Lotus Cars - Part 1
This is one of many illustrated classic car guides I've created for the community. I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to find out more about the classic Lotus sports car art featured in this guide please click here.
The Elite, Elan and Europa produced by Lotus during the 1960s and 1970s will be remembered as delectable - and affordable - high performance road cars, that pushed forward the frontiers of vehicle technology, at a time when much of the British motor industry was bogged down with technical conservatism.
Lotus Seven 1957-1963
Having established Lotus in the 1950s with a series of racing sports cars, Colin Chapman then set out to widen the scope and appeal of his business, partly to provide financial backing for his motor racing ambitions. On the one hand he conceived the technically advanced Elite, and on the other he developed the rugged little Seven.
Lotus Elite 1958-1963
The sleek Lotus Elite was the first Lotus to be conceived entirely as a road car and as one might have expected from the technically adventurous Colin Chapman, its design was quite unconventional and remarkably advanced for the period.
Lotus Elan 1962-1973
The replacement for the Elite, the Elan, was a model that brought respectability and more importantly profit to Lotus Cars. Reverting to a separate backbone chassis for the Elan, power came from the Lotus Ford twin-cam and in just over ten years, 9,659 were produced in four series.
Lotus Elan Plus 2 1967-1974
Combining most of the qualities of the two-seater Elan in a longer wheelbase, with a bigger and more roomy glassfibre coupe body, the 2+2 was produced between 1967 and 1974. Graceful from any angle, the Elan Plus 2 offered considerably more room than the Elan and handled just as well. 4,798 cars were built
Lotus Europa 1967-1975
Although Lotus took very little time to bring mid-engined racing cars to a high state of mechanical excellence, it was several years before Colin Chapman was ready to use the same basic layout in a road car. The Europa appeared in 1967 and initially used Renault power before changing to the Lotus twin-cam engine in 1971.
Lotus Elan Sprint 1971-1973
The year 1971 saw the final development of the two-seater Elan with the announcement of the Sprint. Fitted with the new big-valve twin-cam engine and producing 126bhp, it was the last and fastest of the popular model. Total Sprint production between 1971 and 1973 stood at 1,353 cars.