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:37 am

TRW 99 the game of entering a race, registering and getting pit passes for the crew for weekend then with draw the entry and cancel the cheque was commonly done by a few here in the early years of racing ??.ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
User avatar
twincamman
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2953
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Location: Niagara falls [slowly I turned]

PostPost by: meekgiant » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:15 pm

Hi guys, I stumbled upon this thread while looking for something else, but have some info which will hopefully be helpful / of interest. My dad is the Kevin Keegan in question (the original, as he liked to remind us), driver of the first Elan ever to race. A pilot by profession, younger brother of Mike (by ten years) and uncle of Rupert, he raced cars for fun, but was serious about it and was clearly pretty quick. He worked for Chapman in the very early days as a test driver, owned just about every model there was until the Plus 2 (starting with the original Elite, which he adored), became good mates with Costin and Duckworth and also raced Lotus Sevens and Lotus Cortinas alongside Jim Clark. I know he did the UK circuit for a few years in the early to mid-sixties but i’m hazy on the detail. He stopped racing in 1967 when I was born, but was very proud of his association with Lotus. He loved the Elan and drove a yellow Plus 2 until my sister and I became too big for the bucket seats in the back. He died 5 years ago aged 81 - a beloved husband, dad, uncle, grandad and boy racer to the end.
meekgiant
New-tral
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 20 Jan 2020
Location: Worthing

PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:02 pm

Thank you for that marvellous description, most interesting and adds to our knowledge base regarding Chapman and the Elan.

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:55 pm

Hi meekgiant, good to have you here.

On Easter Monday 15th April 1963 there were three Lotus Elans entered to race; your Dad (car 116) was reserve in Race 12 at Brands, due to start at 17:10; there was also an Elan entered by B Kemp (car 103) for driver CAC Hodgson; this car scratched, so your Dad got the drive.

However; at Mallory Park in Race 1, due to start at 13:15, LC Fryer was entered in car 62. What I don't know is... did he start the race? If so, he is Number One and Your Dad is Number Two! :D

Can anyone find a results sheet (or report) for Race One- Grand Touring Cars at Mallory?

EDIT: I have programmes for bot these races and if I could remember how to post images, I would do so!
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4114
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:45 pm

Programmes- Brands Hatch and Mallory Park , Easter Monday 15 April 1963.
Attachments
brands 2.jpeg and
brands 1.jpeg and
Mallory 2.JPG and
mallory 1.jpeg and
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4114
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:15 pm

I did some subsequent research after this thread first appeared and, though not a 'race', identified the following:

On 7 April 63 at the Castle Howard Hill Climb, in the Sports Cars up to 1950cc class, car reg AJB 66 driven by Arnold Burton came 2nd, with a time of 31.04s

“…Arnold Burton’s new Lotus Elan – the first competitive outing for one of these cars in the North and surely one of the first anywhere.” [Autosport report 19 Apr 63]

Arnold was also entered for the Tulip Rally for 7-11 April with G Gartside as his co-driver. However, not suprisingly given is attendance above, he is recorded as DNS.

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK
Previous

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests