This Lotus Elan SE Turbo is a superb example of the marque’s front-wheel drive sports car, with low mileage and original features. Under the bonnet is a turbocharged, 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 162bhp, marshalled by a five-speed manual gearbox – capable of propelling the Elan from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. The odometer reads 54,999 miles from new.

First registered on 1 May 1990, this Elan has had only two previous owners from new. The current vendor is a Lotus enthusiast and car dealer, who has owned this special sports car for the last three years.

Reviving the nameplate last used in the 1960s, the M100-generation Lotus Elan was launched in 1989. Front-wheel drive was chosen for its handling advantages, which turned out to be a rewarding decision, with Autocar magazine famously calling it "the quickest point to point car available” at its launch.

The wedge-shaped bodywork of the Lotus is in very good condition, reflecting its low mileage and gentle use to date. Only a small scuff on the driver’s side sill and some minor chips to the front end show the car’s age, with the light lenses, badging and glass presenting in good order. The driver’s side indicator lens is cracked, but still perfectly functional. Overall, this is a very well-presented car for its age.

The vendor believes the car to have had a partial respray before his ownership to correct minor blemishes, and notes that there is no recorded history of accident damage. The shut lines and panel gaps all look impressive and original.

As with any convertible of this age, the fabric roof has a few imperfections, with small scuffs, nicks and repaired sections, most noticeably above the driver’s head when closed. The seller advises that the rubber seals are original to the car and are likely to require replacement.

The original OZ 15-inch alloy wheels generally present well, with only minor blemishes in the finish. The vendor is including a full set of replacement Lotus centre caps in the sale.

Moving inside, the grey leather upholstery is accented by yellow stripes on its manually adjustable sport seats and door panels, with original grey carpets throughout. The trim would benefit from professional re-connolising to improve the finish, but is perfectly fine to use and enjoy as-is.

The hardwearing dashboard switchgear is original and complete, though the hazard warning lights switch is ‘sticky’, and the warning tell-tale light does not flash. The Kenwood cassette player and radio is also faulty, while the central locking system is only operative from the passenger door. The vendor also notes that one of the pop-up headlights can occasionally be temperamental, sometimes being reluctant to operate, which could just be down to a lack of use.

This Elan was last serviced in August 2019 at 54,921 miles by SG Services. This comprised an engine oil and filter change, with a replacement cambelt also fitted at this time. A full summary of the service history on file is included below.

The most recent MOT test was on 20 August 2020 at 54,987 miles. This resulted in a pass, with advisories noted for the aforementioned hazard lights warning switch as well as play in both rear wheel bearings. The tyres are reported to have ample tread remaining, though may benefit from replacement due to their age in the near future.

Now available to its next enthusiast owner, this elegant Lotus will be supplied with its original owner’s handbooks, stamped service history with historical invoices, previous MOT certificates, spare tyre and two keys.

This Lotus Elan SE Turbo is an accessible and rare entry point into the world of lightweight Hethel-built performance cars. Combining attractive styling with stylish pop-up headlights and wonderful driving dynamics, this is an exciting drop-top sports car. It would be a credit to any collection of modern classics, and is ready to delight the next owner on in their favourite B-roads.

Summary of service history:

  • 11/06/1991: 5,907 miles, Bramshaw Garage
  • 05/06/1992: 12,820 miles, Meridian Garage Lyndhurst
  • 04/06/1995: 22,542 miles, Plus 2 Engineering, Southampton
  • 21/06/1998: 32,900 miles, Plus 2 Engineering, Southampton
  • 24/07/2001: 41,232 miles, Plus 2 Engineering, Southampton
  • 16/11/2006: 50,985 miles, Plus 2 Engineering, Southampton
  • 25/06/2015: 53,874 miles, Plus 2 Engineering, Southampton
  • 22/08/2019: 54,921 miles, SG Services

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

Car Overview

  • 54,999 miles
  • manual
  • RHD
  • Silver
  • Black / Grey
  • 1.6L
  • VINSCC100ZT1LHD16203

Lot Overview

  • Lot #01344
  • private Sale
  • Southampton, United Kingdom


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