The Lotus Elan was Britain’s preeminent 1960’s sports car. The genius that was Colin Chapman, aided by a talented small team of designers, notably Ron Hickman, had conceived the Elan in 1962 as a replacement for the Elite. Produced from 1971 to 1973, the Elan Sprint was introduced to boost flagging sales. The new Sprint justified its name thanks to a substantial boost in engine power. A big-valve head with high-lift cams and increased compression ratio lifted output to 126bhp. The imaginatively designed backbone chassis, brilliant suspension and sparkling twin cam engine, allied to a pretty body, combined to make a winning car, successful not only amongst the discerning motoring public, but also on the track.
This 1971 Elan Sprint was ordered new by Mr John Sargent, a farmer from Farnham in Surrey. Mr Sargent attended the launch of the Sprint at the 1970 Earls Court Motor Show and ordered the Elan off the Lotus stand with the following specification.
Special order monotone "Bahama Yellow" L10, silver wheels and chrome wheel trims, silver bumpers, electric windows, optional air horns & tonneau cover and no radio.
Chassis 0283G was thus one of the very first DHC Sprints delivered in March '71 and one of the first 50 cars latterly known as "S4 Sprints". These cars were delivered with twin tail pipes, bonnet bulge and the reverse "Lotus Big Valve" script on the cam cover.
Supplied with all of the original dealer paperwork including, Original sales invoice from Bell & Colvill dated March '71 and signed by "Bobby Bell", Original Lotus Warranty Certificate, Original hand written receipt from Mike Spence Lotus mechanic Leo Ackroyd, who assembled the car. (Like many Elans , it was sold as a kit to avoid sales tax). Original Lotus stamped service book, Original Lotus Elan S4 Sprint hand book, Original unused tool kit, Original jack & handle in hessian bag and original lead spinner mallet, Original unused tonneau cover, Original buff log book showing the first and only registered owner, All original locks and keys.
Mechanically the Sprint was excellent. Just the Weber carbs and ancillaries were rebuilt and after careful recommissioning it ran beautifully. Similarly, the clutch, gearbox and back axle were all in good order. The brakes were completely overhauled re-using the original calipers and Girling servo. All suspension components were completely refurbished and rebuilt using NOS correct spec shocks and bushes, including new drive doughnuts from Miles Wilkins.
The interior is all original with original seats in superb condition, as are the door panels with no speaker holes. Even the underlay and carpets were carefully stored away prior to recommissioning, so they're in time warp condition and haven't suffered the normal light discoloration. The dash had suffered from crazing and delamination, so a perfect replacement was provided by Susan Miller Lotus. This is also the case for the new hood (also supplied by Susan Miller) which fits perfectly.
Possibly unique, this beautifully restored Elan Sprint has just 18600 miles from new and just one previous keeper.
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