The Elan was first manufactured in 1962
and took over
from its predecessor, the Elite.
It was a tremendously
agile car with its steel back-bone chassis using wishbones
and coils at the front and Chapman struts with lower wishbones
at the rear.
Girling disc brakes were used all round. Its 105 bhp motor
used chain-driven cams and Ford supplied the gearbox,
block and bottom end. It was fast and light with later
models including a two-plus-two and a coupe.
Quality and reliability improved with each year of manufacture.
the Sprint was produced with a big-valve engine
that resulted in 25% more power - 126 bhp at 6,500 rpm.
Its acceleration was dynamic - it could get to 96 km/h
as fast as a Lamborghini Islero and once in top gear could
easily mix it with cars like the 246 Dino and 911E Porsche.
The Elan stopped being made in 1973
as Lotus looked at
moving out of the kit car market. Today, it has been revived
in the Elise.