1966 Lotus Elan

Type 45 Convertible
$27.8M at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022
Friday, 19 August 2022
Sale Price
$50,000 - $60,000
Est. Range
19 August 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Modified restoration
Auction House
Chassis number 456406. Green with Safety Cone Orange bumpers with Tan cloth top over Tan leather. 1578cc L4/140hp, dual Webers, 4-speed, alloy wheels, Yokohama tires, modern brakes with cross-drilled rotors, roll bar, woodrim steering wheel, wood shift knob, Willans harnesses, original pushbutton radio. Includes two sets of bumpers, Lotus steel wheels.

Evaluation: BRM clone built by a former Smiths Instruments engineer (save your British electrics jokes) to the tune of about $75,000. There is some waviness in the paint plus some scratches, and a small scuff on the left headlight door. Some hammer marks are visible on the wheel lobes, and some dirt and light stains are visible on the top. Good restored interior. Tidy underneath. A neat usable Elan in eye-catching colors that is super cool despite its cosmetic shortcomings.

Bottom Line: The brainchild of BRM racer and Lotus dealer Mike Spence, the BRM-tuned Elan essentially took Colin Chapman’s featherweight and gave it a little extra punch. Since those were the days when Lotus would still sell you a car in kit form, Spence would take unpainted Elan kits and send the Twin Cam engines to BRM for either a 130 or 140 hp tune. BRM conversions were expensive and the Elan was already so very good that few of those conversions were completed.

Actual production numbers aren’t clear for genuine BRM Elans but they’re extremely rare no matter what the number is, and in this country they’re practically unknown. This is a very cool tribute and clearly a labor of love. The price it brought reflects all the tasteful upgrades and is a rather high price for an Elan, but it’s entirely deserved and fun-per-dollar still one of the best values of the auction, far cheaper than any of the horde of vintage 911s also offered at Bonhams.

by Andrew Newton
6 September 2022
A story about

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More on this topic

Hagerty Insider Newsletter

Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.

Thank You!
Your request will be handled as soon as possible
Hagerty Insider Newsletter
Your weekly dose of auction reports, market analysis, and more.
Condition definitions
Condition #1:
Condition #2:
Condition #3:
Condition #4:
Condition #5:
Condition #6: