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1970 Lotus Elan S4 SE DHC

Sold Price


  • Mileage~78,277
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.6L
  • LocationSouthwell


1970 Lotus Elan S4 SE DHC

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Paul Wright
Professional Consigner

With a steel backbone chassis and a fibreglass body, the result is an excellent handling two-seater sports car.

The Series 1 Elan was launched in 1962. Designed by Ron Hickman under the Colin Chapman ethos, from the beginning, the Elan was quite advanced for the time with a twin-cam 1,558 cc engine and 4-wheel disc brakes, plus the independent suspension. There were many revisions, running up to the 1968 Series 4. All the Series were available as either a standard version or the slightly more powerful and luxurious SE model, with the SE meaning special equipment.

This car is a S4, coming to market from ~2.5 year ownership in a classic car collection. A drop head coupe believed to be in its original colour of "Lotus Yellow", the car was restored by a previous owner, the owner before the current also keeping the car in a collection with limited use over 8 years. The current owner had the car put through a thorough service and set up with a marque specialist when first acquired, and some more recent work to ensure the car is ready for sale.

This listing was written from information supplied by Paul after meeting Ben the custodian, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

Purchased very much with a plan was to enjoy the car, when Covid struck we didn’t really get a chance to use it.

The Lotus was purchased to become part of a very usable collection where the cars get driven regularly to keep everything ticking over as it should. This was pre-Covid, and since then, the vendor has not really had the time to enjoy the Lotus as much as he would have liked.

Mechanically the car was initially given a full check over and MOT ready for the road. Then with Covid and lockdowns, it never really had the use which was intended for the sporty two-seater. Now with a shift around in the collection, the Lotus has drawn the short straw to be sold, but this does give someone a chance to become the proud owner of a classic Lotus Elan. It is part of a collection which Ben manages for a private collector. Ben will be happy to answer any questions about the car in the comments section below.


Ben saved £3,420* when they
sold their Lotus with us.


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It’s certainly a colour which stands out - but just perfect for the Lotus Elan S4.

Wheels and Tyres

The steel wheels are finished in silver and in great condition after a refurbishment by a previous keeper over two years ago. The knock-offs are in good order, with no signs of excessive tarnishing.

A set of matching Michelin tyres are fitted, which are in like new condition. Please see the image gallery to take a closer look at the wheels.


The bodywork on this 1970 Lotus Elan was repainted as part of an older restoration. The fibreglass body looks to be in good shape, with the doors, bonnet and boot aligning as they should for an Elan of this era. The removable vinyl roof fits well, a replacement that was fitted by a previous owner. The condition is good, with just a small tear by one of the press studs, but this doesn’t really affect how it fastens to the body.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our hi-resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view of what’s on offer and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


Finished in what is believed to be the original colour of "Lotus Yellow", the paintwork presents well on the plain surfaces of the car. There are odd chips here and there, and with this being an older restored example, there is some crazing in places which is often seen with a fibreglass body as well as some significant flakes appearing to the front of the car where the body meets the bumper as pictured.

The images are taken from a few different angles to show off the car as you would see it if you were standing there for yourselves. So please take the time to fully assess these hi-resolution images and videos of the car, for you to make up your own minds about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

The windows look in good condition, with just some light age-related marks. The chrome frames are in good condition with a bright finish and a small amount of tarnishing.

The vacuum-operated headlights flip around as they should, and the lights are working and look to be in good order. The indicators and rear light lenses are free from splits or cracks.


Sporty seats, wooden dashboard, three-spoke steering wheel - what more did you need in 1970!

Seats and Carpets

The seats in the Elan are thought to be the originals which are in relatively good order. Unfortunately, the vinyl has split in the corners a little on both seats, but the faces remain in good condition.

The black carpets look in good order, there is a small amount of age-related wear, as you would expect, but this is minimal. Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.


The dash has no splits or damage to the top section. The wooden fascia has some cracking to the lacquered finish, which has come off in several places, possibly an original item.

The instruments are said to be working correctly, with the oil pressure showing a healthy reading when running, and the odometer is currently reading ~78,277 miles. You can see further detail in the image gallery.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

Sitting in the driver's seat, you are faced with a lovely three-spoke steering wheel showing Colin Chapman’s signature on the lower spoke. Unfortunately, there is some wear to the rim, which has worn through, but there are several steering wheel specialists who would happily retrim this sought-after steering wheel.

The gear knob is wooden and finished with a metal inlay showing the shift pattern. Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.


The Lotus 1.6 twin-cam is a joy to drive and sounds impressive out on the open road.

Engine and Gearbox

The 1.6 engine fires up just as it should and comes quickly to an even idle. No untoward noises come from the revy twin-cam engine, and the Stromberg carburettors sound fantastic when the throttle is blipped. Recently the radiator has been re-cored and is now as good as new. The 4-speed gearbox has a smooth change, and the Elan pulls well through the gears.

Suspension and Brakes

On the road, the Elan handles like a dream. There are no knocks or bangs coming from the suspension, and Ben reports the car to come to a stop in a straight line with no juddering through the pedal.

The Drive

There's no place like home, and for the Lotus Elan, it’s blasting along a twisty B road where the chassis can be explored to its full potential. It's a great fun car to drive, which will reward you with an excellent driving experience making it a must for any two-seater sports car fans.

Electrics and Other

Everything in the car is reported to be working just as it should. However, the switchgear does have some age-related wear, and there is also some wear to the lettering on the fascia panel.

Please see the interior gallery for more detailed images.

History and Paperwork

Coming to market from ~2.5 years in a private collection, there is some nice history file with the Lotus dating back to the mid-80s, it's been serviced and is now ready to go.

With just three previous keepers noted on the V5, it would appear the Lotus has been well cherished for several years, where the previous keepers have enjoyed ownership for prolonged periods. In the past ten years, the Lotus has had very little use covering approximately ~3,000 miles which can be seen in the MOT history. The last MOT expired in September 2021, but the car is MOT-exempt. Having been set-up for use when initially purchased in the current ownership, this is a very usable classic Lotus Elan S4, which is perfect for anyone looking for that special British two-seater.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
01.10.2020 MOT 78,219
10.06.2019 MOT 77,936
12.06.2018 MOT 77,887
25.06.2014 MOT 76,661
24.05.2013 MOT 75,673
27.06.2012 MOT 75,140
16.06.2011 MOT 73,560
17.03.1986 MOT 69,842
31.07.1982 MOT 66,167
14.06.1981 MOT 61,197
Key Details
  • ModelElan S4 DHC
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date19.06.1970
  • CC1,558
  • Mileage~78,277
  • ColourLotus Yellow
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #7005110126G
  • Engine #L22389K27
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers3
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~2.5 years
  • Key FeatureReady to go, usable classic
  • Auction ID1165

Vehicle Sold

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Ask Questions
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Kulraj Salh

Reserve Met – This car is now on sale – Good luck with the bidding. Kulraj – Trade Classics


Condition of chassis?


Hi Ben, I’ve just been watching your Elan on the video and I noticed the oil pressure on start up was extremely high, is the gauge faulty or is that normal with your car? What oil pressure does it normally run at when hot? Do you get any overheating problems in traffic as I would need to drive the car back through Birmingham. Is the hood in good condition and does it fit well? Do you know when the engine was last rebuilt? Where would the car have to be collected from. I hope you can answer these questions as… Read more »


Vehicle Location

Southwell, Nottinghamshire

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