Lotus Elan

jim clarks lotus elan find 30 years ago

PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:20 pm

Lotus Components was the development and racing part of the car business at that time. They also made the Lotus 7 on their small production line. It has never had anything to do with component (kit) cars.

Many of the earliest Elans have Components plates, as do the very earliest +2s and you?ll sometimes see them on press cars, specially prepared.

There were not many Elans on the road in the summer of 63. However, with enough brass neck it would be relatively simple to drive off in an Elan through the admiring Silverstone crowd, for all the world as if one did own the thing!

Tim
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:21 pm

I wonder if the engine out of 513 WAR wasn't racing the following weekend :D
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:32 pm

Interesting stuff! In the July 2018 edition of Classic and Sports Car magazine Michael Shryver relates how he was offered this Elan after it had been found in a scrapyard "near Mallory Park" in 1979; he offered it to Simon Hadfield as a parts car but between them they figured out it was a very special car. Had field says that ".. the Elan had no doubt eluded recognition because the rear number plate had only three digits on it and the front grill was missing". Well, as we can see he was wrong about the number plate but the grille certainly was missing! :D
Shryver owned the car for around 20 years.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the photos.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:03 pm

Some interesting inconsistencies in the stories - the first photo clearly shows a complete rear number plate ? But it is a more modern plate than would have been fitted originally. but it definitely has all 6 digits. Perhaps it had no number plate at all?

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PostPost by: yargnitram » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:50 am

This was how it was found as to the number plate these where changed easily And in the late 70s reflective plates where the way to go my 1968 alpine had these on when I bought it but I changed them back to black and silver and had to pay a lot the reflective ones where the standard so cheap as chips
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:44 am

elansprint71 wrote:Interesting stuff! In the July 2018 edition of Classic and Sports Car magazine Michael Shryver relates how he was offered this Elan after it had been found in a scrapyard "near Mallory Park" in 1979; he offered it to Simon Hadfield as a parts car but between them they figured out it was a very special car. Had field says that ".. the Elan had no doubt eluded recognition because the rear number plate had only three digits on it and the front grill was missing". Well, as we can see he was wrong about the number plate but the grille certainly was missing! :D
Shryver owned the car for around 20 years.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the photos.


I was quite friendly with Simon Hadfield at the time and that's not what he said.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:47 am

Mazzini wrote:
elansprint71 wrote:Interesting stuff! In the July 2018 edition of Classic and Sports Car magazine Michael Shryver relates how he was offered this Elan after it had been found in a scrapyard "near Mallory Park" in 1979; he offered it to Simon Hadfield as a parts car but between them they figured out it was a very special car. Had field says that ".. the Elan had no doubt eluded recognition because the rear number plate had only three digits on it and the front grill was missing". Well, as we can see he was wrong about the number plate but the grille certainly was missing! :D
Shryver owned the car for around 20 years.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the photos.


I was quite friendly with Simon Hadfield at the time and that's not what he said.



Well, that is exactly what was written in the magazine- Julian Balme quoting Simon Hadfield. I'll try to post a photo later.

What did Simon Hadfield say, out of interest?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:24 am

He said that the car had been found by a couple of guys in a scrapyard close to his workshop. They sold it, sight unseen, to a well know dealer in the Kent area whom flipped it, sight unseen, to Hadfield and Shryver, whom were very close at that time - they raced together I think Simon prepared his cars. It was only after the car was delivered that they twigged what it was. They dealer in Kent then realised what they had had and tried to buy it back.

I can remember the photos of the car when found by Yargnitram, they appeared in Classic and Sports Car or a similar magazine. The rear plate was as seen in the photos posted on this site.
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PostPost by: ivorbadger2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:17 am

As an aside and further information. Ian Scott Watson transferred 766 BOO to his Elan +2 by 67, he had kept the number because sir John Whitmore's wife had the a joining number and wished at some point to have the pair. Ian used to drive his Elan +2 quite enthusiastically at Ingliston during SMRC test days. He was accused of being so short sighted that by the time he saw the corner, it was too late to slow down. I will see if I can find a photo.

997 NUR was used by Andrew Cowan to finish 2 nd at the first official race at Ingliston, IWS being the track's creator. Ronnie Mann won in his Elan. IWS once told the story of coming round a corner on a country road and finding an outsize load blocking the road.The story was in MotorSport magazine letters column if any one has a set of them. The Elan apparently fitted under the load. I had always assumed this was 997 NUR, but possibly the other Elan he is mentioned as owning. The photo of Jim Clark sitting on 997 NUR at Edington Mains was taken in latish 63 for Life magazine and IWS owned the car at that time. The photo was supposed to be used in late November for an article in Life, but the article never made it into Life.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:28 pm

ivorbadger2 wrote: IWS once told the story of coming round a corner on a country road and finding an outsize load blocking the road.The story was in MotorSport magazine letters column if any one has a set of them. The Elan apparently fitted under the load..

Which year was this, please, Ivor?

Twenty years ago I used to drive under a forestry bar-barrier to see Nightjars, to the amazement of other viewers.
Meg

26/4088 1965 S1½ Old and scruffy but in perfect working order; the car too.
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PostPost by: ivorbadger2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:32 am

Quart Meg Miles wrote:
ivorbadger2 wrote: IWS once told the story of coming round a corner on a country road and finding an outsize load blocking the road.The story was in MotorSport magazine letters column if any one has a set of them. The Elan apparently fitted under the load..

Which year was this, please, Ivor?

Twenty years ago I used to drive under a forestry bar-barrier to see Nightjars, to the amazement of other viewers.


late 60s or possibly very early 70s
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:31 pm

deryck wrote:Thats an amazing story!

Many thanks for posting the pictures,

Wonder where the engine went?

best regards
Deryck.


Deryck, Yargnitram just posted this on BringATrailer ( on an unrelated Elan sale:)

Pharriso 997 nur was the car and i posted a photo of it on the back of my trailer,i paid 75 Quid for it cut the tree that was growing through the gearbox tunnel and now its been restored and was sold i was told for 250000gbp. To me it was about saving an elan had no idea it belonged to Jim clark ,i found it in sandiacre scrapyard,the scrapyard man told me the engine and box was sold to a local bloke to put in his 1965 ford anglia for 200 quid, those were the days before all this silliness,i am just glad that i had the forethought to save this great special elan not because of its value because i like to save car culture and history it was hard graft to get this thing out as it had been there for over 20 years,we all should remember this and dont keep thinking of the bottom dollar ,i still have the photo if anyone is interested just so you can see how much was left of the car and why anyone would have bothered saving it.
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
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