Lot 49

2013   |   Pebble Beach Auctions 2013

1971 Lotus Elan +2S Coupe

SOLD $36,300


$30,000 - $45,000| Without Reserve




U249900 Body No. 0172N

Car Highlights

Pure Lotus Competition Heritage for the Road
Single Ownership for 23 Years; CA Car Since Mid-1970s
Painstakingly Restored to Nearly New Condition in 1995
Famed, High-Revving Lotus-Ford Twin-Cam Engine
Characteristically Sophisticated, Race-Bred Engineering

Technical Specs

1,558 CC DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Dual Twin-Choke Carburetors
126 BHP at 6,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Front and Rear Independent Suspension

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note that the car is titled by 7108120172N.

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This Car

Founded by visionary Colin Chapman with roots dating to 1948, Lotus consistently featured innovation and lightweight construction, resulting in startling performance on and off track. Lotus achieved seven Formula 1 Constructor’s Championships, six Driver’s Championships, and a multitude of other records and victories. Road-car production provided the means for Chapman to finance the growing racing commitments of Team Lotus and perhaps no other production Lotus reflects that rich heritage better than the Elan, introduced in 1962.

This outstandingly restored 1971 Lotus Elan +2S (2+2) Coupe has been a Californiabased car since the mid-1970s. In 1980, it was acquired by Mr. Lee Osborn, who sparingly used it for local driving before he performed a body-off-frame restoration that was completed in 1995, with particular attention paid to authenticity, appearance, and function. Mr. Osborn took particular care to acquire the necessary parts directly from England, being sourced from Caterham and other Lotus specialists. Highly original in overall specifications, the Elan was upgraded with CV joints replacing the factory rubber donuts at the rear half-shafts, and the restored backbone frame was carefully and selectively reinforced. Being a California car, the body stiffeners were found to remain good, but they were nonetheless replaced with rust-resistant galvanized units from England during the restoration, a further indicator of the high quality and thoroughness of the work performed.

Once completed in 1995, the Elan made its debut at the Lotus Reunion in conjunction with that year’s running of the Monterey Historics. Distinctively finished in light blue with a black interior, the Elan remains remarkably fresh and presents virtually as new. Mr. Osborn stitched the headliner himself using correct material on a 1902 Singer sewing machine, and he carefully matched and restored the seat covers with great results. Hard-to-find original-specification wiring was located and used as well. Riding on a set of rare, valuable, and well-restored Minilite magnesium wheels, that were checked for soundness and painted, the Elan is further equipped with an AM/FM radio, stainless steel exhaust, and graced with a wood-grain dash panel. Benefiting from an excellent restoration and remaining very attractive throughout, the Elan +2S is offered complete with a selection of restoration photographs, records, and invoices, as well as a workshop manual. As such, it is a fitting exemplar of the rich competition-bred Lotus heritage and the company’s legendary founder.