Lotus

The first Elan, that of Jim Clark. Photo provided by Brian Buckman, with our thanks.  “Best sports car ever *”, title Classic & Sports Car, the world’s best-selling magazine in the field of the classic car in its July 2012 edition. In addition to the confidence of Gordon Murray: “At the design of the McLaren F1, I wanted to match the Elan for the purity of his conduct; I do not think I have fully achieved it. Who is Gordon Murray? One of the best designers of his generation, creator of the McLaren F1 supercar, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and several McLaren Formula 1 world champions. In short, not anyone. But why the Lotus Elan, this tiny roadster powered by a 4-cylinder Ford English 120 horsepower? Because it comes out of the imagination of Colin Chapman, the genius aeronautical engineer converted to the automobile, creator of the Lotus brand, three times F1 World Champion, a designer for whom “light is right” (the secret, it’s lightness). And with less than 600 kilos, a rigid and light central beam-frame, a fiberglass structure, independent suspensions and four disc brakes (we are in 1962!), The Lotus Elan is to the automobile what Mohamad Ali is in boxing: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee (flying like a butterfly, sting like a bee). No way to tell you more; it must be driven to understand. By the way, do you know which car was copied to the Lotus Elan? The Mazda Miata … “the only true sports car currently on the market,” according to a recent commentary by none other than Jacques Duval. It looks like we are joining!

*Meilleure voiture sport de tous les temps