Lotus Elan

Enter The Day Of The Frog

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Enter The Day Of The Frog
Magazine Title: Road & Track
Published: December 1964
64 enter day frog.jpg

When the old alchemist of motor car design, Colin Chapman, starts tinkering about in his dungeon, even the most hallowed concepts of form and construction are vulnerable. This is most clearly demonstrated in the frog-like chassis of the Lotus Elan. Devotees of the bird cage may mourn the passing of that forest of tiny tubes which has typified the space frame chassis, but the day of the frog is surely upon us. The new form is made up of welded deep-channel sections. Both efficient and functional, it provides exceptional torsional rigidity at very low weight. This configuration also affords convenient fixing points for power and suspension. In the Lotus Elan, the frog is pointed aft with Lotus' twin cam nestling snugly between the hind legs, while the upturned forepaws take a firm grip on the rear suspension. The abdominal cavity is occupied by the gear box, propeller shaft, differential, and various oddments of plumbing and such, vital to the machine's functions. One can readily perceive that this is a handy way to build a motor car-all mechanisms in one solid and stable assembly with the fully-stressed monocoque body overlayed and affixed along the spine to create a truly homogeneous structure. By the same token, no hasty conclusions should be drawn that Mr. Chapman is bending design toward production efficiency. At Cheshunt, the drawing board has never been subservient to construction. The Lotus Elan has still another frog-like characteristic that will be highly prized by enthusiasts: When you let out the clutch-it jumps! -


1558 cc top speed 115 mph acceleration 0 to 60, 7.5 sec.; 0 to 100, 20.5 sec. four cylinder Lotus twin cam Twin Weber Carburetors 105 bhp @ 5500 rpm four-speed close ratio all synchro all independent Chapman suspension Lotus/Girling disc brakes. Approximate delivery 30 to 60 days $3991 P.O.E. Los Angeles.


MANHATTAN BEACH, Bob Challman-Ecurie Shirlee 2301 Spulveda Blvd.

FRESNO, Foreign Motor Sales 310 Blackstone Ave.

HAYWARD, Stan Peterson, Autocourse, Inc. 21135 Mission Blvd.

LA CANADA, La Canada Sport Cars, 1300 W. Foothill

MONTEREY, Leslie Motors, 999 Del Monte

SACRAMENTO, Von Housens Motors 1729 Fulton Ave.

SAN BRUNO, Bob Cole Motor Imports 444 El Camino Real

SAN DIEGO, Dale Shoupe Quality Foreign, 3464 Kurtz

SANTA BARBARA, Phipps Motors 233 W. Carrillo St.

WOODLAND HILLS, Westland Motors 20021 Ventura Blv.

BOISE, Thompson Motor Co. 1112 Bannock Street

SPARKS-RENO, Dan Gillum Motors 1840 "B" Street

TACOMA, Geno's Imported Cars 5911 Steilacoom Blvd., S.W.

PORTLAND, Pierre's Motors 11614 South East Stark

ECURIE SHIRLEE DISTRIBUTION CORP. 2409 Sepulvedal Blvd Manhattan Beach, Calif. Exclusive Distributors for Lotus Cars throughout the Western U.S.