Lotus Elan

Sprint Development Car on a "H" ??

PostPost by: Verve » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:24 am

I know Lotus had development cars for the Sprint ... & of course the factory upgraded some existing S4`s to Sprints on J plates ... but I`ve never seen any Sprint on a "H" ... has this sneaked in under the radar ... or do they just mean it`s an S4 in Sprint Spec` ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Elan-S ... rk:24:pf:0

I bet Tim knows ; ) !

Cheers ,

Paul .
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:34 am

Lets have the vin number then we will know
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:44 am

"Recently subject to a completely correct, full nut & bolt restoration ... at a cost of around £70,000.

The car has 4 folders of history, dating right back to 1970

The car was built on a new galvanised Lotus replacement chassis,correctly finished in the correct colour,using red oxide powder coat."

all that for a 22 000 miles car ? must have been pretty rough 22 000 miles...
S4SE 36/8198
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:13 pm

It is a very, very pretty car. rebuild after 22000 miles? Could have been left to rot somewhere.

£60k is a bit of a stretch?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:52 pm

Probably a lot of that £70k are labour costs (inflated or otherwise).
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:35 pm

I could be picky, but I wont, I'll leave that to others on here who usually are :lol:
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:53 pm

Slightly jealous of the wipers parking on the other side...... in hindsight i should have done that to mine (probably a different story if it rains though)
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:44 pm

Its quite near to me and I really must go and view it. I shall therefore keep an open mind.

However, my first inclination is that this is not a Sprint. I am aware of the development cars but with Lotus, you never know!

Tim
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:10 pm

I have emailed asking for VIN and build date. The earliest Sprints I have come across have been quite late in the "J" registrations. There are several "H" registrations running around the NW of England masquerading as Sprints. :)
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:09 pm

Reading Tony Rudd's autobiography, the Sprint development started in 'Autumn 1970' and the car was launched in early 1971. Autumn implies September on wards and the 'H' reg ran from August 1969 to July 1970, 'J' from August 1970 to July 1971. So the only way a 'Sprint' could be 'H' reg is if the factory used a previously registered S4 as a development car, in which case I'd expect an East Anglian registration, such as 'xVF' or 'xAH' - both codes for Norfolk and seem on various press cars of the time. 'Ordinary' Elans were registered by the dealers not the factory so had reg numbers which were local to the dealer. 'UFS' - the reg os the car in question - appears to be an Edinburgh reg (FS) so unlikely to be a Lotus development car, or indeed a Sprint.
Also whats with the rear wheel arches - it may be a trick of the light but there seems to be a chunk taken out of the bottom rear of each arch or is it my eyes.....
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:17 pm

Matt Elan wrote:Reading Tony Rudd's autobiography, the Sprint development started in 'Autumn 1970' and the car was launched in early 1971. Autumn implies September on wards and the 'H' reg ran from August 1969 to July 1970, 'J' from August 1970 to July 1971. So the only way a 'Sprint' could be 'H' reg is if the factory used a previously registered S4 as a development car, in which case I'd expect an East Anglian registration, such as 'xVF' or 'xAH' - both codes for Norfolk and seem on various press cars of the time. 'Ordinary' Elans were registered by the dealers not the factory so had reg numbers which were local to the dealer. 'UFS' - the reg os the car in question - appears to be an Edinburgh reg (FS) so unlikely to be a Lotus development car, or indeed a Sprint.
Also whats with the rear wheel arches - it may be a trick of the light but there seems to be a chunk taken out of the bottom rear of each arch or is it my eyes.....


Exactly my understanding. If one is going to ask absolutely top money, would one put a "possibly :roll: " less than kosher car on ebay, rather than go to a serious auction house?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:37 am

The only way it could be a Sprint on an H registration is if it had been a S4 sitting unsold in the dealers showroom and the dealer sent it back to Lotus to make it into a S4/Sprint. I am only aware of two others like this (both on J registrations) and it tended to be with dealers close to Lotus, like Bell & Colvill, London Sports Car Centre and so forth.

I am not aware that the Edinburgh (FS reg letters) dealer at the time, Trophy Garage, would be included with that favoured dealer status. The following is from my website:

"This resulted in the Sprint concept car, at least four of which were produced in July or August; these were a LHD fixed head and LHD drop head, as well as a RHD drop head and RHD fixed head. These cars were all matt black over yellow, with the black line much higher on the flanks than the Elan Sprint gold stripe that duo tone Sprints were liveried. Who thought of the Sprint name is not known. Publicity shots of the car, the left hand drive DHC, show Jochen Rindt at Brands Hatch posing with it before his death at Monza on 5 September 1970. However, these were S4 cars with the paint job and Sprint on the registration plates; underneath mechanically they were pure S4. The resulting publicity sheet confirms this and includes some blurb attributed to Colin Chapman, concerning the design concept of the paint job.

It was in September 1970 that the Lotus Board were first shown a S4 Elan painted in the iconic Gold Leaf Team Lotus red and white colours by Graham Arnold, for their approval. (This car retained the paint job, was then fitted with a Ford 105E engine and run for a coupe of years by the Lotus PR consultant's young brother). The Sprint was publicly announced at the Earls Court Motor Show on 14th October 1970 and the right hand drive DHC and FHC concept cars were on the stand. However, the same publicity sheet as above had the Big Valve engine specifications added to it. Lotus World carried the press announcement, which indicated that the Sprint would be sold with three final drive options, thus justifying the Sprint name. It also mentioned the Big Valve engine, of 135bhp, as well as two tone paint finish.

Chapman had asked Tony Rudd, the Engineering Director, to design the big valve engine in early October 1970. They felt that an increase in power would pep the car up enough to counter the falling sales. Work on the engine was completed in an amazing ten days. Following development tests, the engine was officially revealed to the press in late January 1971, followed shortly by the Sprint re-launch in February 1971 with the Big Valve engine and duo paint livery. Production of the Sprint and Big Valve engine had already begun in January 1971 at Hethel. The first road test was by Motor, carried in the early March edition of the weekly, indicating testing in mid February. This was on an S4 converted to Sprint specification."

The earliest Sprint registrations I have date from February 1971. So unless the seller can prove otherwise, I shall treat the car for sale at the moment as a Series 4.

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PostPost by: JimE » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:51 pm

Matt Elan wrote:Reading Tony Rudd's autobiography, the Sprint development started in 'Autumn 1970' and the car was launched in early 1971. Autumn implies September on wards and the 'H' reg ran from August 1969 to July 1970, 'J' from August 1970 to July 1971. So the only way a 'Sprint' could be 'H' reg is if the factory used a previously registered S4 as a development car, in which case I'd expect an East Anglian registration, such as 'xVF' or 'xAH' - both codes for Norfolk and seem on various press cars of the time. 'Ordinary' Elans were registered by the dealers not the factory so had reg numbers which were local to the dealer. 'UFS' - the reg os the car in question - appears to be an Edinburgh reg (FS) so unlikely to be a Lotus development car, or indeed a Sprint.
Also whats with the rear wheel arches - it may be a trick of the light but there seems to be a chunk taken out of the bottom rear of each arch or is it my eyes.....


The bottom rear wheel arches are correct. Jim
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:08 pm

Tim or Jim - when did the “Hickman Flange” - or whatever they called it - come out ?

My ‘72 car has that shape, rather than the smooth shape on Jim’s photo.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:53 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:Tim or Jim - when did the “Hickman Flange” - or whatever they called it - come out ?

My ‘72 car has that shape, rather than the smooth shape on Jim’s photo.


Tim or Jim... Assuming that Jim's (or Tim's) car is a Kosher Sprint, that is. :wink: My May 10th 1972 car does not have that shape... I have the flange.


Whatever- this car has "issues".
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