The Lotus Elan, a beguiling English sports car
Like the Triumph Spitfire, the Lotus Elan is part of a memorable generation of nippy little English sports cars that saw the light of day in the 1960s.
Between 1962 and 1973 the Elan was one of the great road-going cars in the history of British manufacturer, Lotus, also an innovator and dominator in Formula 1 during this period.
Powered by a small 1.5-litre engine of Ford origin, the Elan with its clean-cut, attractive lines as well as its bodywork in glass fibre was the perfect expression of the founder of Lotus Colin Chapman’s philosophy: aerodynamic excellence and weight reduced to the absolute minimum.
In the second half of the 1960s the Lotus Elan achieved immortality thanks to the TV series The Avengers when driven by actress Diana Rigg, the unforgettable Emma Peel.
The Tour Auto Optic 2000 also offered a new lease of life to the Lotus Elan as it has scored a total of six victories in the event including four on the trot from 2004 to 2007.
In the 2018 Tour Auto Optic 2000, Swiss pair Raphaël Favaro-Yves Badan came home first overall in an Elan 26R, an evolution of the original car developed for racing. The Lotus Elan will be back on the roads and circuits of the 2019 event in which it is one of the incontestable favourites of entrants and spectators alike!