1972 Lotus Elan Sprint

Trade Classics > Auctions > Lotus > 1972 Lotus Elan Sprint
Auction ID
Reserve Not Met
Posted on
3rd of April 2019 at 12:11 PM
Highest Bidder


    Lotus Elan Sprint
    Reg. Date
    April 1972
    Interior Colour
    Blue / Black
    Interior Trim
    Chassis #
    Engine #
    Yes - £40k
    Exp. Sep 2019
    HPi Clear
    Yes - Checking in Progress
    LHD or RHD
    Vehicle Visited
    Sale Type
    Key Feature
    3346 times


*** UPDATE: This car has now been sold for £36,000 all inclusive ***

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Meet Peter, a former customer of ours having bought a Jaguar XK8 that we consigned from a private collection last year. Now he’s consigned his little Lotus Elan Sprint to us to find a new owner, and what an example it is.

Like us all here at Trade Classics, Peter is a petrol head through and through and he’s owned many Lotus examples over the years; owning his first when he was only 20 years old. He has owned ten cars over the years, to name but a few: Lotus 7; Sprints; Europa; Elans and +2’s. Along with his passion for cars, he also loves classic motorbikes and has a few that he enjoys and takes to shows.

This Elan has been restored over a number of years, most recently in 2015 by the well known Kessel family, by their Kessel Classic division. Looking through the paperwork quickly, you can see the car has had in-excess of £40,000 spent on it to bring it to this condition.

Peter has only owned this car for around 6 months before deciding that he really needs to sell it. As Peter says himself ”The unfortunate thing about it is, with my progressing years, and my arthritis, I am suffering rather to drive a sports car with a competition clutch”. And with that, the car is up for sale to find a new owner.



The exterior on this Lotus Elan Sprint is in really good condition. Finished in the Gold Leaf livery, it looks fast even when stationary.

Wheels & Tyres
Sitting on period steel knock-off wheels, and wrapped in 13” Michelin tyres all around. They look to have been refurbished as part of the restoration and so are in excellent condition. Please watch the video and take a look at the images.

The bodywork on this car looks great. Shut-lines look correct across the whole car. The underside of the car looks very clean, testament to the car not having been driven through the harsh UK climate since its restoration. Peter believes that the car stands on its original chassis given the mileage of the car, and taking a look underneath, however this isn’t verified. Watch the video for the detail.

Finished in the Gold Leaf livery some 5 years ago (so any cracking/crazing of the body will have shown up by now), this wasn’t the original colour as you can see from the provenance letter from the Lotus archives, but they have done a great job during the restoration. There is some very faint and slight crazing in the tell-tale places like where the wiper arms go into the scuttle, typical of a fibre-glass bodied car like an Elan Sprint. There is some slight micro-blistering in the paint on the front nearside wheel arch, the only blemish on an excellent restoration job we could see. Take a look at the video review to see all the panels up close.

Glass and Trim
Everything looks really good on this car, the brightwork is lovely and the windscreen and door windows all look great too. The soft-top roof was in the boot, since it was a hot day we didn’t bother putting it up, but it also looked new in-line with the restoration age.



Along with the exterior and mechanical restoration on this car, the interior has been re-trimmed too and looks really smart in the dark colour.

Seats and Carpets
The seats are trimmed in a dark blue leather, and the carpets are a black colour; all look in great condition and very smart. Watch the video and images to see the condition and quality.

Wood veneer trim across the dash, and the switch gear and dials all look really good. We would guess that they were refurbished and/or replaced during the restoration given how good they look. Take a look at the video to review the condition.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
Wood trimmed steering wheel and gear stick on this car. Both look in good condition, and match the rest of the cabin nicely. Take a look at the photographs.



Peter took me on some country roads in the local area to show what this car is really about, a spirited drive with the wind in our hair.

Engine and Gearbox
The car started from stone cold without issue. There was a little blueish smoke, this is common with this DOHC design, a result of oil drainage, but you’ll see in the video no smoke once the car has been run. Peter put the car through its paces, and the gearbox responded to his inputs with ease. From the provenance material, you’ll see that the car had a Vegantune engine fitted back in 1979. Watch the on the road video to see the detail.

Suspension and Brakes
The car looks to have had a complete overhaul in both of these respects. On our short trip, the car performed without issue. On the country roads it looked like an involved drive, but the car responded to Peter’s inputs as you would expect.

The Drive
A quick blast along some local back roads, it was a very enjoyable drive in the evening summer sun.

Electrics and Other
Not a lot of electrics on this car, but Peter assures us that everything works as it should do. Importantly the headlights pop up instantly! The car has also been fitted with a stainless steel exhaust system and polished exhaust manifold as you’ll see from the video review of the exterior. Also, the car is fitted with an electric fuel pump for ease of use, and a power isolation switch for extra safety.



The car comes with lots of invoices detailing the restoration. Importantly, you can see all of the work that was covered by Kessel Classic (here’s a video Petrolocious filmed about some of their classic racing work). Although the car was not finished in the Gold Leaf livery originally, you will see from the archive letter that it was importantly an original DHC, rather than a conversion.

The car is showing just over 80,200 miles as of 15.07.2019, however, this is a UK speedometer in miles that Peter fitted around a couple of months ago. The old speedometer reads around 40,000 miles (64,313 KM) and will be supplied with the sale. As you’ll see from the restoration documents, most of those miles will have been in its early life, not in the last 10 years.

HPi Check Results
– The seller tells us the car is HPi clear and will be supported by our own HPi check.



We love these little Elan Sprints, having sold an unrestored version last year. ”Simplify, and then add lightness” is the mantra that makes Lotus… well Lotus.

The sound of the little 1.6L twin-cam engine out front is intoxicating as you are whizzing about. Couple that with great handling, and it’s no wonder why these cars were so popular.

Having been restored by Kessel Classic, with over £40,000 in receipts etc, this car is ready to be enjoyed, shown, cherished. The next owner won’t be disappointed.



This auction listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from Peter (owner and seller of the vehicle) and having visited the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Peter will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.

UsernameBid AmountDate MadeWinner
RacingTech£30,000.0015-Aug-2019 13:59:05 
Tonka£27,000.0014-Aug-2019 16:23:22 
RacingTech£25,000.0014-Aug-2019 15:20:05 
Tonka£20,000.0013-Aug-2019 23:18:16 
Tonka£15,000.0011-Aug-2019 22:09:12 


Got a question or comment?

Show Bids Only
£30,000 bid by RacingTech 15.08.2019 @ 13:59:05
£27,000 bid by Tonka 14.08.2019 @ 16:23:22
£25,000 bid by RacingTech 14.08.2019 @ 15:20:05
£20,000 bid by Tonka 13.08.2019 @ 23:18:16

Please could you give me some more information regarding the replacement engine? I assume that it was replaced and not overhauled therefore the engine is not the original one from new?