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First competition (race) event for a Lotus Elan


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#1 ed holly

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 20:46

I am trying to determine the first race an Elan might have competed in. Best I can find on the web is 11th May 1963, but I am sure there would have been some activity somewhere prior to this?



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 21:09

A report on Grovewood Securities buying Snetterton in The Times of March 3rd 1963 mentions that at least one could be expected in the field at the first meeting of the season there on March 17th.

 

However, a report in the same paper i/d April 16th suggests that the John Davy Trophy at Brands Hatch, where one K Keegan took third place in an Elan behind Roger Nathan's Elite, was the car's racing debut.

 

Given the weather in Britain that year, I can believe the Snetterton meeting might not have gone ahead.



#3 pete53

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 22:26

A report on Grovewood Securities buying Snetterton in The Times of March 3rd 1963 mentions that at least one could be expected in the field at the first meeting of the season there on March 17th.

 

However, a report in the same paper i/d April 16th suggests that the John Davy Trophy at Brands Hatch, where one K Keegan took third place in an Elan behind Roger Nathan's Elite, was the car's racing debut.

 

Given the weather in Britain that year, I can believe the Snetterton meeting might not have gone ahead.

The Snetterton meeting did go ahead ( the thaw had done its job by then) but the Autosport report makes no mention of an Elan. The Autosport report of the Brands Easter Monday meeting on April 15th mentions Keegan's Elan finishing third but doesn't comment on it being the car's debut, although the reporter may well have been unaware of this if indeed it was the car's first race appearance. I have had a quick look through earlier meetings but can't see evidence of any Elans.

 

At the Snetterton BRSCC meeting on 28 April no fewer than three Elans were entered - those of L Fryer, H.Fernando and H.Jones. I don't know if any turned up but none featured in the results.

 

Graham Warner certainly appeared in his Elan on 11th May in the GT race at the International Trophy Silverstone event.


Edited by pete53, 24 February 2015 - 22:34.


#4 bradbury west

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 22:56

I cannot do a racing entry, but I have posted previously about the Yorkshire Rally 8/9 Feb 1963 when Leo Bertorelli , IiRC, did the rally in his √Član, returning the next morning with front end damaged. I have a photograph here somewhere, although posted here years ago
Roger Lund

#5 cooper997

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 02:34

Here's what the 18/4/63 issue of Motoring News, Brands Hatch report had to say.

 

1963_Brands_lotus_Elan.jpg
imgupload

 

Stephen



#6 eldougo

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 07:05

So from what we had so far Brands Hatch April15th 1963 ,the lotus Elan had its debut. :wave: TNF strikes again.

 

Why is there 2 threads on this topic :stoned:


Edited by eldougo, 27 February 2015 - 07:11.


#7 D-Type

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 19:48

So from what we had so far Brands Hatch April15th 1963 ,the lotus Elan had its debut. :wave: TNF strikes again.

 

Why is there 2 threads on this topic

See the first post on the other thread, I have coloured the answer in red to make it clear.

 

In a thread below called  

 

First competition (race) event for a Lotus Elan.

 

Some kind repliers have come up with Kevin Keegan as debuting the Elan on the track.

 

I start this as another thread to try to ascertain the capacity that Keegan ran with. It was at a time when there were a few 1500cc Elans around, but I suspect and am hoping we can prove it was the 1558 - or bigger than 1500 - version that his Elan used for this meeting

 

Does anyone have a programme from this meeting that can determine this please, or any other knowledge of this Elan.

 

- thanks ... E

But I do agree that it was probably unnecessary to start a second thread.



#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 20:28

Keegan was based at Panshanger, as was Bob Curl, who built Mark Konig's Elan there, unlikely to be a coincidence. As Bob was fitting Lotus 19 springs to the Konig Elan, Colin Chapman arrived and said "That will never work," he was wrong! I'll give Bob a ring, he may have some info.



#9 elansprint72

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 17:37

So from what we had so far Brands Hatch April15th 1963 ,the lotus Elan had its debut. :wave: TNF strikes again.

 

Why is there 2 threads on this topic :stoned:

Possibly!  ;)

 

On the same day, April 15th, LC Fryer was entered in a Lotus Elan at Mallory Park. He was in Race 1.

The Brands Hatch race was number twelve on the card and was due to start at 17:05, so... did LC Fryer start? If so, he was the first to race an Elan... unless, of course, you know different!

 

I have no idea why two threads were started on the same topic.



#10 ed holly

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 22:38

Apologies for the confusion for the 2 threads ...  I needed some specific info and started the 2nd thread to ensure that the request for it would not be lost in the first one. On reflection should have requested it there ...

 

Got what I needed ..... thanks guys ....

 

Ed  :o



#11 elansprint72

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 23:02

Apologies for the confusion for the 2 threads ...  I needed some specific info and started the 2nd thread to ensure that the request for it would not be lost in the first one. On reflection should have requested it there ...

 

Got what I needed ..... thanks guys ....

 

Ed  :o

Ed,

You may have got what you needed but who was the first to race a Lotus Elan?



#12 pete53

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 23:06

Possibly!  ;)

 

On the same day, April 15th, LC Fryer was entered in a Lotus Elan at Mallory Park. He was in Race 1.

The Brands Hatch race was number twelve on the card and was due to start at 17:05, so... did LC Fryer start? If so, he was the first to race an Elan... unless, of course, you know different!

 

I have no idea why two threads were started on the same topic.

There is no mention of Fryer in the Autosport report - that could mean he didn't start but it could also simply mean that he didn't figure in the results. Anyway, if he did appear perhaps honours should be even as neither driver had any say in the programme schedule.



#13 elansprint72

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 15:42

Another contender: in the Robinshaw and Ross book on the Elan there is a photo of "The first Elan ever to appear at Silverstone, April 1963". It is road-registered AMK919A and carries the race number 83.

Any suggestions on what date that might have been in April? 6th was a bike meeting and 20th the VSCC (so, unlikely but possible).



#14 pete53

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 16:46

Another contender: in the Robinshaw and Ross book on the Elan there is a photo of "The first Elan ever to appear at Silverstone, April 1963". It is road-registered AMK919A and carries the race number 83.

Any suggestions on what date that might have been in April? 6th was a bike meeting and 20th the VSCC (so, unlikely but possible).

There was the Nottingham Sports Car Club meeting at Silverstone on Easter Monday which is a possibility. The Autosport report is fairly brief and there is no mention of an Elan competing.



#15 elansprint72

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 20:03

There was the Nottingham Sports Car Club meeting at Silverstone on Easter Monday which is a possibility. The Autosport report is fairly brief and there is no mention of an Elan competing.

Also the 15th! So a possibility of Elans starting at three circuits on that same day. The Motor Sport reports do not mention Elans in any of the three reports.

 

Thanks.


Edited by elansprint72, 10 March 2015 - 13:32.


#16 D-Type

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 21:56

Wouldn't the competition debut of a new Lotus have been considered newsworthy by the motor racing press?



#17 Bloggsworth

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 17:42

Rang Bob Curl, who says he doesn't think he did much to the Keegan Elan, perhaps only extending the wheel arches, he rather thinks that Keegan did most of the work himself. He recalls Chapman telling Keegan that he could expect 1mph per extra horsepower he could get out of the engine. As to dates Bob, not being a diarist, cannot help.



#18 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 05:15

OT snippet - when Steve McQueen was making the Sand Pebbles in Hong Kong (1966) it appears that he had the use of a Lotus Elan. 

 

A friend in a Mustang noticed the Elan coming up fast behind so accelerated down towards the waterfront to the film site, where it became obvious who was driving the Elan  :)

 

I wonder if Steve ever owned an Elan?


Edited by 275 GTB-4, 22 May 2015 - 05:16.


#19 Perruqueporte

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 06:23

Off topic, but amusing for those of us with a soft spot for the Lotus Elan - last Saturday at the Wiscombe Park hillclimb, a fellow called Jonathan Langmead in a Series 3 Elan managed to beat all of the modern Lotus Elises in his class.  Here he is in action: 

 

Christopher W.



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#20 bradbury west

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 23:58

A programme on TV tonight had a piece on Skipton castle, which made me think of Peter Fattorini, who had a very early Elan 1500 in 1962. I recall seeing the Elan 1500 script on the boot lid when it was parked in my nearby home town. I know he competed in it, later moving to an Elva? Sports racer and a later F3 car, but he may have given the car a try out at one of the Harewood , or elsewhere, hillclimbs in 1962 , or one of the Rufforth race meetings in 1962, or elsewhere. I cannot help with any programme details as I have always been heavily outbid on period Rufforth etc programmes, very rare as they are. Perhaps there is a mention in Autosport or MN.
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 15 February 2020 - 00:01.