Lotus Elan

spence sprint elans

PostPost by: alan d bell » Mon May 30, 2011 8:56 pm

i have recently obtained a series 1/2 elan which a previous owner has told me was modified by company named spence. i have a lot of questions.
was the company associated with mike spence or his father?
is it still trading? if so where
number of these modifiedelans made/ number known
the cars were apparantly modified as follows,
more power, 26r wings and bumpers, oil cooler,fat radiator, roll bar, racing harness, wider bolt on steel wheels, extra instruments, ie 4 minor gauges, fuel, amps, water temp and oil pressure and temp combined. hard and soft tops supplied, pop ups retained. :?:
i say that it is series 1/2 because it has series 1 doors door locks and windows and series 2 lights, bourne style bonnet braces.
any info about these cars and thier maker would be very welcome.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Tue May 31, 2011 3:58 pm

I assume this is (was) Mike Spence who was a Lotus dealer and also drove for Chapman and sadly died driving a Lotus.

There is a previous thread about him here..

elan-f14/history-lotus-elan-1968-mike-spence-t13638.html

And assuming it is a Spence modded car a google search may turn up more info'
John

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PostPost by: alan d bell » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:06 pm

i now have a little more info. the last owner but one removed and sold a limited slip diff and the original engine. he also told me that in an old motor sport mag there was an article entitled "spence sprints" and that there was a photo of this car using a parachute to assist braking. were the spence sprints actually spence elan brms?.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:39 pm

nnesbell wrote:i now have a little more info. the last owner but one removed and sold a limited slip diff and the original engine. he also told me that in an old motor sport mag there was an article entitled "spence sprints" and that there was a photo of this car using a parachute to assist braking. were the spence sprints actually spence elan brms?.


Mike Spence converted a small number of mostly S3 Elans. They were never called 'Sprints' to my knowledge. They were simply known as Lotus BRMs. There was quite a discussion on them a few months back if you do a search.

Meanwhile here is an advert.

Tim
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Spence BRM.jpg and
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:49 pm

Imagine my surprise when I entered BRM into the search facility and obtained over 160 results.

I'll just skip out to the garage and check for for the parachute-brake mounting holes.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:52 am

Parachute braking sounds like a novelty that would have been put on the car in the 70s, with the influence of Custom Car / Hot Car magazines. I can't imagine Mike Spence doing that in 1964!

His cars were very subtle upgrades of the Elan...no wide wheels, no flaired arches, and no parachutes!!

The first point to check out is the registration number...if it's not a Reading number, then ther's a good chance it's not a Mike Spence special. There's every chance it has an engine modified by Mike Spence...that was a popular aftermarket enhancement applied to many Elans, Cortinas, Europas and Escorts.

Have a look at this link. The photos of the cars and the brochure will give you an indication of the sort of work they did.

elan-racing-f12/brm-elans-t17789.html

Mark
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PostPost by: alan d bell » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:06 am

having read the very interesting posts i am beginning to have doubts about the car having any thing to do with spence brms. since so many of the original parts have been removed there is little info left that can be extracted from the car however i shall list what i have and hope that someone out there remembers the car. It was delivered retail in kit form on 03.04.65 registered on 15.04.65. as MMY599C colour yellow. during the late 60s it migrated to scotland and did take part in motor sport. where and when and by whom it was prepared for racing remains a mystery though it appears to have done by a pro. as for the parachute that was not a fixture and was probably a stunt for the magazine article in which it appeared.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:52 am

MY is a London South East registration.

What unit number is your car? I should then be able to let you know the original engine number.

As I recall, Mike Spence converted only about a dozen new Elans, mostly S3s with one or two S4s. However, as Mark says any number of Elan owners could have had their Elans breathed on by Spence/BRM, without them becoming fully 'Lotus BRM' cars.

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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:27 am

Elanintheforest wrote:His cars were very subtle upgrades of the Elan...no wide wheels, no flaired arches, and no parachutes!!Mark


And even when he did do some "demon flaring" of the arches for customers they were subtle & tastefully done, as per the rally job they worked on.

download/file.php?id=13094&mode=view

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: alan d bell » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:49 pm

browsing all the threads i could find on elan 26rs i found a photo of a series 2 which was two tone yellow over white with decals on the side "elan sprint" and flared arches. suprising as i thought the sprint did not arrive until series 4. thanks for the offer of the engine number but i got it from lotus archives. I am now certain that the car is a series 2 and live in hope I will get more info here or from the dvla though that might be problematical as the person I got it from is recorded as the only owner and the only back beyond is if they have records under the original reg, unlikely as the number mmy599c was never transferred to them from the local tax office.
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