History of the 1963-1974 Lotus Elan
The essential 1960s British sports car, the tiny Lotus Elan, remains a benchmark for handling. With its pop-up headlights, curved windshield, and roll-up windows, it was a symbol of Swinging London, immortalized in The Avengers television series.
The Elan was built with a backbone frame and a fiberglass body, and had four-wheel independent suspension. Its Ford 1600-cc four-cylinder engine developed 105 hp and featured Lotus’s own twin-cam head, like the Lotus Cortina. Weighing only 1,420 pounds, early cars could do 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, with the quarter-mile in 15.7 seconds at 87 mph.