1972 Lotus Elan Sprint FHC
There wasn’t a lot wrong with this pistachio-over-white Elan Sprint FHC when it arrived at Paul Matty Sports Cars half a dozen years ago. But its owner is a stickler for originality and the car underwent a full restoration to its original 1972 spec.
“It was actually a nice car,” says Paul Matty, “but our job was to take it to bits and build it up as near as possible to the specification in which it would have left the factory.
“It was completely stripped to the bare body, a new Lotus chassis fitted, a new wiring loom put in, the bodywork repainted and the doors rebuilt and re-chromed with new hinges. It was a 100 per cent rebuild.
“We put in a new dash, though the seats didn’t need retrimming. It really is a beautiful, original-spec car now.”
The car incorporates a number of key Matty upgrades in the name of drivability and usability. Engine power had been upped slightly to 140bhp and mid-range torque increased, a larger radiator with twin fans fitted, the starter motor changed for a pre-engaged inertia unit, and the rear axle converted to solid universal joint driveshafts.
“The people buying Elans today actually want to drive them, so we make them more usable,” explains Matty. “We have customers who tour Europe in them. But the best handling Elans are the ones that are as close as possible to standard. Colin Chapman did an amazing job of getting the handling of the car spot on.”
Paul Matty Sports Cars, Bromsgrove, Warwickshire
Tel: 01527 835 656, paulmattysportscars.co.uk
Around and about, February 1989
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