Lotus Elan

How many Radford Elans did Jim Clark have?

PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:55 am

See my post 5 above yours, Pete. Bolster merely says 766 BOO 'was used for a time by Jim Clark'.

It was my understanding that 997 NUR was 26/0001 but according to Bolster that may not be the case. So was 766 BOO number one? I'll ask Charles, he should know.

By the way, I don't pretend to know but it would be nice for us to know, as it were! :)

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:37 pm

More than twenty years ago whilst thumbing through the classified motoring section of the Sunday Times I came across an advert for a then contemporary Rover with the number plate 766 BOO, I called the seller whom was in Edinburgh and asked him if he would consider selling just the plate, he wouldn't. The seller was unaware of the Lotus link.

I have a feeling that the Elan bearing 766 BOO has long since departed for that scrapyard in the sky.

997 NUR was pulled out of a scrapyard in the Midlands in the mid or early 90's. I think that Simon Hadfield restored it in conjunction with Lotus or Clive Chapman - something like that.

Anybody know what happened to 796 TAR?
Last edited by Mazzini on Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:27 am

I have a cousin David who lives in Duns and who grew up with Jim Clark and Ian Scott Watson. He still talks to Ian on a regular basis and I asked him if he could fill in some details on the Jim Clark cars - his reply is here below which fills in some of the questions raised in this topic and confirms only 3 Jim Clark Elans and the 766BOO was never Jims Clarks car but was owned from new by Ian.

cheers
Rohan




"Hello Rohan.

Ian Scott Watson was in this afternoon, so I got the following information from 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.

He then bought a FH Coupe, to which he transferred the Reg No 766BOO. This car is now also owned by Peter Windsor. I navigated for Ian in either this car or in his Plus 2 on a couple of road rallies.

His fourth Elan was a Plus 2, also with the Reg No 766BOO."
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:42 am

What a great place this is! Thanks for posting that Rohan.
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PostPost by: Dag-Henning » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:04 am

Indeed ! - So nice to see that some of the legends still are around.... :D
Elan S1 -64/ Elan race-replica 26R / Works Escort TwinCam -69/ Brabham BT41 Holbay
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:17 pm

Great bit of history, thanks so much Rohan.

Interesting that NUR retained the 1498cc engine. Our current understanding is that there were 3 prototypes, none of which were given a unit number. Then only 8 of the earliest Elans were fitted with the 1498cc engine. Since they all have unit numbers earlier than the first known publicly sold Elan (26/0017), I wonder if they were all being run by the factory at that stage, only later being sold off.

It would be interesting to know which Elan was given the 796 TAR registration to become the first press car.

"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." Anyone on here know anything about the possible resurrection of the Clark Radford Elan, CRO 291B 1964 S1 Unit no. 3387 in Cirrus White with matching hardtop?

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:29 pm

I'm copying a forum posting from a well-respected old car person (I have not asked permission, so it will remain anonymous for the time being) the post was made in 2005.

Time to fess up.
Friends of my uncle from Nottingham found some remains of a crashed Elan in a local scrapyard, seemingly a very tatty chassis, usable diff housing and the chassis plate (not sure how much bodywork there was).

They sold the remains to Simon Hadfield, he sold them immediately (for a significant profit!!) to Michael Schryver.

These remains have apparently been very carefully restored back as 997 NUR.
Uncle's friends were told that it would not be possible to claim the original registration number, so I don't know if S & M have been able to do so.

Needless to say I was slightly peeved when I discovered that I had not been offered the remains.


I need to do some more research before I can draw any conclusion about what is what.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:29 pm

I remember seeing photos of 997 NUR as found and there was most of the bodyshell there, it was by no means close to being a complete car.

I think Hadfield restored it in conjunction with Lotus, they formed an 'ethics committee', things like the chassis were repaired not replaced etc... I guess there was enough there to convince Lotus and with their help the car was registered or re-registered.

After Clark or Lotus disposed of the car it ended up with John Surtees's secretary the fabulously named Gloria Dollar, then it dropped out of site till it's discovery, which was covered in the classic motoring press at the time.

Tim do you have a copy of first page of the Elan production log? I don't know what the correct name is, but the book that records chassis numbers, unit numbers, engine numbers etc... I had a copy twenty years ago, long since lost, but there were a few of three letter three digit registration numbers written next to early chassis numbers, they haven't shown up in press photos from the time, I assumed they were development hacks.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:53 pm

Mazzini wrote:Tim do you have a copy of first page of the Elan production log? I don't know what the correct name is, but the book that records chassis numbers, unit numbers, engine numbers etc... I had a copy twenty years ago, long since lost, but there were a few of three letter three digit registration numbers written next to early chassis numbers, they haven't shown up in press photos from the time, I assumed they were development hacks.


Unfortunately not; I have page two which starts at 26/0039 and there are no registration numbers annotated on it.

I have just learnt that the Clark Radford Elan was allegedly restored and sold to Japan, though some 20 odd years ago. I have an avenue of further information to explore and will post once I have any additional info.

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PostPost by: JTP » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:54 pm

rgh0 wrote:I have a cousin David who lives in Duns and who grew up with Jim Clark and Ian Scott Watson. He still talks to Ian on a regular basis and I asked him if he could fill in some details on the Jim Clark cars - his reply is here below which fills in some of the questions raised in this topic and confirms only 3 Jim Clark Elans and the 766BOO was never Jims Clarks car but was owned from new by Ian.

cheers
Rohan




"Hello Rohan.

Ian Scott Watson was in this afternoon, so I got the following information from 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.

He then bought a FH Coupe, to which he transferred the Reg No 766BOO. This car is now also owned by Peter Windsor. I navigated for Ian in either this car or in his Plus 2 on a couple of road rallies.

His fourth Elan was a Plus 2, also with the Reg No 766BOO."


Ian retained 766BOO on his +2 as iirc Sir John Whitmore's wife had the ajoining number and he kept it in case she wished it later. If I dig hard enough, I might be able to find a photo of Ian carrying out Elan +2 acrobatics at Ingliston at a practice day. Someone cruelly remarked that he drove like that as by the time his poor eyesight saw the corner, it was too late to brake.

997NUR was used by Andrew Cowan to finish second at the first ever official race meeting at Ingliston in 65, so the car was lent by Ian to race on occasions. Another Elan, Ronnie Mann's won the race.

ISW was of course the instigator and creator of Ingliston as a race circuit after the loss of Charterhall. If you look in John Bolster's book P23, you will find a photo of 997 NUR parked on Ingliston, pointed the wrong way btw.
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PostPost by: RIB » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:11 pm

trw99 wrote:Prompted by the Duckhams Elan thread I did some searching and came across this little snippet:

"Anita Taylor (Taylor-Matthews) - popular British racer in the 1960s. She usually drove saloon cars, including a Broadspeed Anglia and a series of Minis, but also did some sportscar events. She won a race outright at Charterhall in 1963, driving an ex-Jim Clark Lotus Elan. In 1966, she did some British touring car races for Broadspeed, finishing ninth at Silverstone and sixth at Crystal Palace. On the sportscar side, she was part of the Ring Free Oil racing team in 1967 and drove a Ford Mustang in the Daytona 24 Hours. Anita, Janet Guthrie and Smokey Drolet were 20th and fifth in class."

So which Elan did she drive? Was it an Ian Walker Elan? Anyone know?

Tim


Tim,

I have had to take all my old magazines out of the loft in preparation for some roof maintenance. Looking through the 1963 Autosports. I found a report and some of the results of the the races at Charterhall on the 6th October in the 11th October issue. More results were included in the 18th October issue, showing that 'Miss A Taylor' won a 12 lap handicap race in a Lotus Elan. This race is not mentioned in the report and I have not found any more information about the car.

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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:45 pm

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jim-Clarks-pe ... 1e69e7bfca

NOR? :roll:

Is this the guy with the VW Combi parked next to it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Parnell

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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:17 am

I have been doing some research for an article I have been asked to write for the next Club Lotus News and I came across a blog, by Peter Windsor. He owns the S3 Jim Clark Elan. I thought this page might be of interest: http://peterwindsor.com/2012/04/06/from ... jim-clark/

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PostPost by: LesHems » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:23 pm

My brother owned 997 NUR from about 1966 to 1969. We had a copy of the photograph of Jim Clark sitting on the bonnet. I remember trips to school sitting in the little back seat. During the time he had it he had to replace the chassis and numerous other repairs - including broken front suspension. A police car drove into the back of the car and damaged the gearbox - I lent my brother all my savings to get it repaired whilst he waited for the insurance money. He eventually had to sell it because he couldn't afford to get it repaired.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:54 am

LesHems wrote:My brother owned 997 NUR from about 1966 to 1969. We had a copy of the photograph of Jim Clark sitting on the bonnet. I remember trips to school sitting in the little back seat. During the time he had it he had to replace the chassis and numerous other repairs - including broken front suspension. A police car drove into the back of the car and damaged the gearbox - I lent my brother all my savings to get it repaired whilst he waited for the insurance money. He eventually had to sell it because he couldn't afford to get it repaired.


That's really interesting! I don't suppose you have any photos? And welcome to the forum!
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