1965 Lotus Elan Vintage Racer For Sale

George emailed me over the weekend to alert me that his Lotus Elan vintage racer was available for sale. I pointed him to BringATrailer of course as they have a strong standing in the vintage racing community. His car is now listed there as an exclusive:

BaT Exclusive: 1965 Lotus Elan Vintage Racer:

Additional detail on the car from George:

The car is a 1965 Lotus elan “GTS” race car, this is a real vintage race car (meaning it has period race history) The car is configured as a 26R but is not one of the documented factory cars. Has most all of the appropriate and correct homologation pieces that a fully kitted lotus race car would have. The 4 spoke, peg drive, magnesium wheels that the lotus used on the purpose build ( formula cars) alloy drive train ( lotus would substitute magnesium for any piece that was iron, or even aluminum in order to drive the weight down . Engine on the car is the venerable lotus twin cam as pre-prepared by BRM ( same company that was a Formula 1 rival to Lotus in the the 60’s but also an engine supplier and did race engines for the production based cars like the 26R, 47 and Cortina. Cosworth had the contract for the formula and group 4 cars ) to phase 4 spec.

These cars define lightweight sports cars and the racing versions scaled even lighter. 26R’s were often classed with the Shelby Cobra and Ferrari GT’s of the time and in most cases only had to worry about the Cobra’s before being banned from production racing by the SCCA in 66 (I never knew they banned the 26R ,but Dave Bean says they did, the Lotus super seven ban is more widely known about ). The light weight makes these cars accelerate and stop far better than their peers -lotus also have a deserved reputation for being able to make a car go around a corner.

There is a lot of chatter in the comments section of the BaT post regarding the wheels. But it’s great to see all the enthusiasts come together to add their expertise to the mix. One thing they all agree on:

That is one REALLY GOOD LOOKING ELAN and worth every penny of $50k.

That really sums it up doesn’t it?!

Since George contacted me, he has now shot a couple of short videos of the car, including this one with the engine running and blipping the throttle:

Oh what a sound, and I love the side exit for the exhaust!

Thanks for contacting me George, and good luck with your sale!

dc

1977 Lotus Esprit S1: Nice Mileage, For Sale in Portland

Only 56k miles on this very early Lotus Esprit. Looks like a really fun car!

1977 LOTUS Esprit S1 on Portland Craigslist:

1977 Lotus Esprit S1 For Sale1977 Lotus Esprit S1 For Sale Interior

quote from CL posting:

Custom Connelly Leather and wood interior. New tires. 24 mpg 140 MPH. Manheim Gold Book says $17,000 for excellent. $13,000 for good. $25,000 for show. I think this is close to excellent. More than $35,000 invested. 56,000 miles
I will sell it this weekend to the best offer over $10,000

I had to check Wikipedia on the S1 to know all the specs on this car. Under 2200 pounds, 140hp engine, and mid-engined. What other exotic could you buy for $10k with these kinds of credentials and pedigree?

Ed, is this the same twin cam that was fitted to your Jensen?

dc

Lotus 7 Clones in the U.S.

Blair and I were recently talking about the availability of Lotus 7 clones (Caterham, Ultralite, Westfield, etc) in the U.S. I’m a big fan of these cars, but didn’t really have a good answer for availability or cost to be expected. So I did a little digging 🙂

First of all, I really didn’t look for original Lotus 7’s because they’re nearly a different animal altogether compared to the clones, which represent significant engineering enhancements year after year since the 70’s.

Check these out, which I found on USA7s.org:

1996 Westfield on USA7s.org w/ 11k miles, in TX, for $20k:
1996 Westfield for sale

Ford Kent 1700cc engine
Twin 45 DCOE Weber carbs.
High Compression Pistons
Oversize Valve
Competition Sump with full length baffle
13 row oil cooler
5 speed manual with short shift
LSD 3.9
ATS forged wheels
Curtains
Full tonneau and top

2007 Westfield Mazda Sport on USA7s.org ($24k, NC, 1200 miles):
Westfield Mazda Sport 2007

This very car was also the most popular “7” type car at the Carlisle show.This was also the Westfield USA display car. Upgrades include powder coated chassis and suspension, race seats on slide mounts, 5 point 3 inch harnesses, removable steering wheel, quick steering rack, nylon suspension bushings , heated windshield, long range fuel tank, Westfield shift knob, trunk tonneau cover and removable rear fenders.

2004 Caterham Superlight R on USA7s.org (4k miles, NJ, More than $34k less than $49k – read the thread for details):
2004 Caterham Superlight R

• I took delivery in May 2005 and am the first owner
• Car is a 2003/4 Superlight built by Rex M. of Speed Classics
• Powered by non-SVT Zetec with throttle bodies
• Full windshield (also have aeroscreen — actually sold this in 2007)
• 6-speed Caterham tranny with LSD
• Full carbon pack – front and rear fenders, dash, and sills
• 15″ rims with Avon CR500s
• Composite/carpet seats with 4 & 5 point harnesses
• Heat shielding on firewall
• NEW AS OF 07/07 — Raceline Water Rail

And I’m not done yet! Here’s two more extreme clones for sale right here in the PNW:

Brand new Ultralite S2k for $36k in WA on Portland Craigslist:
Ultralite S2k For Sale Red

NEW: This fabulous remake of the Lotus7 will blow Dad’s socks off. It’s powered by a Honda’s 240HP S2000 engine, w/ stock Honda 6 speed close ratio gear box, and sports a Subaru WRX independent coil-over rear suspension. It stops on a dime with all Wilwood brakes with 12 inch rotors f&r. With 240 HP this 1240 pound car flies (5 lbs/hp!): 0 to 60 MPH in 3.5 sec, and the ¼ mile in 11.87 sec.

2004 Ultralite S2k For Sale on eBayMotors (WA, 2500 miles, opening bid of $25.5):
2004 Ultralite S2k For Sale Yellow

So there you go Blair, from mild to wild, $20k – $40k+ looks to be the range for a good one.

Let me know if you have a 7 clone that should be listed or have other resources that should be listed. Leave a comment below!

dc

2005 Lotus Elise: This Changes Everything

Saturday I got a most outstanding opportunity to drive the 2005 Lotus Elise pictured below. Without a doubt, the fastest, best handling, and most exclusive car I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving.

For years, my benchmark for a ‘fast car’ was the Ford Mustang LX 5.0, which my roommate owned when I first started college. It was a 5 speed, and mated to that massive torque-monster V8, it was an irresponsibly fast car for kids to have access to. Burnouts through the first three gears were effortless and you could reach 100mph anytime you wanted to by hammering the gas in 3rd. At a time when I owned a $300 used Volvo, the Mustang felt like the Millennium Falcon.

In more recent years, I’ve had the pleasure of riding in the following great cars:

And driven these:

All these vehicles definitely diluted the mystique of the 5.0 in my mind, but certainly nothing has stood out so definitively as the Lotus has. It is strongly focused on achieving the most pure sports car experience possible. In fact, I remarked to Shana that the only car it really reminded me of that I had driven was our old 67 Midget 1275: Tiny, simple, noisy, convertible, hot, and raw are terms that would easily describe both cars. In the case of the MG, it was raw because it was made from rusty tin cans and could’ve flown apart at any time. In the Lotus, it was clearly engineered by a design that followed Colin Chapman’s original philosophy: Lighter is faster.

As we were finishing my drive in the Lotus, I remarked to Clayton, “This changes everything.” Nothing I have ever driven has been so quick, so sharp, so balanced… Well in my mind, this is the new benchmark for outstanding driving.

Which leads to our next problem. Now that Pandora’s box of exotic cars has been opened, what other cars could possibly provide this kind of emotional response? Of course, they’re probably Italian Supercars like Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, and Pagani’s.

And that’s the true trump card of the Lotus. While in a previous post, I made a quick summary of key features on the Lotus, I left out one important one: It’s price. The final sale price on the car I drove was likely somewhere between $50,000 and $55,000. While it’s a lot of money, certainly more than I could/should afford, it’s not out of line at all. In fact when compared to the company of cars I referred to above, that have the potential to meet it’s performance, it’s a downright bargain. Especially considering that the most affordable of the Italian supercars is the Ferrari 430 at an astounding $174,000! Yep, you could buy nearly 4 Elise’s at that price. Which begs the question, how much better could they be? Is it really four times the car? It’ll be a long time before I know the answer to that question, but for now, it’s hard to believe they could provide the same thrill-per-dollar that the Lotus delivers.

This post would not be complete without a very huge Thank You to Clayton Boss for sharing this latest acquisition with me. Clayton runs a specialty car brokerage and he will soon be offering this incredible car for sale. I’ve been helping him with his website remodel and I’ve volunteered to work up a detailed account of the car for his website. Stay tuned! Up first will be a blow-by-blow of my time behind the wheel.

dc

2005 Lotus Elise at BossAutos.com

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