Lotus Elan

Newbee looking for info

PostPost by: carjunkie » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:34 am

Hi all
I have been around classics most of my life as my late father loved cars and although he never had any money, always had an interesting car. As a young lad that made a big impression upon me and through the years I have enjoyed owning and restoring a few classic cars.

I would love to know more about the Elan, and may take the plunge at some point ? In particular the Sprint FHC as I love the shape and never had a FHC classic car before. I have read that some cars out there started life as S4 cars and Lotus converted them to Sprints in order to sell them more easily. How can you spot this please? Were all sprints 2 tone as I have seen some advertised as single colour models? Were they all badged as Sprints as I have seen cars with different front wing badges advertised as Sprints?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:21 pm

Young Timothy will be along before long I'm sure but take a look at http://www.lotuselansprint.com which should answer your questions and more.

The monotone Sprints were an extra cost option. Yes the factory converted some cars to Sprint spec, one of the giveaways is stainless steel sill embellishers as they were largely SE models. Ultimately the chassis no is the final arbiter if you want to be sure. Either Tim or Andy Graham at the Lotus factory would confirm.

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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:06 pm

I've just finished building a FHC Sprint that I bought completely dismantled in 2011. Have a look at the Sprint web site that elanfan1 has given you. From there you can find a small spreadsheet giving relevant numbers and it says that the first genuine Sprint FHC had the number 7101010201E, ie. the actual car number is 0201. All FHC Sprints should have numbers higher than 0201.Mine is 7105130268E. This breaks down as follows:
71 - made in 1971
05 - made in month 5
13 - batch number
0268 - individual car number
E - UK spec FHC.

The spreadsheet also contains this
"There are 53 S4/Sprints that I am aware of. According to Lotus 79 S4s were converted to Sprint specification by the factory, prior to intial delivery. They included all types, Domestic, European and Federal. None are sequential in number".

Good luck in your hunt. I hope you have deep pockets as nice cars seem to be really expensive these days. Buying mine as a whole lot of boxes made it possible for me to afford one.

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PostPost by: carjunkie » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:04 pm


Thank you so much for the advice and information which I am sure will be invaluble should I decide to look for a car. Knowing me I would buy a car needing work as I cant afford a mint example.

I did see a low mileage car with a seized engine available but sanity has prevailed (for now)!

Thanks again
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