Lotus Elan Sprint DHC


A farmer from Farnham in Surrey, Mr John Sargeant, went to the Sprint launch at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1970 and ordered the Elan off the Lotus stand. He ordered the car with the following specification.







4 Speed Manual




Julien's Perspective

Some thoughts on this model

Special order monotone "Bahama Yellow" L10. Incidentally, I believe this car to be the only Elan Spint delivered in this colour. Equipped with silver wheels and chrome wheel trims, silver bumpers, optional air horns & tonneau cover and no radio.

Chassis 0283G was thus one of the very first DHC Sprints delivered in March '71 . One of the first 50 cars latterly known as "S4 Sprints", these cars were delivered with twin tail pipes, bonnet bulge and the reverse "Lotus Big Valve" script on the cam cover.

Pleasingly all of the dealer paperwork survives as does all the cars original equipment, for interests sake I have detailed this below.

Original sales invoice from Bell & Colvill dated March '71, signed by "Bobby Bell".
Original Lotus Warranty Certificate.
Original hand written receipt from Mike Spence Lotus mechanic, Leo Ackroyd, who assembled the car. (Like many Elans , it was sold as a kit to avoid sales tax)
Original Lotus stamped service book
Original Lotus Elan S4 Sprint hand book.
Original unused tool kit.
Original jack & handle in hessian bag and original lead spinner mallet.
Original unused tonneau cover.
Original buff log book showing the first and only registered owner.
All original locks and keys

Mr Sargeant used the car regularly until he had an bump in 1976 which damaged the chassis and Leo Ackroyd, the Lotus mechanic who had originally built the car, agreed to do a chassis change.  The total mileage at this stage was a little over 18,000 miles. The car was taken off the road, a new galvanised chassis arrived from Bell and Colvill in 1977, work commenced but soon afterwards, Mr Akroyd fell ill and ultimately, finally left the country to head back to his native New Zealand. The rebuild stalled and the car then remained in Mr Sargeant's workshop for the next 30 years. However, fortunately, from the outset, Mr Sargeant had had the good foresight to pour lots of oil down the bores, all coolant drained off and the engine was then turned over by hand, religiously thereafter, in anticipation of driving the car once again.

If we fast forward 30 odd years, Mr Sargeant is now 86 and has decided the Elan still needs a new home and a capable pair of hands to return the Lotus to the road. The current custodian was very fortunate to buy the Sprint and then embarked upon a very sympathetic professional restoration, using all of the original components, screws, fasteners etc wherever possible. The body restoration was entrusted to "under the radar" Lotus Specialists in Leicester, Jeff & Trevor Spencer. The mandate to achieve perfect door gaps, panel fit and paint finish; Six years have passed since the body was painted and it's still in superb order.

Mechanically, the car was pretty perfect, just the Weber carbs and ancillaries were rebuilt and after careful recommissioning it ran beautifully. Similarly, the clutch, gearbox and back axle were all in good order. The brakes were completely overhauled re using the original calipers and Girling servo. All suspension was completely refurbished and rebuilt using NOS correct spec shocks and bushes, including new drive doughnuts from Miles Wilkins.

The decision was made to leave the replacement chassis in its bare galvanised state. Everything looks 'correct' without the temptation to over-restore and polish - please bare in mind that the replacement chassis's already been attached to the body for almost 40 years!

The seats are untouched and original, as are the door panels with no speaker holes. Even the underlay and carpets got carefully stored away, so they're in time warp order and haven't suffered the normal light discoloration. The dash however had suffered from crazing and delamination, so a perfect replacement was provided by Susan Miller Lotus. This is also the case for the new hood ( also supplied by Susan Miller) which fits perfectly.

In short, it's a unique, beautifully restored time warp, with just one previous keeeper.

It would be a pleasure to answer any further questions you might have. This Lotus can be inspected at my Guildford showroom - please call me on 07788 865700.

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