1969 Lotus Elan Sprint 5-Spec Roadster, Rebuilt and Restored. For Sale

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Sub Model: 
Sprint 5-Spec
Item Location: 
Emeryville, California, United States
Exterior Color: 
Lagoon Blue over Monaco White
Interior Color: 
1600cc DOHC Inline 4 Cyl no. L19395
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Description 1969 Lotus Elan Sprint 5-Spec Roadster, Rebuilt and Restored.

Telephone: +1 510 653 7555 | Fax: +1 510 653 9754
Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue | Emeryville, CA 94608 1969 Lotus Elan Sprint 5-Spec Roadster VIN: 45/9161 Exterior Color: Lagoon Blue over Monaco White Interior Color: Parchment Mileage: 5028 Kms TMU Engine: 1600cc DOHC Inline 4 Cyl no. L19395 Transmission: 5-Speed

1969 Lotus Elan Sprint 5-Spec Roadster

s/n 45/9161, Engine no. L/19395

Lagoon Blue and Monaco White with Parchment Interior

Click here to see this car start up and run!

The Lotus Elan was launched in October 1962 at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court, just as the sixties started swinging. Jaguar had launched the E-Type the previous year, while AC had the Cobra and Ferrari the GTO. These were big, powerful, and expensive machines. The Elan was very different, and typically Lotus – ultra modern, lightweight, nimble and tremendous fun. From arch enthusiast Jay Leno to Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1, the accolades bestowed upon the gritty Elan typically call it “the greatest handling car of all time”, and we couldn’t agree more.
In the same year that Lotus revolutionized racing car design with the monocoque 25, they also packed the Elan with technically innovative features like the first backbone tube chassis of any road car as well as a fiberglass body, four-wheel independent suspension, weight of 1500 lbs (670kg) and the new Lotus Twin Cam engine, produced by significantly modifying a Ford 116E block. The new unit yielded over 100 horsepower and provided endless entertainment for the featherweight Elan package.
Right away the new Elan proved a welcome replacement to the fragile, expensive-to-build Elite and would go on to be Lotus’s biggest commercial success to that point, reviving the company’s overstretched finances. Initially a roadster, the Elan was offered with a hardtop in 1963 and a coupe came along in 1965.
As was often the case with European Sports Cars built in comparatively few numbers, the specification of the Elan was continently developed throughout their production, cumulating in the “Sprint 5”, of which only eight examples were built, according to LotusElanSprint.com.
This 1969 Lotus Elan S4 Roadster, s/n 45/9161, has been comprehensively restored to Sprint 5 specifications, the Holy Grail of road-going Lotus Elans. Using genuine Lotus parts, it has been rebuilt from the new galvanized chassis (#LR1591) up to be identical to the original Sprint 5, and comes with the receipts corresponding to the work. According to previous owners, over 300 hours have gone into the paint and bodywork, which was stripped down to the gelcoat and repainted in the genuine Lotus colors of Lagoon Blue over Monaco White. All bumpers, trim, nuts and bolts, body seals and badges are said to be new and correct Lotus parts. Talbot Berlin racing mirrors are also fitted, as are Italian-made Fiamm air horns. The car is equipped with a rebuilt Lotus 5-speed transmission like those in the eight Sprint 5s, and the Elan Plus 2.
For those who have to use freeways before the fun starts or want to drive it rather than tow it to the regional club meet, the added 5th gear is indispensable. This top gear transformation surrenders nothing to the corners in the close-ratio lower gears. The 5-speed driveshaft conversion was done by Spyder Engineering in England. The rebuilt differential uses new 3.55:1 ratio internals.
This Elan sits on a new Sprint spec Lotus galvanized steel chassis (#LR1591) which remains rust free. The steering rack, gaiters and steering joints were rebuilt or replaced with new. All suspension bushings, mounts, nuts and bolts were replaced. New Kunifer (CuNi) brake pipes and hoses are fitted throughout. Front and rear suspension and brakes are new. Each corner has been weighed and adjusted for high performance cornering by ex-Lotus works suspension designer Eric Gauthier at Suspension Performance. The alloy wheels are Elan Plus 2/130 knock-offs shod with new Yokohama 379B tires (165 70 13). This is the maximum footprint to the road without body modifications.
The entire interior is new including beige vinyl, windshield, glass, carpets, underlayment, door switches, seat cushions and inertia reel seat belts from Christopher Neil Ltd. The dashboard is new with all Lotus parts and gauges. A never-been-used black convertible top (hood), the cover that hides the stowed top and the tonneau cover are new. The car is currently fitted with a 13″ Astrali steering wheel but comes with the original Colin Chapman autograph wheel. The trunk is nicely finished with new black carpet. Originally imported to British Columbia, Canada, it is a left-hand drive car with a speedometer reading in kilometers.
The Lotus Ford DOHC 4-cylinder engine has been completely rebuilt to the Big-Valve standards using 1.62 intake valves and 1.38 exhaust valves. The camshaft has been ground and polished. The head is ported, flowed, re-sleeved and fed by twin Weber 40 DCOE carbs. Local Weber-wizard Gron Perry jetted and tuned the carbs for spirited road driving which now deliver max torque well under the 6500 rpm redline. So, you can skip this month-s track day. The bottom end was fully rebuilt with new bearings, polished and balanced crankshaft, lightened flywheel and water pump. A new 3-core radiator with a Kenlowe cooling fan on a factory bracket is installed. The new stainless steel exhaust system has a manifold designed specifically to accommodate the 5-speed gearbox. With an engine rated at 135 bhp and weighing only 1550 lbs, this car is as quick as it is nimble.
Fuel is fed from a new aluminum tank and runs through new stainless steel braided hoses and fittings from Earl’s Performance Plumbing. The electrical system has been replaced with new Lotus parts using a 3-piece wiring harness that allows each sub-harness to be removed separately. The engine sub-harness is compatible with the alternator which replaced the original generator. A new Lumenition electronic ignition system is also fitted. The kill switch is in the trunk.
It was restored in stages over a 20 year period by the third owner, and completed in 2004. Today, the car has a very nice driver presentation. There are some paint flaws present from age and use, but the engine bay and interior are both excellent. The car runs and drives beautifully, and is a sprightly rocket ship like no other Elan we’ve had the pleasure to drive.
Please note that this car shows 5028 Kms but the total mileage is unknown.


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Telephone: +1 510 653 7555 | Fax: +1 510 653 9754
Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue | Emeryville, CA 94608

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