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1969 Lotus Elan S4 SE


2 Former Keepers | Restored Example | Recent Upgrades

  • Mileage~25,475 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.6L
  • LocationStamford


1969 Lotus Elan S4 SE

Premium Classified Sale


Glyn Parry
Professional Consigner

A taste of pure 60s automotive magic, where speed meets style in perfect harmony.

The Series 1 Elan was launched in 1962. Designed by Ron Hickman under the leadership of Colin Chapman, the Elan was quite advanced for the time with a twin-cam 1,558cc engine, disc brakes all round and 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 example comes to market from ~2 year ownership, and has just 2 former keepers registered. It was restored in 1991 and then in long time storage for some time. Since then, it has been recommissioned by the current owner who has updated the car with new tyres, new rear disc brakes and pads, electronic ignition, coil, plugs and leads. New engine mounts have been fitted and a stainless steel exhaust added. During its current ownership, the Elan has also benefitted from a full carburettor rebuild and rolling road re-tune (with an output of ~112BHP noted), a new airbox was fitted, steering rack rebuilt, new track rod ends, new alternator, new coolant hoses and braided brake hoses. All in all, this is a very nice example that is ready for a new owner to enjoy.

This listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting David the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.


The Elan was the first Lotus road car to use a steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body - weighing in at just ~680kg.

Wheels and Tyres

The Elan is equipped with 13-inch steel wheels painted black with chrome trim. They are held in place by chrome knock-off spinners, all of which appear to be in good condition. As pictured, we did notice some signs of wear and paint chipping on the wheel finish.

The wheels are fitted with Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires, which seem to be in excellent condition on all four wheels. The tread specification was noted as 155/80 on all corners, with ample tread depth, and they were date-coded from 2022, having been replaced in current ownership.

For a more detailed view of the Lotus's exterior, including a closer inspection of the wheels and tires, please refer to the photo and video galleries.


The bodywork on this 1969 Lotus Elan underwent a complete restoration in 1991 by the previous owner, where the fiberglass shell was fully removed from the chassis and addressed in areas that needed attention. The shut lines look good, the offside of the boot does sit slightly proud, we couldn't spot any major panel distortions. Both doors, boot, and bonnet open and close smoothly. We didn't come across any significant dents on the car either, nothing raised any significant concerns during our visit.

For a more detailed assessment, we have provided high-resolution images and videos that highlight our observations. Please take the time to review these media files to assess the car's condition for yourselves.


Finished in a stunning "French Blue", the colour and finish remained consistent across most of the car, we didn't notice any major concerns with the coverage or markings on the paintwork. We did notice that the paintwork appeared somewhat worn in a few areas, which could benefit from detailing and some restorative work on the finish. Notably, we observed some crazing/cracks in the paint on the front offside bonnet cover and nearside boot edge, as well as a crack in the paint on the rear nearside quarter panel. There were also a few minor marks on the door shut sections.

Once again, we have captured high-resolution images and videos of the car, allowing you to independently assess the condition of the bodywork and paint. The images are taken from various angles to provide a comprehensive view of the car, as if you were standing right there. Take your time to review these high-resolution images and videos to form your own opinion about the condition of the paint.

Glass and Trim

All the glass sections on the Elan appeared to be in good condition, including the windscreen, windows, mirrors, and lenses. During our visit we didn't observe any cracks, chips, or significant scratching.

The window seals look respectable, although there are signs of rubber perishing that would benefit from restoration by the future owner. The trim, on the other hand, is in good order, but we did notice some slight pitting marks on the chrome trim around the side windows. There are a couple of interior marks that could be improved with some detailing too.

The tonneau cover and fold-up roof are in good condition. We also noted that the plastic screens in the roof section are in respectable condition, showing only a few signs of wear.


With vinyl-clad seats and finely crafted dashboard, the interior is actually quite fancy for a lightweight Lotus.

Seats and Carpets

The comfortable "Oatmeal" coloured vinyl seats are in good condition and offer excellent support. The outer bolster on the driver's seat appears to have softened slightly, but should be easily be firmed up with some restorative work.

The beige carpets are in good condition, with no significant wear visible on either the passenger or driver's side. We did notice a couple of stains in the drivers side door card. In the boot, there is a simple black carpet and a battery mounted on the side panel. For more detailed images of the cabin space, please refer to the interior gallery.


The black-topped dash and walnut fascia both seem to be in good condition. The dash shows no splits and doesn't present any major issues, although it could benefit from a thorough cleaning and detailing to enhance its overall appearance.

The instruments are reported to be in working order, although the tachometer's responsiveness can be a bit temperamental, it has since failed after our visit. There is some slight pitting on the chrome bezels, David told us he has four new bezels which are included in the sale. The odometer displayed ~25,475 miles at the time of our visit. We did not observe any issues with warning lights when starting the car from cold or during our road assessment.

For a closer look at the Elan's dashboard, please visit our interior gallery section. There, you can explore finer details of the car's interior.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

A three-spoke steering wheel, bearing Colin Chapman's signature on the lower spoke, remains in place. The steering wheel is in great condition, showing no significant signs of wear.

The gear knob is wooden to match the dashboard fascia and features the Lotus badge. We've included high-resolution photos in our gallery section for your review, allowing you to fully appreciate the interior's condition.


The 1.6L 4-cylinder, DOHC engine is a joy to drive, this example delivering ~112BHP and sounding very impressive out on the open road.

Engine and Gearbox

We started the car from cold, and we didn't note any major concerns. It took a couple of attempts to get the carbs fully fuelled, the engine fired up without any issues.

The Elan's engine bay, featuring an oversized radiator, Weber components, rebuilt carburettors, and new plug leads, may look unassuming, but they function exceptionally well thanks to its historic restoration. The Lotus performed admirably on the road, with the engine pulling smoothly, idling consistently, and running flawlessly.

Our mechanical review video demonstrates that the gear changes are smooth, and there are no unusual noises from the engine. The transmission is responsive, and the clutch works without any concerns. We received an overview of the car's performance from David's perspective too.

Suspension and Brakes

During the drive, we didn't detect any significant knocks, bangs, or squeaks from the suspension. The car performed as expected, and we didn't observe any issues.

The brakes on the Lotus Elan felt excellent, with no noticeable pulling or vibrations during the journey. Equipped with discs on all four corners and recently replaced rear discs, the brakes allow the car to come to a smooth stop, as demonstrated in our mechanical review video and what you'd expect given the work that has been completed on the braking system.

The Drive

When you're in the driver's seat of the Lotus, it's not just about getting from A to B – it's all about the journey. The Elan combines graceful handling and a lightweight frame that feels like a feather, with an engine that's all about the revs.

This iconic roadster dances through corners and has a great degree of power on the straights. This isn't your regular car; it's a full-blown example of passionate driving performance.

Electrics and Other

The Elan's electric windows functioned well, and all the dials in the cabin area were operational except the tachometer, as mentioned above it has stopped working since our visit, David tells us replacements are available from Kelvedon Lotus.

We observed that the passenger door cannot be opened from the outside; it requires reaching in and using the interior handle to open.

History and Paperwork

Examples like this don't come up often, just 2 former keepers, a restored example with some great work actioned in the last 2 years to make it a very solid and desirable car.

The Elan has been with the current owner for the past ~2 years. It was initially purchased as a project car, and David, the current owner, has invested a significant amount of time and effort to complete the necessary tasks to bring it up to its current standard. During the current ownership, David has made several updates, including new tyres, new CV driveshafts, and upgraded dampers. He also installed new rear disc brakes and pads. Additionally, there's a new electronic ignition, distributor, coil, plugs, and leads. New engine mounts were installed, and a stainless steel exhaust was added.

A comprehensive restoration was carried out in 1991, as detailed in the paperwork gallery section. The Elan underwent a full restoration under the previous owner, involving the complete removal of the fiberglass shell from the chassis and addressing any areas needing attention. The original interior of the Lotus was black but has since been upgraded to the oatmeal finish seen today. From the paperwork you can see the Elan had an engine rebuild in 1976 at a mileage of 67,875, so the current mileage will have been around the clock. The Elan has also benefited from a full carburettor rebuild and a rolling road re-tune (with an output of ~112 BHP noted). A new airbox was fitted, the steering rack was rebuilt, new track rod ends were installed, as well as a new alternator and new coolant hoses, along with braided brake hoses. New boot boards, carpets, and tonneau were also upgraded.

Included with the car are the original workshop manual and restoration guide. As part of the final sale, a spare ignition module and new headlamp bezels will be included.

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

Should any questions be required, David would be happy to answer these in the 'ask the owner' section.

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
31.08.2022 Rebuilt Carbs
23.08.2022 Engine Mounts
20.06.2022 Brakes
27.01.2022 CV Joint
24.11.2021 Airbox
24.09.1991 Air Filters
10.09.1991 Rebuild
19.04.1991 Rebuild Carbs
1991 Full Restoration of Body and Engine
15.10.1990 Window Surrounds
25.06.1990 Calipers
15.05.1990 Re-core Radiator
10.05.1990 Rear Caliber
11.04.1990 Bearings
18.02.1990 Brake Pipes
08.01.1990 Retire
11.04.1978 Water Pump
28.09.1977 Rear Wheel Bearings
27.06.1977 Steering Rack
11.02.1976 Engine Rebuild 67,875
Key Details
  • ModelElan SE S4
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date21.01.1969
  • CC1,558
  • Mileage~25,475 on Clock
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourFrench Blue
  • Interior ColourOatmeal
  • Interior TrimVinyl
  • Chassis #45/8301
  • Engine #C16393B
  • RestoredYes
  • Engine RebuildYes
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers2
  • Tyre BrandVredestein
  • Tyre Age2022
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~2 years
  • Key FeatureLow ownership & solid restored exmaple
  • Auction ID1726

Insurance Quote

Average annual insurance premium for a like this is via our trusted partner ClassicLine.
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*Quote is based on a garaged vehicle in CV32 5QY (Leamington Spa), travelling 3,000 miles per year, 1 driver who is 45 years of age and is free on accidents and convictions – valid .

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