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Ready For Track Day: 1967 Lotus Elan

For a marque that is considered a limited volume producer, Lotus cars grace the web pages of Barn Finds with decided regularity. Today’s find, a ’67 Elan, has already made the transition to race car status, specifically in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) class. The neat thing about this Elan is its old-school simplicity and as the seller states, “It’s a FUN Lightweight car” – I bet! Located in Newport Beach, California, this Lotus is available here on eBay for a current bid of $15,100 with the reserve not yet met.

As far as vintage Lotus’s go, I encounter the very diminutive Europa more often than the Elan, I think this is my first exposure – the lines immediately recall, to my eyes, a Mazda Miata. Offered between ’62 and ’73, The Elan was offered in both coupe and roadster form. Total production counts seem to vary with some sources suggesting about 12K units while others downplay the volume to the 9K range. The Lotus Elan registry estimates that only 1,100 are still in existence but others call that count suspect and unreliable. But, that begs the question, with so few accounted for, is it wise to race one and risk reducing the existing count by one?

Our Elan find is marked as a Special Edition (S/E) version which means a 115 HP, 1.6 liter, four-cylinder, in-line DOHC engine, working through a four-speed manual transmission and driving the rear wheels. The seller lists the following improvements: rebuilt motor with Cosworth parts – not many hours on them, refreshed four-speed transmission, locked differential, brake system upgraded master cylinder for improved performance & reduce maintenance cost, secure four lug bolts hubs vs single spindle, and a fuel cell. Keep in mind that all of this is wrapped in a package that weighs well under one ton!

There are only two images of the exterior but the appearance is very clean and minimal – typical for the era. There’s no evidence of racing hijinx like scraped fenders, or worse, and the car shows as streetable. And actually the seller states as much, “Car sold with title – can be converted to street if desired“. While it certainly looks sound, the two included images, in my estimation, aren’t enough for an objective assessment and an in-person review for prospective bidders is recommended.

Inside we find a roll cage and a Halon fire suppression system. The gutted environment, single fitted seat, and flat modified instrument panel certainly convey a racing vibe. It’s a simple, clean, and functional environment. The seller adds, “Perfect for entry-level driver“.

Well, I’m impressed, I’m sure it is a hoot to drive but I’d probably restrict my motor outings to open country use and eschew actual track time – I would be seriously worried about wrecking this cool, vintage Lotus. But how about you, race track or not?

Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    This Lotus Elan has the cool factor written all over it. I think the Seller shows just enough to know the car is legit. Jim, I like your idea of outings off the race track too.

    Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Car is fast, fun, and with the roll cage, safe. Quite a few running in the south east.

    Like 4
    • TonyWa

      Two in our family!

      Like 2
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    When I disassembled mine,I was able to move the frame
    by myself – they weigh about 75 pounds.Mine was #3892.
    I agree with Gordon,these are one of the most incredible –
    driving cars out there.

    Like 7
    • Howie

      Good eye Drew, thanks.

      Like 1
  4. Mafk

    Of course it reminds you of the Miata. The Mazda was unashamedly a copy of the Elan but with Japanese reliability & build quality. This would make more sense to leave as a race car. Wouldn’t be very comfy on the road with race suspension.

    Like 1
  5. FrankD Member

    and its in one piece too.

    • Mark Ruggiero Member

      Doesn’t say, but must have cv joint conversion…

  6. Elanguy

    The 12,000 vs. 9,000 figures are because the large total includes the Elan +2 which many of us consider to be a different car.

    This is a series 3 FWIW, not significant considering it’s use. Nice car, but would take a number of parts to complete it as a street car if you wanted stuff like side windows. Of course those are regularly available as people convert street cars for race use.

    The quotes I have read from Gordon Murray were that he didn’t match the steering, or steering feel. I kinda think he’s pretty happy with the overall handling of his cars. He drove an Elan to work when he was designing the McLaren cars, just as a benchmark I would suppose.

    I see the photos say Wirewheel.com, so maybe he got it from Hayes Harris, or???? Hayes is a good guy IMHO. If I were interested I might call both of them.

    Like 2

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