Lotus Elan

Old and New....

PostPost by: mark030358 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:50 am

Working away a lot I don't get to drive my Elan as much I'd like. Also the fixing of irritating little problems like wheel balance, stability at speed takes (or rather took) longer to fix than I would have wished. The upside to this, is when I get home, driving the Elan is something I look forward to. Well this time home I looked forward to picking up my Christmas present to me, a 220BHP SC Elise. I took the train down to Cambridge not having seen the car in the flesh, but having paid a deposit based on photos and the owners enthusiasm. Well I wasn't disapointed. The car, in Aspen White, was as described, totally mint with 8000 miles on the clock. After fitting the hardtop, it won't go in the boot! I set off on the 3 1/2 hr drive home and here is the rub. It drives just like the Elan but with the extra grunt and grip, but the similarities are there. Its light, nimble, agile and above all a proper Lotus. Arriving home, I parked it up and went to bed, having had a 36 hr trip home from Nigeria the previous day. Anyway, next morning, it was the Elans turn. The weather was crisp, the hood was down and off I went, round the country lanes near to where I live. The feeling was back, just as the previous day, driving a car that was meant for ermmm driving. Quick, nimble and agile, feeling evey bit as good as the Elise to drive, but being almost 40 years older. I found it just amazing, how a car so old could be so good when compared to its modern equivalent. This told me two things which I thought I knew (but did not appreciate), firstly the early Elans were, and still are, just fantastic cars, simple, light and just made for the pleasure of driving. And secondly the Elise, in my opinion is exactly the same....

Old and New, just... BRILLIANT

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PostPost by: lotocone » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:52 pm


Thanks for comparison. I'm glad that the Elan is still amazing after driving the Elise SC which is quite a car. Having never been in an Elise, except to sit in one, I've wondered how someone with both cars would compare them. Hope you enjoy both cars for many years.

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PostPost by: rmd24 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:05 am

I agree with everything Mark says about the comparison between the Elan and the Elise. I came to the Elan from an Elise 111R and I soon came to realise what an absolute revelation the Elan was when it came out in the 60s. It was light years ahead of the competition. When I first took it for its Controle Technique here in France the tester was amazed at how modern the specification was.
As for the driving experience, well the Elise is an absolutely great car and feels like a Lotus should and is a worthy successor to the Elan. I think comparing the two is almost, but not quite, irrelevant. They are both great cars and although they share many fundamental characteristics they are just different.
You are very fortunate to be able to have both in your stable.

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PostPost by: jimj » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:11 pm

I use a 111R as my everyday car, my 3rd Elise in a row and love it, obviously. OK, on a regular route where you sometimes are balked by slow lorries there are 2 opportunities to overtake safely in the Elise and only 1 in the Elan but outright power is not what an Elan is about.
In perspective I`ll be sad to sell the Elise one day but I`ll never sell the Elan.
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