1966 Lotus Elan S3 SE DHC
(Featured on 26th July 2011)
Registration: ESX 696D
Sellers original description:
Find a sweeter Lotus Elan S3 than this one!
It took me three years of relentless hunting to find this lovely example of a Lotus Elan from 1966. I particularly wanted the pure lines of the S3 and prefer the lights, but each to their own. When I eventually found and acquired this S3 SE drop head coupé in 2007, I vowed never to sell it - I even introduced my new-born son to his inheritance before he crossed the threshold! However, with baby number two now on the way, reality bites and we're forced to sell this lovely little car.
The Elan S3 was featured on the cover of last month's Classic and Sportscar Magazine and was the subject of a "shoot-out" article, it was absolutely loved by the road testers. It has been restored over a 10 year period by previous owner (completed in 2004) on a galvanised chassis and, while it looks completely standard, the following expensive upgrades have been made to make it a great usable car among modern traffic: Sprint/BRM head, Adjustable Suspension all round, Vernier Cam timing gear, Aldon Ignitor ignition, Kenlowe Electric Fan, Tony Thompson Racing Solid Driveshafts (still have the Rotoflexes if you're a purist), K&N filters (again have the original air box). It has only covered 8,000 miles since the restoration was completed.
Prior to my ownership, it shared a garage with a McLaren F1, a Ferrari Enzo and a Porsche 911 GT2 Clubsport, so rest assured it's been properly cared-for. Now comprehensively looked after by our local performance Classic Specialists. So if you are looking for an Elan that you can genuinely use and blow away modern hot hatches, then this has to be the best one around. It has breezed through every MoT and it performed faultlessly on a trip to Tuscany via Le Mans.
The restoration was completed in 2004 and while it is not absolutely concourse, it is certainly in excellent condition. If you are particularly pedantic, the paint has a couple of tiny stone chips and a small star crack, which I have not been able to capture on camera and you have to look very hard to find. There is also a slight scuff on the inside of the door jam where the lock mechanism/catch plate has rubbed slightly. These are easily remedied but I have resisted the temptation to have these touched in, in order that the Elan is presented honestly. There are two hairline cracks in the lacquer on the dash and a small mark on the roof.
It has the original signed Colin Chapman steering wheel (very valuable and lovely to hold). Chapman wasn't a fan of superfluous extras (reference his famous quote, "To add speed, add lightness"), nonetheless this car has electric windows, a heater, a tonneau cover and the original jack. There are two fat files of receipts, old MoTs, Manuals etc to support the car's provenance.
I have never before experienced the motoring respect you are afforded in an Lotus Elan - everyone smiles at you. The biggest smile will be on your face though, as this car represents motoring perfection (but then I'm biased).