We are pleased to offer 1967 Lotus Elan RHD (Right Hand Drive) FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) s/n 366818, a desirable Weber-carbureted, knock-off wheel example with substantial frame and mechanical updates plus gorgeous new paint in BRG (British Racing Green). When introduced in October 1962 at the British Motor Show at Earls Court the Lotus Elan was a lightweight, nimble, giant killer when compared to the then-new Jaguar XKE, AC Cobra and Ferrari 250 GTO. Against these big, powerful, and expensive machines, the lightweight 1500 pound, 100 plus horsepower Elan offered something very different and typically Lotus: a fiberglass body draped over the first backbone chassis of any road car, four-wheel independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes with power from a high-revving Lotus Twin Cam engine, all very user-friendly, ultra-modern for its time, affordable and a blast to drive.
The early history of Lotus Elan FHC s/n 366818 is unknown, but about 1982 our feature car found its way to the ownership of James “Jim” McNiff a fabricator for multiple West Coast race teams including Dan Gurney’s All America racers. A new “Spyder” chassis was ordered from England and installed, the suspension was rebuilt, the engine was rebuilt and updated by famed twin-cam specialist Dave Vegher, then located at Veloce Motors West in Torrance, CA and an aluminum fuel tank was made and installed. Because of his connections in the racing world Jim McNiff acted as an instructor for various racing organizers and at some point around 2005 he spun the car, probably at Fontana, and did very minor damage to the left rear fender below the tail light. Lotus Elan s/n 366818 then went into long term storage and Jim McNiff passed away. In the last year Lotus Elan s/n 366818 has been treated to a rebuild of both Weber 40 DCOE 18 carbs, new fuel lines, new spark plugs, a new coil and a distributor rebuilt, a new clutch, new pressure plate and new throw out bearing plus a new crank pilot bearing and new clutch slave cylinder. The minor fiberglass damage was repaired by yet another very talented Southern California race car fabricator and the body was blocked-sanded to better-than-new standards and treated to a windshield and rear window out re-paint in British Racing Green
The panels fit well with tight door closures and a smooth hood and trunk release, rarely seen on these cars. The paint is exceptionally nice overall with vibrant gloss and none of the spider-webbing common to older fiberglass cars. Both fiberglass bumpers have been repainted and re-fitted. The various chrome trim and handles are in good condition with the interior in equally as good original condition. The dashboard and instruments are nicely finished with good clear instrument faces, glossy wood veneer, and bright chrome trim bezels. The handsome knock-off wheels are mounted with an older set of Yokohama AD48 186/60 R13 tires with 2005 date codes and so are due for replacement.
Under the hood the excellent overall preparation continues with a nicely finished black twin cam cover with a rebuild plaque from Dave Vegher engines, eagerly fed by twin Weber 40DCOE side draft carburetors. The satin black engine bay is finished off with a proper air box. Underneath the car, the red Spyder chassis gives a celebrated 50% increased torsional rigidity, developed over more than a decade of research by independent Lotus specialists in the UK. The chassis supports the rebuilt suspension and properly prepared brake lines and exhaust. The cleanliness of the older chassis and suspension updates shows evidence of use but also reveals attention to detail not often seen with these cars. While the headlamps fit well and pivot nicely, the headlight door vacuum tanks are due for a rebuild or replacement.
The Elan starts easily (thanks to a manual choke for cold starts) and settles into a nice throaty idle, ready to go. The gearbox shifts smoothly through the gears with quick and easy movement. The new clutch and pressure plate engage quickly off the pedal. The acceleration is quick thanks to the light-weight. Cornering is, of course, legendary with great response from the suspension thanks to the Spyder chassis. Braking is very good thanks to light weight and four wheel discs. Because Lotus Elan FHC s/n 366818 is a 1967 year model she is smog exempt in California.
Lotus Elan FHC s/n 366818 is one-family-owned for forty years, features a recent mechanical and cosmetic restoration, looks as nice underneath as topside, is fitted with a Wink rear-view mirror, comes with a roll bar hoop and an external oil cooler which were never installed plus dual Simpson Racing seat belts and four spare knock-offs. In all, Lotus Elan s/n 366818 personifies the delightful driving, cornering, and sporting pleasure one expects from a great looking and nicely sorted pre-smog Lotus. Priced to sell at $39,500 or best offer.