The Series 1 Lotus Elan, built in England from 1962-’73, is an iconic sports car. Its light weight, responsive twin-cam four-cylinder engine, almost 50:50 front:rear weight distribution and brilliant handling made it an instant favourite among sporting drivers of the era.
A 26R variant was produced for competition use, with the emphasis on even less weight, more power, greater durability, increased tyre grip and improved driver ergonomics.
- Adjustable suspension with race-bred ‘wishbone’ rear locating links, stronger pick-up points and stiffer anti-roll bars.
- Sliding-spline driveshafts instead of the road car’s rubber ‘doughnuts’.
- Uprated disc brakes with lighter alloy calipers, dual circuits and twin master cylinders.
- Flared mudguards to accommodate wider tyres.
- Repositioned pedals for easier ‘heel-and-toe’ downshifting.
The example shown below was raced in the mid to late-1960s by Queensland radio DJ Bill Gates, whose claim to fame was discovering the Bee-Gees pop group. But over the following decades it fell into disrepair, until its new owner brought it to Team Corse for a bumper-to-bumper restoration.
These photos show the final assembly and racetrack revival of a rare historic race car that’s been returned to as-new condition.