I think this is an original press photograph, showing Lotus Elan registration number 796 TAR. Does this car survive somewhere? a check on the DVLA site doesn't show any record of this car. A look online brings up a mention of an event that this car was entered into in 1965, the London - Rome - London in under 48 hours. The driver was Graham Arnold. The car, apparently, was converted so that 37 gallons of fuel could be carried on board. The trip was ultimately unsuccessful when a wheel came off the Lotus. Was this the end for 796 TAR or did it return to Britain and be repaired? If anyone can shed light on this Lotus Elan's life I'd be interested to add it in here. The tax disc in the window is July 1964.
The Lotus Elan 1500 (Type 26) first appeared in 1962, initially in kit form and as a roadster only, replacing the Type 14 Elite. The engine was a Ford unit but fitted with a twin cam alloy head. In 1963 a hardtop for the open car was offered, with the fixed-head Elan Coupe being launched in 1965. The car shown above is an S1 1600, a variant first launched in May 1963. In November of 1964 the S2 was introduced. Further variations would join the line-up over the following years, with both S3 and Plus 2 versions being added to the sales catalogue.
Another Lotus Elan.
Notes on the back of this Lotus Elan photo advise that it was captured on film outside Rob Walker's Alfa Romeo garage, in Corsley, Warminster, during August 1967. The Elan, fitted in this case with the knock-on steel wheels, is seen on a trailer. Given how clean the Elan looks under the wheelarches, suggests that it was brand new at the time, perhaps being delivered to the garage. A Castrol oil cabinet, and a pair of 1960's Esso petrol pumps, can be made out in the background, as can the imposing "Alfa Romeo Milano" sign above the Lubrication Bay.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Several more references to classic Loti appear on this site, for example this Lotus XI racing car used in a Kellogg's corn flakes promotion, and this original press photo of a Lotus 7 S4. Fans of all older Lotus cars might be interested in this Lotus cars photo selection in the Youtube link below, which includes a number of oddball one-offs amongst more familiar cars such as the Elite, Elan and Esprit.