Electrified Sports Car Project: 1967 Lotus Elan

Highly iconic, and definitely an important milestone in the sports car world, the Lotus Elan is a car that often is often viewed with little imagination. Typically, British racing green paint, center lock knock offs, and a DOHC cylinder all come to mind when thinking of the Elan. Well, this ’67 project was destined to become an electric, but the owner suffered from health and financial concerns having to abandon the project. Although nowhere near completed, there are a couple of sweet parts in the lot. You can buy this project one of three ways. Option one, buy for $30,000 and finish yourself. Option 2, Buy for $30,000 and commission the EV builder to complete the project. Finally, you can buy this project as is for $20,000 with all of the electric components removed. You can find this curious project here on craigslist out of Albany, Oregon. Thanks to Roger for sharing this interesting British classic.

Very vacant, the engine compartment currently houses little other than the desirable and worthwhile spider frame. Originally equipped with a sheet metal based frame, anyone who has ever driven or raced a spider frame equipped Elan will tell you it is worth the money. The electric engine of choice will offer a range of roughly 130 miles, which seems practical enough for this mostly fiberglass ride. I am a border line purist with a car like this, but the idea of an electric powered classic sports car is an interesting concept. The engine is certainly far enough back that it would be considered mid-engine, but I am not sure what that will do for the Elan’s balance.

Quite vacant, the interior holds little other than the steering column and steering wheel. The fiberglass looks a bit dry in some places inside and out, where that may be a little more body work than expected. The dash, along with a few other items of the interior are visible in the auction listing. Although, it is not entirely clear how complete this Elan may be.

Showing little paint, it would appear that this Elan was yellow. Overall the body appears to be damage free, but old fiberglass often needs a little more attention and work due to fine cracking, and dried out areas that need to be re-glassed. It would be a bit foreign in concept for such a car to be electric, but there is also some potential promise in the weight distribution, and potential added horsepower and torque. What route would you take with this Elan project? Gasoline, or electric?


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  1. sir mike

    What a waste of an Elan…$5000.00 w/o the electric junk….sorry

    Like 15
  2. grant

    Not sure what values on an Elan are, but 20 k for a bare shell seems steep. And while the project may have stalled due to financial concerns, he’s healthy enough to let someone pay him to complete it.

    Like 11
  3. TimS Member

    “Highly iconic.” That’s a new use for this filler word. Must be a contest on how to wedge it in.

    And wow. $20 to $30k just to buy in. You better be a big fan. As I said about the Pontiac 2+2, you’d really have to love these to get involved.

    Like 3
  4. SMS

    The car is on the Shift Electric web page. Looks like a good deal if one was looking to restore an Elan. Personally would take it back to the stock motor.

    Found out the hard way that that buying parts, planning, and stripping a car or bike is the easy part. Putting it back together, having it run well and look nice it the tough part.

    Like 3
  5. Big Len

    To turn one of these into an electric is a travesty. If you feel compelled to change an old car into a DC driver, please find a an econobox and play Dr Frankenstein with that. This car was built to be a light weight sports car. Shifting gears while blipping the throttle to rev match is what this car is about.

    Like 9
  6. bobhess bobhess Member


    Like 5
    • PDXjunkman

      This is my old Elan. When I sold it reluctantly to help fund my Ginetta g4 restoration it was a complete numbers matching coupe. So sad especially given the fact that the original twin cam had been rebuilt and upgraded by Cosworth.

      Like 1
      • bog

        Horrors ! But then you have a Ginetta G4. Is that now complete ? I hope so.

  7. Brian Ach

    $10k without electrics

    Miata 1.8 and 5sp

    Fun driver

    Like 4
  8. rod444

    Just another EV enthusiast who started this project when EVs were rare and building your own was about the only way to own one. Now you can buy a very refined, commercially built used EV for 5k so there’s really no reason to finish a project like this.

    Sad, but it’s a sign of the times.

    Like 1
  9. Britcarguy

    Where do these environmentally blinded people think the electricity comes from to power their cars? About 70% of electricity generated in America comes from coal or gas. There is no reliable, lower cost substitute.

    Like 2
    • rod444

      I own an electric. Powered by solar panels on my yard. But you’re right that coal is the most common reliable source in most places. The alternative in our region is natural gas generation Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide in the new gas power plants compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant.

      Im not an ‘tree hugger’. I just love the cool tech and the fact that I can make my own “fuel” and be energy independent. Im also making my car my backup power source for my house with an inverter.

      Like 2

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