Cirrus White and Black Interior, Black carpeting and Black convertible top, 40,554 original miles, 4-Speed manual transmission, Collector owned.
The “Special equipment” Elan featured a 115 bhp high lift cam version 1,558 twin overhead camshaft unit, modified carburetors, new chokes and jets and four branch exhaust. The Lotus-Ford semi close ratio gearbox gave recommended change up speeds of 1st 43mph, 2nd 60mph and 3rd 85mph with acceleration 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 120mph with a suggested touring consumption of 26mpg! During the 1965/1966 model years the standard chassis fitments included servo assisted brakes, Lotus knock-on wheels, revised shock absorbers for improved high speed handling and radial high speed tires.
This particular 1966 Lotus Elan S3 “Special Equipment” was purchased from its first owner in 1969 with 2,000 miles on the odometer at the time. The Elan S3 was then carefully maintained and used seasonally as the owner’s prized possession for 45 years until he decided to sell in 2014 to another Lotus collector and enthusiast.
This Elan is highly original and can only be described as a survivor with undoubtedly one of the more special examples you will find in today’s market with such exceptional provenance from new. The original paint still shows very well with natural aged patina throughout. The Interior has clearly benefited from dry storage and excellent care over the years, its wooden veneers showing little signs, even given the car is now 51 years old! The leather is still supple and soft and the carpets remain in excellent condition.
After purchasing the Lotus in 2014, it was decided to complete a full engine rebuild which included upgrading the crank seal. Given the age of the car and freshly rebuilt engine, a new gas tank was installed and the Webber carburetors rebuilt and tuned. To ensure enjoyment in the hotter summer days, a larger radiator was installed to reduce any chance of overheating in traffic. The differential was rebuilt and new Dave Bean fast road suspension with CV joints installed together with an overhaul and upgrading of the braking system with more reliable but correct modern components.
This Lotus Elan S3 “Special Equipment” surely represents a rare opportunity to acquire an excellent survivor that has benefited from a meticulously careful 45-year ownership and more recently treated to a mechanical overhaul. A perfect rally tour car or concours class survivor/preservation Lotus Elan. It is complete with books and tools, tonneau cover and soft top and ready for immediate use.
Video walk-around and road test: https://youtu.be/u8nLhmeUdgo