What is really quite difficult to believe is that before production started, Lotus built two early Elite versions with the English version of the Buick 215, the Rover V8 at 4 L. Everyone liked it but Colin wanted an all English car and he said that the 4 liter didn't produce any more hp than the two liter. Twice the cubic inches and no more power or that it didn't make that much difference. Right !
Mine, with a 4.9 liter Buick (298 cid) , is very fun to drive. Much of the time, having so much torque in this engine, there is no need to down shift for a good boost in speed, just a little more stab on the gas petal is all that is needed. And it is way different than the original two liter Lotus twincam, by a long ways.! Still it can deliver over 30 mpg US.
Also updated was the brake master cylinder. Lotus's original part was something over $500 US dollars to replace so I found an AC Delco one for $47 with basically the same cylinder with right hand ports and the same piston diameter, but then I had to replace all of the brake lines which was necessary as the union to the rear brakes was blocked from a stuck valve down line. Even 160 psi wasn't enough to get any brake fluid through to bleed the rear brakes. I didn't find any mention of this part in the workshop manual which was very annoying. Really didn't matter because the rear end had leaked rear end fluid saturating the rear brake shoes at only 28,000 miles making them essentially worthless. Seals failed! The forklift rear end is really problematic and was not designed for a car traveling at much higher speeds and distances IMHO.
The overall shape was really never accepted by the Lotus aficionados. Copied, no doubt, from American Motors Gremlin (1972 even used the same door handles) the rear end design takes some getting used to IMHO. I like it now but have owned the car for almost 40 years. It is a great road car with awesome handling and with the mods I have done, is a lot more reliable. Lots of storage and a very large interior even a large man can be comfortable. This car, in the US, in it's original form is difficult to find someone who actually knows how to work on them and it would not be wise to go road tripping with one too far from home.
Red is one of the colors IMHO best suits the Elite. Cardinal Red from a Ford truck color.
Notice that the dual exhausts look to be plugged but these are ss "SuperTrap" mufflers many racers have used in the past as one can quiet the noise with the number of radial defusers and adjust back pressure for controlling the hp and torque. Very nice sweet rumble this small V8 produces. Actually quieter than the original Lotus twincam believe it or not.
Larger 16 inch alloy wheels to accommodate the z rated Dunlap's with slightly larger foot print on the back @ 225 verses the original width of 205.
Not seen is an updated heavy duty 10" clutch to match the heavy duty 5 speed transmission.
Offenhauser valve train covers dress up the engine with along with spark wire holders keeping them away from the exhaust headers which were ceramic metallic coated, inside and out, to dress up these parts, keeping the exhaust temps up inside the headers for an increase in power (around 10 hp increase to help scavenge the exhaust) all while keeping the engine bay some 70 F degrees cooler.