Lot details Registration No: ORA320E Chassis No: 45/6257 Mot Expiry: None
"The Elan remains the definitive small-bore sportscar, the standard by which all others have come to be measured" (Car & Driver magazine, December 1989)
Brainchild of Lotus design and development engineer Ron Hickman, the Elan was introduced at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show. Based around a steel backbone chassis (a.k.a. the 'Chapman Bracket') clad with lightweight glassfibre reinforced plastic bodywork, it boasted such niceties as all-round independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, pop-up headlights and integral bumpers. Powered by a 1600cc (initially 1500cc) 'twin-cam' four-cylinder engine mated to four-speed (later five-speed) manual transmission, the diminutive Lotus redefined its class in terms of ride, handling and performance. One of the most desirable Elan derivatives, the S3 arrived in September 1965. Characterised by its electric windows, redesigned dashboard and better trim, the model was reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and 120mph. Only in production for two and a half years, the S3 remains keenly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Finished in white with black vinyl upholstery, this particular example is variously described by the vendor as being in "poor" (paintwork), "average" (bodywork, wheels / tyres), "fairly good" (interior trim), "good" (four-speed manual gearbox, electrical equipment) or "excellent" (chassis, 1558cc engine) condition. Believed but not warranted to have covered 46,808 miles from new, 'ORA 320E' has been in the current ownership since 1977. Reportedly treated to an engine rebuild just 700 miles ago, the Elan is also understood to have been fitted with a new Lotus galvanised chassis by Christopher Neal Ltd during 1984. Although in need of a respray, the drophead coupe sports newly recovered seats, a stainless steel exhaust and replacement hood. Failing a recent MOT test due to "a missing brake pedal rubber, inadequately locked rear driveshaft flange bolt, ineffective offside rear front suspension locking device and weak offside rear parking brake etc", it apparently comes with a number of spare parts including wheel trims, badges, chrome boot hinges, brake pads and light bulbs etc. A potentially rewarding winter project, 'ORA 320E' is offered for sale with an original Lotus Elan works manual and paperwork / invoices relating to its engine rebuild.
PLEASE NOTE: We have not had this vehicle running.