Lotus Elan S1
Lotus's second attempt at a more sophisticated road car is still a handling and style benchmark. Built from 1962 to 1964.
Originally fitted with a 520-13 crossply tyre, a suitable modern radial replacement would be a 145R13. We would recommend the radial option as more in keeping with the performance of the car, as currently available crossplies are less sporty in character.
The original Lotus Elan arrived in 1962 in fully built or kit forms, with a 100bhp Ford 1499cc DOHC engine, disc brakes all round and all-independent suspension with rack-and-pinion steering. By 1963 the engine size had increased to 1558cc then a year later the Series 2 arrived with larger front brake callipers, a full-width wooden dashboard and single-piece rear light clusters; earlier cars got three separate units.
The Series 3 fixed-head coupé appeared in 1965 with electric windows as standard and an optional close-ratio gearbox. There was also a longer boot lid (to cure leaks) and the battery was now in the boot. The Elan SE (Special Equipment) of 1966 brought a 115bhp engine, a close-ratio gearbox, servo-assisted brakes and centre-lock wheels; the Series 3 convertible arrived at the same time.
In 1968 the Elan Series 4 coupé and convertible arrived, with flared wheelarches and new rear light clusters, a revised fascia (now with rocker switches) and a power bulge in bonnet. The final flourish in 1971 was the Elan Sprint, with a 126bhp big-valve engine, stronger transmission and two-tone paintwork.