Lot 368 - 1963 Lotus Elan Series 1 by Shapecraft
|Odometer reading||12,888 miles|
|Result||Sold - £26,880|
Shapecraft made aluminium fastback conversions for the Lotus Elan. Designed by Barry Wood, the aluminium tops were bonded to the glassfibre bodies with some having flared in headlights whilst some had rear quarter lights. Conversions were available for both racing and touring and were quoted to increase the speed of the 105 bhp Elan to over 120mph, without impairing acceleration times. It is believed that only 10 or 11 Shapecraft Elans were produced and there is much speculation as to how many remain in existence today.
This Elan began life with the registration number 55 GUL and white coachwork. From the body number, 190, the car was manufactured in 1963. The car has a rather interesting and chequered history; the first owner was known to be a milkman who exchanged it for a Morris 1000 with Hywell Rhys Davis, of Davis Garage in the Brecon Beacons. Hywell raced it in the colours of golden sand/white with a black vinyl roof. Some years later the Shapecraft was stolen, involved in an accident and written off by the insurance company whereby the chassis plate was removed. The car was re-registered GEU 352H in or around 1969 and with a later frame number allocated to it. The original frame number is believed to be 265. This however, may only be determined by removal of the body and inspection of the backbone frame. During this period Barry Hawkins, a director of Downton Engineering near Salisbury, acquired the car, restored it and changed the colour to green, his racing colours. Hawkins "decided to exchange it for the first of two new Elan Sprints, from Sparshatts (Clifford) Ltd of Southampton. Apparently, whilst Sparshatts were testing the car a few days after the exchange, an adjusting screw from one of the Weber's was sucked into the engine through the unfiltered intake causing considerable damage. The garage then had the engine rebuilt."
In September 1972, the vendor saw the Elan lurking in the corner of a car sales showroom with the salesman none too pleased to have to move all the cars to take it for a test drive. However, the car was purchased and the colour changed to black. It was used for a year until the vendor decided to store it until funds were available for a restoration. And there GEU 352H has remained, in a dry garage, for 40 years until now when it has been decided to let a new owner restore the car.
Still sitting on the original backbone frame GEU 352H requires total restoration, the vendor states, "Most parts are with the car except the seats. The engine, although partially stripped of ancillary items, is believed to be good. There is an old green log book with my name on it and a letter from DVLC stating that the documentation provided sufficient evidence to link the registration number with the Lotus. The letter, dated 18th October 1983, is to be presented to a local vehicle licensing office on completion of the restoration. I also removed the centre roof section as I wanted a Targa style car, this may easily be re-instated." To assist the new owner of this rare Lotus, a large collection of Lotus books acquired over the 40 years of ownership will be supplied with the car including 'How to restore a Lotus Elan' by Brian Buckland, a workshop manual and a parts manual. This is a rare opportunity for the dedicated Lotus collector especially as it is offered at no reserve.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.