Lotus Elan

jim clarks lotus elan find 30 years ago

PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:38 am

pharriso wrote:
yargnitram wrote:No it was found in stapleford I was looking at another car when I saw this buried . Must have been there for years as the trunk of the tree growing up through the gearbox was quite thick . Took ages to get it out and got no idea why I did this but for 80 quid I thought it was worth the effort.


That's both interesting & frustrating!

20-25 years ago you say... that puts it around 1993-1998 & it had been there a long time... My first car was a PoS mini & I used to go to the Stapleford scrappies around 1980 (i.e. before they were called Vehicle Distmantlers or recycling facilities) for parts... maybe it was there then.

Also interested to know how much of the car is now original... it looks to have no seats etc, but it does have a dash & steering wheel!


The car was sold to well known dealer in Kent, whom flipped it without seeing it to a well known racer and restorer whom in turn sold it to the last long term owner. I spoke to the restorer at the time and I think the car was found earlier, perhaps around '88 to '90, but it's a long time ago and I could be wrong.

The LesHems post is at the end of this page - free-parking-f45/how-many-radford-elans-did-jim-clark-have-t22094-45.html#p207370
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PostPost by: yargnitram » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:22 am

no Brian,but Donnington park is quite close so it may have been racing had the damage and took straight to the scrap yard,the value would have been peanuts in those early days and insurance if it had any would have wrote it off as parts where expensive and not worth the imput,but would have made good money as scrap.i bought a very early clean 1965 DHC elan same colours as this,it needed work for 1000quid but was road lega,l a couple of years later i bought an immaculate rust free white elan 2+2 import from south Africa for 1500quid ran it for 3 months and sold it for 1550 then bought a 1968 jeff uren ford cortina mk 2 for 850quid sold that and then i bought a tiger with its engine in a million bits for 1400 put it all back together ran that for a couple of years and then did a straight swap for a Gorden Keeble, them days i change my cars like my underpants, but i loved weird of the wall stuff,my list could go on and on for the next 20 years etype/mustangs/fords/austins/chrysler./alfas/lancia,so when these so called experts go on about classic cars it make me piss has most of them have never driven this stuff,and when someone asked me about racing classic cars my answer is buy a Lotus or a Lancia nothing will catch it on the corners for the same money.for straight line speed buy a v8 for ease of upkeep and comfort by an Italian body with an American engine and an English leather interior.thats why i own a interceptor
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:10 am

I think I have posted this before but my distant cousin grew up with Jim Clarke and Ian Scott Watson and other of that famous group in Scotland near Duns and this is what he had to say a few years ago

"Hello Rohan.

Ian Scott Watson was in this afternoon, so I got the following information fom him to answer your query.

Jimmy Clark and his Elans :- The first Elan was 997NUR, and was actually a Lotus prototype, Chassis No 1. Carmen Red, with a Metallic Silver hardtop.This never fitted very well, which is why Jimmy taped it up with matching tape to keep out the rain! Jimmy did not actually own this car, it was loaned to him by Lotus. He ran it for about 9 months, and then Ian Scott Watson bought it from Lotus. After passing through the hands of different owners, it was spotted in a scrap-yard, in the Liverpool area, I think. A person spotted the number plate, which caused him to carry out some research, realised its importance, & bought the 'wreck'. It has since been restored, even to the tape, and I have seen it at Silverstone, Snetterton and on one or two other occasions.

When Ian had the car, it had the 1498cc engine. One day, when he was overtaking a Sunbeam Rapier, the engine 'blew up' with an enormous bang & a cloud of smoke! Bits everywhere! It was then replaced with a standard 1562cc engine.

The second Elan that Jimmy had, & owned, was indeed the Radford Elan. When he split with girlfriend Sally Stokes, he gave her this car. As you noted, it was subsequently stolen, possibly after Sally had it, and vanished from sight. Ian tells me that he heard a rumour that it has been discovered within the last 2-3 years, but we do not know anything further. I must ask some questions if Ian and I go to the next Club Elite meeting in March. Ear to the ground!

The third Elan Jimmy had was the LHD In Bahama Yellow, which he used mainly in France, and then gave to Jabby Crombac. This car is now owned by Peter Windsor, the motoring and TV journalist, whom I first met in 2002 at Spa, and still see him on odd occasions.

As far as Ian and I recollect, Jimmy was killed before he got a Plus 2.

Ian had 4 Elans. The first one was 766BOO. This was chassis No 3, and was the Motor Show Car at Earls Court. It was then tested by John Bolster for Autosport, and Ian bought it from Chequered Flag. Jimmy never owned this car.

Ian's second Elan was 997NUR, which he ran until 1966."


I find it an incredible coincidence that my distant cousin ( whose father returned to Scotland from Australia around 80 or 90 years ago I think ) grew up with Jim Clarke and I became such a total Lotus fanatic totally independently generations later and half way around the world

cheers
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PostPost by: yargnitram » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:47 am

hi i sure the chassis number was around the 24/27 number but it was a long time ago but no 1 does not at all sound families as this was the first thing i checked and thought being a low number this car was worth saving,can the present owner check and take a photo as this was a genuine lotus chassis plate,i might have read it wrong not up on elan chassis number and how they look or set out did they include trim/colour etc on this plate.sunbeams use to put colours on their plate and this was a numbering system
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:00 am

I believe not much is known about 997NUR between when Ian Scott Watson sold it to "someone down south" in 1966 and when it turned up wrecked decades later

Much could have happened in terms of mods and things like chassis and engine changes, the number plate and ID plates could have gone onto a totally different car for all anyone knows

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PostPost by: deryck » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:44 pm

Thats an amazing story!

Many thanks for posting the pictures,

Wonder where the engine went?

best regards
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:04 pm

tedtaylor wrote:and do we know where this car is today??


Jim Clark's Elan 1600 (s1) 997 RUR belongs (I think) to a pair of collectors, but I don't know their names. It is maintained and driven by Brian Buckland and he brings it to significant Lotus Elan events. He has brought it to the two most recent Malcolm Rickett's Open days and also to the unveiling (May 2015) of the plaque on the Monster Gym in Cheshunt (part of the former Lotus factory).

Image
This was me in the Jim Clark pose at Malcolm Ricketts.

dscn4658.jpg and
Jim Clark's Elan at Cheshunt


dscn7031.jpg and
Jim Clark's Elan With Malcolm's Elan at the Ricketts open day 2018
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:17 pm

I should think the only original part is the number plate
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:07 pm

rodlittle wrote:I should think the only original part is the number plate
rod


Not even that - the front one was destroyed the back one was yellow and black not black and white. I don’t know but suspect that it’s a new car built on its original identity.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:34 pm

yargnitram wrote:hi i sure the chassis number was around the 24/27 number ....

If it's like mine it would have been engraved "CH NO 26/1" which may be why you remember it in the 24/27 region. 26 is the early Lotus Elan model number, like 36 is the coupe model and 50 the Plus Two.
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26/4088 1965 S1½ Old and scruffy but in perfect working order; the car too.

Put your money where your mouse is, click on "Support LotusElan.net" below.
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PostPost by: yargnitram » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:24 am

ah that's why i thought it was no 26,glad you cleared that up,thanks quart to be honest its like triggers original sweeping brush,only had 2 new brush heads and 2 new handles from new!!!! :
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PostPost by: deryck » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:09 am

i had heard a rumour the car changed hands fairly recently for 250k??
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:03 pm

I attach the VIN plate from 997 NUR, Unit No 0001, which shows the Chassis No as 25. The Engine No is the 1500cc development number.

It is my understanding that a handful of components are original, the majority of the car having been rebuilt from parts, wherever they may have come from. That being so, it is grand that we still have what we can all refer to as Jimmy's Elan.

The car is now owned by the well known classic car dealer whose sticker adorns the rear window in my photo of the car on page one!

I have also unearthed a paper cutting from around Aug 63: 'Jim Clark is offering a £25 reward plus a day at a race meeting with him to anyone who tracks down his Lotus Elan, registration number 513 WAR, which was stolen at Silverstone last month.' That was probably the British Grand Prix on 20 Jul 63 it was stolen from.

What's interesting is his description saying "... his Lotus Elan …" indicating that he owned it, rather than it being a factory car. Of course, if that were the case, I'd expect that he was given it as part of his contract. Anyway, the point is that this would seem to be a fourth Elan owned by Jimmy, in addition to 997 NUR, the white Radford converted S2 and his yellow S3.

Tim
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:42 pm

That's a surprise! I can't imagine there were more than a handful of Elans on British roads August '63.
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:58 pm

Thats a components plate, surely that implies it was supplied as a kit? unlikely I would have thought
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