The year 1962 was a big one. Not only was Seattle sporting its beautiful piercing tribute to the futuramic skyline of tomorrow, cars of future greatness were being born worldwide. It was also the year I was born, so in many ways, I identify with cars from that year. As a West Coast youth growing up in SoCal, I saw many of these cars as 10-15 year old used relics, waiting for someone to foolishly drop $1500 on a sports car dream. By the early 1980s, I’d purchased more than a few cars, but never one of my favorites, the Lotus Elan.
The Lotus Elan first appeared in October 1962 at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court. One year earlier, Jaguar had launched the E-Type, AC Cars was offering the Cobra and Ferrari was poised to change history with the legendary GTO. Against these big, powerful and expensive machines, Lotus offered the lightweight and nimble Elan. Different and yet typically Lotus, the ultra modern, simplistic design, offered both dapper charm and tremendous fun. Lotus took advantage of leading edge construction technology gleaned from racing experience, loading the Elan with innovative technical features including a monocoque fiberglass body draped over the first backbone chassis of any road car, and four-wheel independent suspension. The 1500-pound Elan, powered by the new Lotus Twin Cam engine, delivered over 100 horsepower, providing endless entertainment for drivers of this featherweight roadster.
Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.