04 May

Award Winning Lotus Elan S4 Sprint will be displayed at the Father’s Day Car Show in Norwalk on June 19

David Porter’s 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint (Photo David Porter)

David Porter’s 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint (Photo David Porter)

Norwalk, Conn. – Renowned local car collector and vintage race car driver David Porter will be displaying his 1971 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint roadster in the Father’s Day Car Show at Mathews Park in Norwalk on June 19, 2016 from 10AM to 3PM. Porter, who resides in Darien, restored the car from virtually barn-find condition over a period of three years doing all the mechanical work himself. The car represents the last iteration of Colin Chapman’s Elan S4 series of cars originally introduced in 1968. The unique paint treatment on the Series 4 Sprint models was meant to evoke the Gold Leaf cigarettes livery of the company’s Grand Prix cars which had won multiple world championships. David Porter is well known at local car shows both for the Lotus and also his immaculate Jaguar XK-150S which won both the People’s Choice Award and the Coachmen Car Club trophy at last year’s NEAM Father’s Day show in Norwalk.

The S4 Elan was introduced in 1968 and can be distinguished from its predecessors by its slightly flared wheel arches, wider tires, and Jaguar tail lights. The S4 also had an aggressive-looking bulge in the bonnet to house the Stromberg carburetors. The much anticipated Sprint version was announced in 1970 at the Earls Court Motor Show, and promised more power for the 1971 cars. Ex-BRM engineer Tony Rudd was able to squeeze an incredible for the time 126 horsepower out of the little 1600 Twin Cam, labeled the ‘Big Valve’ engine. This gave the 1,500 pound Elan lively performance and demonstrated yet again the advantage of adding lightness. It bears repeating that the Elan is an extremely important car. The classic Ron Hickman design was actually the first Lotus to utilize the famous backbone chassis, and the way the car perfectly captured the essence of ’60s British motoring was recognized decades later by Mazda in their development of the original Miata. It also helped establish Lotus as a legitimate manufacturer.
David Porter’s car has been stunningly well restored and is considered an almost perfect example of the S4 Sprint model. It won its class in 2015 at the Lime Rock Historics concours and has won recognition at several other shows including the Alden Sherman Classic in Weston, CT.

The perfect car for a brisk run in the countryside (Photo David Porter)

The perfect car for a brisk run in the countryside (Photo David Porter)

Anyone interested in showing a car at this year’s Father’s Day Car Show may pre-register HERE – it’s only $10/per car to pre-register ($15 at the show entrance). Spectator admission is free. Dash plaques will be available for the first 100 cars to register.

New England Auto Museum
The New England Auto Museum will be an exciting new attraction for the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. This non-profit organization will build a first class facility dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting historic automobiles and automobile artifacts. It will serve as both an educational learning center as well as a display center to highlight an ever changing evolution of car history and its impact on society. Find more information at www.neautomuseum.org

22 Jan

AACA Museum opens Lotus: The Art of Lightness January 24


Hershey, PA- The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum presents Lotus: The Art of Lightness from January 24-April 26 2015. This compelling exhibit offers a selection of Lotus road cars and racing cars throughout their 66 year history covering over 15 models from a 1956 Mark VI to the 2014 Evora and also includes representative examples of Lotus engineered vehicles.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, and the man behind Lotus’ racing successes and iconic road cars said “I believe in getting light weight through elegance of design” translated through folklore as the mantra ‘Simplify and add lightness’. In today’s automotive world, making vehicles lighter is the newest method to extract efficiency and performance. But for Colin Chapman and Lotus it has always been the essence of their design and engineering philosophy.

The first Lotus came from the humblest of sources. In 1948 Colin Chapman, a young engineering student, became enthused with automotive competition and sought to enter the unique world of British Trials competition. The basis for this was an Austin Seven “Chummy”, an antiquated pre-war people’s car that Chapman transformed into his first competition special, dubbed Lotus. His forays into competition were successful and led to the formation of Lotus Engineering by 1954. It didn’t take long for Lotus Engineering to be in full production of bespoke Chapman designed chassis and Lotus subsequently invaded and triumphed in the world of British Club racing and international motorsports competition.

Since those early days, Lotus and the genius of Colin Chapman have been at the forefront of racing technology and automotive design. Colin Chapman’s philosophy of light weight, efficiency of design and innovation resulted in seven Formula 1 World Championships as well as wins at Le Mans and Indianapolis and championships in Saloon car racing, the World Rally Championship, sports car racing and the lower open wheel formulas. Colin Chapman’s philosophy of simplification, light weight and the least amount of parts effectively deployed that went into his racing car design were directly translated into Lotus’ road cars and produced a pantheon of iconoclastic machines such as the Seven, Elite, Elan, Cortina, Europa, Esprit, Elise, Exige, and Evora, truly making them “racing cars for the road”.

In addition to producing class-leading sports cars, Lotus has become a globally respected automotive engineering consultancy, working with many of the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers. Their expertise in ride and handling has made Lotus the standard to which all others are compared.

About the AACA Museum:
The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is known to be one of the largest automotive museums. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $12, seniors age 61 and older $11, juniors age 4-12 $9, children age 3 and under are FREE. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Special Note: There will be an opening reception for this exhibit on Friday, January 23rd from 6-9 PM. Tickets are available for $15 per person and can be purchased online or by calling the ticket counter at 717-566-7100 ext. 100.


Images courtesy of Michael Furman