Lotus Type 50 - Elan +2
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The Lotus Elan - parent to the +2

Introduced in 1962, the two seat Lotus.
Elan replaced the elegant, but expensive to produce Lotus Elite.

Learning from the Elite

Experience with the Elite led Lotus to look for a more economical approach to building a car. In place of the Elite's Coventry Climax, Lotus developed its Twin-cam, cheaper to produce as it used parts from volume manufacturers. Yet despitfoe the engine block's humble origins in the Ford Anglia, once Lotus had added its own twin-camshaft head, the power output was a respectable 105 brake horsepower.

Lotus Elite

Rear view of the Elite

The construction of the Elan was the biggest innovation. Chapman's elegant three section GRP monocoque had proven the strength of the material, unfortunately with the penalty of significant production costs. In designing the open top Elan, Hickman could not overcome the lack of rigidity caused by the lack of a roof on a GRP body. Legend has it that Chapman was made aware of this by Hickman at a British Racing Drivers Club dinner. On a serviette Chapman sketched out the design for a cruciform backbone chassis onto which the fibre glass body would sit and the Elan was born.

Evolution of the Elan

Lotus Elan, Type 26, Drop head coupe, 1962 to 1966.
Introduced with a 1500 engine, soon to be hastily recalled and upgraded to 1600,this model covers the following:

Elan 1500
Elan 1500
Elan Serie 1
Elan Serie 2 Elan Serie 2
Special Equipment (S2 S/E)

Lotus Elan, Type 26R

Elan 26R
Lotus Elan Type 26R

Lotus Elan, Type 36, Fixed Head Coupé, 1965 to 1973.

Elan FHC
Elan Serie 3 (S3 FHC)
Elan Serie 3 Special Equipment (S3 S/E FHC) 
Elan Serie 4 Special Equipment (S4 S/E FHC) 
Elan Sprint

Lotus Elan, Type 45, Drophead Coupé, 1966 to 1973

Elan Sprint DHC
Elan Serie 3 (S3 DHC)
Elan Serie 3 Special Equipment (S3 S/E DHC)
Elan Serie 4 Special Equipment (S4 S/E DHC)
Elan Sprint 
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