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1971 Lotus Elan Sprint FHC

This vehicle has now been sold - click ‘Register Similar’ below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Sold Price

£31,270

  • Mileage94,909
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.6L
  • LocationStroud

SOLD

1971 Lotus Elan Sprint FHC

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Introduction

Kulraj Singh Salh
COO

Driving an Elan sprint is a visceral experience. You just know that you're going to get along...

The Lotus Elan was the first road car for the company and featured a steel backbone chassis and fibreglass body, which was to become an influence for the Lotus design philosophy for the next three decades. Lauded for critical acclaim throughout its production, and beyond, as one of the finest drivers cars ever built. The car underwent a series of evolutions culminating in the Sprint in 1970.

Considered to be the pinnacle of the Elan series, this 1971 example has twin 40DCOE Webers, the ‘big valve’ engine fitted and verified as one of the 1,353 genuine factory-built Elan Sprints by a Lotus Archivist. Finished in Gold Leaf Colours in homage to the Lotus 49 race cars, this car was exported to France in 1984, where it was well maintained and enjoyed for three decades until it was repatriated with its original registration in 2016. While in France it was subject to a magazine article but the owner wisely chose not to convert it to LHD. Needless to say, the Elan is firmly wedged in the status of the classic sports car and therefore considered as an investment. As a driving experience, the Elan Sprint is extremely desirable and guaranteed to offer 100% entertainment for its new owner.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Kulraj after meeting Tony the owner, 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

The Sprint is too good to go unused, and a little too nice for trips to the shop!

Tony the owner of this FHC Elan Sprint is also lucky enough to also own an Elan +2 which has been re-engineered with a Zetec engine and gearbox which he uses daily. As a result, the Sprint isn't being used as much as he'd like, and he'd like to free up some room for some projects he's working on.

The previous owner in France carried out major improvement work assuming he was going to keep the car, but his desire to own a big Healey overtook him. Tony was selling an LHD 100/6 and there was an exchange of cars. The car is now re-registered in the UK with its original UK registration.

Tony
Vehicle Owner

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Exterior

Finished in the iconic Gold Leaf livery, this is the Elan to have.

Wheels and Tyres

The Michelin tyres date from 2007 and are in well above legal condition, with good tread. The steel wheels with knock off centres and chrome embellishments are in decent condition too.

Bodywork

In it's fixed head coupe form, it really looks the part, something you'd expect to see on the race track compared to the DHC you tend to see. The factory-built fibreglass body is in good condition with no issues with the Lotus replacement chassis, which is in excellent condition. The areas under the bonnet, boot and roof are good, with no cracks or damage.

The passenger door panel gaps will be familiar with those who have owned a fibreglass car in the past - they open and shut with no issues but ideally, need to be adjusted to allow a flush fit.

Paint

Painted in Gold Leaf livery, it's an unmistakable link to the racing heritage of this car. The overall finish of the paint is good for a car of its age, with no paint crazing or cracking you often see at stress points on a fibreglass car.

There are some areas of blistering in the pain. These areas are mostly confined to the surface on the bonnet, tops of rear wings and a few scattered imperfections spread over the boot. These areas, particularly the bonnet would benefit from a repaint. There are a handful of minor chips on the body, with a small nick on the nearside front wing being the worst.

Glass and Trim

The glass is good, with no significant issues regarding chips, scratches or damage. It has seen new seals to the doors, windows, windscreen and is all leak-free. All of the chrome trim is in good condition, complete and correct for the model.

Interior

The interior has been well preserved with a pleasing amount of originality.

Seats and Carpets

The interior condition reflects careful ownership, and there are no problems with the vinyl finishing. The seats as a result are in good condition with the smallest signs of wear. They are free from rips and tears. The carpets and headlining are complete and in good condition.

Dashboard

The wooden veneer finish of the dashboard shows its age but is not unappealing and displays a pleasing patina. The switchgear, instruments and controls are in good working order. The top of the facia is in good condition with no cracks. The main issue that has been pointed out by the owner, is the possible renewal of the rear parcel shelf damage which would require a new board.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel and gear stick are in-line with the overall well-kept condition and do not show excessive wear or damage.

Mechanics

A lot of effort has been focused on the heart of the car, the 'Big Valve' engine beats with purpose.

Engine and Gearbox

It has the correct specification big valve engine on twin 40DCOE Webers although the block has been replaced at some point. The Twin-Cam engine was rebuilt less than 7000 miles ago and the presentation suggests good maintenance and regular attention.

It starts up with no problems, it was observed that it ran a little lumpy on idle but this may be due to the high lift cam. It has also received a new big-bore stainless steel exhaust, new electric twin radiator fans, new Powerlite starter motor, Airbox kit and Electronic ignition over the last decade. The gearbox is said to perform well too.

Suspension and Brakes

The visual condition of the Tony Thompson Racing suspension is in great condition. These are an upgrade from the stock set-up, and have been replaced by the previous owner in France, and have covered minimal miles since. They are said to function just as expected, with no unwanted noises or knocking. The brakes are in decent working order with no problems with their function.

The Drive

The car has benefited from some extensive suspension and engine work, so it retains its razor-sharp qualities. The emotive noise and urge from the engine is almost a primal instinct to push the car further into the corners just to test how much it will make you smile. There cannot be any doubt about this little car, and there are very few cars out there that even gets this close for the sheer driving experience.

Electrics and Other

There are no reported issues with the electrics on the car, with the wiring loom having recently been subject to an overhaul. The vacuum operated headlights rise and fall just as you'd expect on a car like this.

The speedo is not currently working. Tony has looked at the dial and instrument, in addition to the cable, all appear to be ok. This leads him to believe that it must be the connection to the gearbox causing it not to operate.

History and Paperwork

The car has received specialist attention since the '80s and has been maintained to a good standard.

The car comes with a stack of paperwork dating back to the '80s in the UK, and has gained evidence of good maintenance and care while it was living in France. The chassis plate number was decoding as a May 1971 car, batch number 12 with unit number 0259, the latter is moulded into the bulkhead and is written on the inside of various trim panels. This verifies the Sprint's authenticity as a factory-built car. While in France it was subject to a new wiring loom and new seals to doors, windows, windscreen, new big bore stainless steel exhaust, new electric twin radiator fans, new Powerlite starter motor, Airbox kit and Electronic ignition, as well as a new Tony Thompson Racing kit (coils, springs and all the bushes) All these items are backed up in the paperwork.

We've actioned checks on; Seller ID, V5, HPi Clear.

Key Details
  • ModelElan Sprint FHC
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date1971
  • CC1,558
  • Mileage~94,909
  • HistorySome
  • ColourGold Leaf
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #7105120259E
  • Engine #[Updated] - LP4730LB-A
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • Former Keepers5
  • Tyre BrandMichelin
  • Tyre Age2007
  • LHD or RHDRHD
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned5 years
  • Key FeatureA new chassis







Vehicle Sold

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Show Bids Only
£29,500 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 19:07:14
£29,100 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 19:05:03
£28,800 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 19:03:53
£28,500 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 19:01:08
£28,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 18:57:26
£27,500 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 18:56:28
£27,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 18:55:13
£26,500 bid by grumpy 05.03.2021 @ 18:54:13
£26,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 18:49:07
£25,500 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 18:47:22
£25,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 15:57:14
£24,500 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 15:27:57
£24,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 13:15:40
£23,000 bid by tractorman 05.03.2021 @ 12:53:40
£22,000 bid by brammal 05.03.2021 @ 11:24:47
£21,000 bid by grumpy 04.03.2021 @ 21:11:51
£19,000 04.03.2021 @ 18:38:31
£18,000 bid by gtsdino 03.03.2021 @ 19:32:38
£15,000 bid by grumpy 03.03.2021 @ 16:27:40
ronbmini
Member
ronbmini

Also, The engine number does not follow the Lotus standard, do you know why?

Kulraj Salh
Admin

The seller Tony has also provided a picture of the engine number, and we’ve updated the recorded number in our listing accordingly, you can see the picture here; https://www.tradeclassics.com/auctions/lotus/1971-lotus-elan-fhc-sprint/#gallery3-45

ronbmini
Member
ronbmini

Hi A couple of questions:
1. Can you please confirm preferably by photo the casting letter on the cylinder head, this is in front of the first spark plug. It should be a N or H to denote a big valve head.
2. On Elan Sprints there is a lip on the rear valance which protrudes downwards 1/2″ approx. This car doesn’t have this. Do you know why? S4’s didn’t have this lip.

Kulraj Salh
Admin

Hi ronbmini, Tony the seller has supplied an image with regards question 1, you can see it here; https://www.tradeclassics.com/auctions/lotus/1971-lotus-elan-fhc-sprint/#gallery3-44

£12,000 bid by gtsdino 02.03.2021 @ 17:46:43
£10,000 bid by ronbmini 02.03.2021 @ 17:06:57
Richard
Guest
Richard

Has the chassis been replaced ?
how old are the front wishbones and rear suspension components ?

Kulraj Salh
Admin

Hi Richard, in addition to Tony’s answer above, he’s supplied us with a picture of the kit which we’ve uploaded; https://www.tradeclassics.com/auctions/lotus/1971-lotus-elan-fhc-sprint/#gallery3-42

£6,000 bid by NMRWB 01.03.2021 @ 12:42:18
£5,000 bid by gtsdino 27.02.2021 @ 16:51:31
£2,500 bid by GSmith23 27.02.2021 @ 16:26:33
£2,000 bid by NMRWB 26.02.2021 @ 12:33:01
dakar25
Member
dakar25

I notice the choke cable is in the boot, has the engine modifications negated the need for a choke?

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Vehicle Location

Stroud, Gloucestershire

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