NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2015

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1966 Lotus Elan S2 Ex Peter Sellers

Lot No.: 312

Registration: SAR 57D
Chassis Number: 455897
Engine Number: LP6234LBA
CC: 1558
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Sold for (£): 50,625

The original Lotus Elan (Type 26), was first introduced as a roadster and replaced the elegant, but unreliable and costly to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use a steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body and in the early days, Elans were also available in kit form for home assembly but predictably that didn't last long. As is often the way, the Elan evolved through a number of iterations before manufacture ceased in 1973. These developments mainly concerned comfort and civility but all through its life the essence of the Elan didn't change. A technologically advanced DOHC development of Ford's proven ‘Kent' engine, bored out to 1558cc (commonly known as the Twin-Cam) provided the propulsion, whilst cutting-edge features such as all-round disc brakes, fully independent suspension and nimble rack and pinion steering provided agility and handling that was simply amazing compared to the opposition.

Colin Chapman proudly announced in the launch literature that "We wanted to build you a fun car.."; a brief he achieved with vigour thanks to the fact that his unequalled talent for vehicle set-up was never more prevalent than in the Elan's performance. Exciting paintwork colours were introduced such as Carnival Red, Pistachio Lime Green and the delectable Lotus Yellow and the Elan became the 'Darling' of the High Street in the mid-sixties. The Series 2 (S2) appeared in 1966 and featured a number of cosmetic and detail improvements over the earlier car and the Special Equipment (SE) model featured centre lock wheels and electric windows.

'SAR 57D' is a 1966, Elan S2-SE and was first registered in July of that year. It has been enjoyed by three previous owners and the vendor, and has an indicated mileage of 65,611 which we cannot verify but may well be correct as the car has been in dry storage and SORN'd since August, 2005. The car is in reasonable condition, it wouldn't take a lot to put some sparkle in the White paintwork and the Black interior is a little tired, but all it really needs is a bit of a tidy and some tlc. The original V5 is with the car, as are MoT Certificates from July 1977 until 2005 and it will be MoT'd by the time of sale. However, we suspect that the main interest in this Elan will be in its first owner, a certain Peter Sellers and according to the V5, the car was delivered to him at 37 Panton St, Haymarket on 22nd. July 1966.

There may be a few people who have never heard of Peter Sellers- but it will only be a few. He was a legendary Actor and Comedian as well as being a talented Singer, Director and Photographer, who sadly passed away in 1980. In terms of Acting and Comedy he is regarded as being in the top 50 in the world at both, ever. His body of work is too vast to list here but Dr Strangelove, the Pink Panther, Inspector Clouseau and the Goon show have all had an influence on British society.

Girls played a major part in his life, he was married four times including Britt Eckland (64-68) and Lynne Frederick (77-80), and during the sixties and seventies was frequently seen in the company of the world's most beautiful women. Perhaps less known was his passion for cars, having owned dozens, and never missing a photo opportunity with his new toy, whether on four wheels or two legs. Which makes it strange that we can only locate one picture of him in this car, popping up from underneath the closed tonneau cover and about to come out with some piece of wisdom in the voice of "Bluebottle" (Ask your Dad).

We hope that we may soon have access to a file of photographs containing some more shots of him in this car with Britt Eckland by the time of sale, however naturally, we can make no guarantees. Whether this little white Elan interests you as a motoring project or a piece of Movie Memorabilia, please come and talk to us.