A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Estimate: £125,000 - £140,000
+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%
After the Lotus Elan (known internally as model '26') was successfully introduced in 1962 as a lightweight and technologically advanced sports car, the factory decided to build a racing version for privateer teams of the day to race and promote the Lotus brand in national sports car race meetings. Hence the introduction of the '26R' version of the Series 1 Elan which was raced to great effect by privateer teams, such as Walker Racing and Chequered Flag. They were driven by top drivers of the day such as Jim Clark, Jackie Oliver, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir John Whitmore. The car featured a myriad of sporting upgrades including; a light alloy bell housing, gearbox tail shaft and LSD as well as engine enhancements, suspension enhancements, different magnesium knock on wheels, larger tyres with unique wheel arches built into the bodyshell. The modifications were very comprehensive and too lengthy to list fully here, however only 97 genuine cars left the Lotus factory. Many others were later upgraded and modified to 26 R spec but the real factory cars with period history are extremely rare and highly valuable today. Our car offered at the February 2013 Race Retro sale is a genuine factory produced 26R (chassis no. 26/R-43) with a known history from new and benefits from a recent invite and appearance at the 2012 Goodwood Revival meeting. According to the history file which contains a letter from Lotus Cars confirming it was a factory produced 26R and originally supplied new in 1964 to a Mr. P.G. Chanley, who kept the car until 1970 when it was then exported to Oregon in the USA and raced by a Mr. Richard Methuin. The car was re-imported to the Uk in 1990 by a Mr. Bob Tabor who was the proprietor of South Hereford Garages, a respected VW/Audi main dealer. Bob had the car totally rebuilt by noted historic race preparer and driver, Simon Hadfield, and bills in the file relate to Simon professionally running the car for him up until about 1996, during which time just about everything was replaced or substantially upgraded. Renowned engine builders, Racing Fabrications of Suffolk, rebuilt the engine comprehensively in 1997 when it was dyno'd and produced 172 bhp. The car is presented with HSCC Papers and has also recently been inspected and granted fresh FIA HTP Papers which will be available around time of auction depending on the processing time for the papers. The car was then left largely unused until being purchased by our vendor for light competition use. Shortly after purchase the car was subject to exstensive refresh with Andrew Tart Motor engineers at a cost of over £13,500 from 2006 to 2007. The car most recently had over £11,000 spent on it with highly respected historic race preparer Neil Twyman in October 2012, just prior to taking part in the 2012 Goodwood Revival Fordwater Trophy. It is now being made ready to race again and made sure to be 'on the button' by Lotus guru and expert Paul Matty for the next lucky owner.