1973 Lotus Elan Sprint

Price: - Item location: Palatine, Illinois, United States
  • Make: Lotus
  • Model: Other
  • Type: Coupe
  • Trim: Sprint
  • Year: 1973
  • Mileage: 20,098
  • VIN: 0069J
  • Color: Red/White - Gold Leaf
  • Engine size: 1.6L 1558CC 95Cu. In. l4 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: rwd
  • Interior color: Black
  • Options: Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1973 Lotus Other

This is a rare and extremely original Elan Sprint Coupe with sunroof as fitted by the distributor. According to the website lotuselansprint.com there were only 25 US spec (type J) Sprint coupes built. I purchased this car a little over three years ago from a dealer with the intention of doing a full restoration but other projects have taken priority. It’s believed the slightly over 20000 miles shown on the odometer are original. The car had been off the road since 1989 before the dealer reconditioning and my purchase. The 1989 Pennsylvania vehicle inspection sticker is still on the windshield. Original cars like this are almost nonexistent.

The car was initially listed in the summer of 2011 as a "barn find" by an individual in Pennsylvania who I spoke with after he sold the car to the dealer I purchased from. He had only owned the car for a few weeks enough time to clean it up and list it. He said he'd bought it from the daughter of the original owner who had passed away. Per the daughter the car was on the road until 1989 when her father became too disabled to drive and that it had been stored in a garage ever since. Her father had purchased the car new from Lotus East in Millerton NY in 1973.

BODY and CHASSIS: Original Lotus chassis. The fiberglass body itself is in amazing original condition with no accident repairs evident anywhere. The paint appears to be completely original (except for the bumpers) with minimal stress cracks and presents well from about 15 feet but is tired with only a little of the original gloss left. All the glass appears to be date-correct original in excellent overall condition.

INTERIOR: Original Colin Chapman “autographed” steering wheel is in very good condition. Seats carpets console and door panels are excellent for their age with no rips or tears. Seat belts are new. Original reels and belts will be included but need a rebuild. A new burled wood dash from Prestige Autowood is also included in the sale. Dash top is very good with no cracks. Headliner is worn and would benefit from replacement.

ENGINE: Original engine and Stromberg cylinder head runs very strong with excellent oil pressure new plugs electronic ignition and gear reduction starter.

GEARBOX: Original four-speed Lotus box. Shifts nicely with the “electric switch” precision associated with these cars. Recent heavy duty clutch operates as it should without chatter or slip.

DIFFERENTIAL and DRIVETRAIN STEERING and SUSPENSION: Front and rear suspension rebuilt with all bushings and hardware replaced along with ball joints and tie rods. New Rotoflex couplings. Excellent steering ride and handling with no shake play or other issues.

WHEELS and TIRES: Four new Vredestein Sprint 155x13 radials on original Lotus steel “knock-on” type wheels with original trim rings. Aftermarket “knock-on” wrench and jack. Original spare wheel but no spare tire is included.

BRAKES: Fluid recently flushed. New pistons seals gaskets and O rings. New hoses. Excellent pedal pressure and feel. Handbrake needs new pads and adjustment.

ELECTRICAL: Has the original 12v generator charging system. All gauges lights signals fan and wipers are in proper operating condition with the exception of an inoperative fuel gauge. Power windows working properly. Headlights stay down for only a short time after the engine is switched off.

COOLING SYSTEM: Original radiator with electric fan. Hoses are in good shape. Have had no overheating issues with this car.

FUEL SYSTEM: New alloy fuel tank. Original Zenith-Stromberg carbs.

I’m selling because I currently have two other Lotus cars occupying most of my free time and when I saw the original condition of the Sprint I decided it should be kept that way as long as possible. In the meantime you have an extremely rare fun and presentable daily driver to enjoy. Elans have been steadily increasing in value with several fully restored or original cars recently sold in the $50 - $80K range.

Feel free to contact me for any additional information photos etc.

GENERAL: PLEASE read the description and conditions completely before making an offer. Remember this is a 43 year old used car and is being sold as-is with any existing faults whether known or unknown. There is no warranty of any kind either expressed or implied. The above description is accurate to the best of my knowledge but I encourage your inspection BEFORE bidding. The car is located in the Chicago metro area.


  • Your offer is a legal and binding contract and will be treated as such. Please do not make an offer unless you intend to buy and have all funds available. I reserve the right to verify the authenticity and receipt by my bank of any form of payment. Wire transfer is the preferred form.
  • The car is for sale locally so I reserve the right to end the auction early if the reserve has not been met. This is a pre-owned vehicle and is subject to the normal wear appropriate to the mileage and age.
  • $1000 deposit is due within 48 hours. The balance is due within seven days of auction closure. If the initial deposit is not received within the specified time I reserve the right to relist the vehicle.
  • I will sell internationally and will work with you and your shipper to make the transaction as convenient as possible.