Whilst Colin Chapman was preoccupied with the Formula One Championship, privateer entrants such as Ian Walker and Chequered Flag saw the competition potential of the recently introduced Lotus Elan. They modified the Elan for racing and on the back of their successes Chapman began producing factory uprated cars, which were homologated as the 26R in 1964.
The 26R featured uprated engine, transmission, suspension and brakes and externally can be identified by its magnesium centre-lock wheels, modified wheel arches and enclosed headlights. It proved to be a highly competitive proposition for many years in the hands of such notables as Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Whitmore and John Miles. A total of 97 cars were built by the factory and these original cars are now extremely valuable.
The 26R remains a very competitive proposition in historic racing today, but understandably owners of original examples are often reluctant to risk their cars on the circuits. Consequently a number of standard Elans have been modified to full FIA homologated specification for competition use.
This stunning example was built between 2011 and 2013 by the universally acknowledged 26R specialists Tony Thompson Racing, using all of Tony’s expertise and developments. The comprehensive specification includes a correct lightweight body and chassis, with a 176 bhp engine and all other homologated 26R modifications. It is on the weight limit.
Since build the 26R has only been used for hillclimbs, with many notable successes, and has been maintained regardless of cost.
The car was recently prepared for fresh FIA papers which have just been approved. Being dry-sumped it has been placed in Category G1 so could alternatively be purchased without engine for £84,950, as the basis of a pre-66 contender.
The 26R is road-registered and therefore also suitable for road events such as Tour Auto, as well as circuit racing and hillclimbs.
Immaculate throughout, hugely versatile and competitive. You could not build one for the asking price!