Lotus Elan 'Sprint', 1971
Lotus Elan 'Sprint' Fixed Head Coupe, year 1971. Colour two tone light yellow over white separated by a golden 'Sprint' stripe. Black vinyl interior with black carpet. The car is fitted with the powerful Sprint 'Big Valve' engine.
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Colin Chapman is one of the big names in the history of car engineering. His firm Lotus Engineering Company creates racing and sportscars which form a class of their own. Lotus cars are fitted with relatively small engines but because of the low weight and the superb road holding capabilities they are extremely competitive. Starting with the Lotus Elite the firm used GRP to produce the car bodies. The lotus Elite was the first car with a unitary bodywork construction of GRP. The later Lotus models were given a strong steel backbone chassis.
The Elite was introduced in the year 1958. In the year 1962 the Lotus Elan saw the light of day. The Lotus Elan was styled by Ron Hickman. The car was very compact and lightweight but it was spacious enough for two tall persons. The Lotus Elan was available as fixed head coupe and as convertible. The Elan featured state of the art technology. The four cylinder in-line engine came from Ford (the Kent engine which was also used in racing competitions) and was extensively modified by the Lotus engineers. A special Lotus cylinder head with double overhead camshafts was used (twin cam). The suspension was independent all round and the car was fitted with disc brakes all round.
From 1962 until 1971 the Elan series 1 up to series 4 were built. Every series incorporated small technical or exterior changes. The S2 was given larger front brake calipers, the fantastic (optional) centre-lock wheels and a veneer dashboard. The S3 featured framed power windows, a higher final drive ratio and a better hood for the convertible. The S4 was given wider wheel arches and new dashboard switches. Additionally the optional servo brakes and the centre-lock wheels became standard equipment.
In the year 1971 the Lotus Elan Sprint was presented; the Sprint was lighter, more powerful and faster! The ultimate Lotus Elan was born! The car was given the ‘big valve’ Lotus engine with a capacity of 126 bhp. With a weight of 558 kg. the Elan Sprint was an astonishing driver car. The ultimate in it’s days! In total 17.000 Lotus Elan’s were built. The Elan Sprint coupe is scarce; only 1353 ever left the factory. The Elan Sprint convertible even harder to find, only 900 of these beauties were built between 1971 and 1973.
The current Lotus Elise may be seen as the true predecessor of the Lotus Elan.
4 cylinder in-line engine (twin cam)
two Weber DCOE 40 carburettors
cylinder capacity: 1557 cc.
capacity: 126 bhp. at 6500 rpm.
torque: 153 at 5500 rpm.
gearbox: 4-speed, manual
top-speed: 195 km/h. - 121 mph.
acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7 sec.
brakes: disc brakes all round
independent suspension all round
weight: 685 kg.