Lotus Elan Tyres

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Lotus Elan 1962–1975

1964 Lotus Elan GT 1600cc 180HP

1964 Lotus Elan GT 1600cc 180HP

  • The first Lotus Elan 1500 cars came initially fitted with 520 - 13 Goodyear crossply with a 145 R13 radial option.
  • In 1964, they moved to 145R13 Dunlop SP41 radials as standard. Then, in spring '65, the Elan moved onto Goodyear G800 tyres.
  • The 145HR13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CA67 is perfect for these early cars.
  • The correct innertube for these tyres is the Michelin 13CG.
  • The Lotus Elan SE from 1969 fitted 155 R13 tyres. The best Lotus Elan tyre in this size is a 155R13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CA67 or a 155 HR 13 Michelin XAS FF.
  • If you desired a larger tyre for your Elan 1500, the 155R13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CA67 is our recommendation.
  • The ideal 155R13 innertube is the Michelin 13D.
  • If you have a Lotus Elan Plus 2, they originally fitted a 165x13 tyre; the best option is the 165 VR 13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CN36.
  • The low-profile alternative size is 175/70 R13. However, fitting larger tyres is not recommended for the Elan. We recommend using the original tyre size for the Elan, as it's better suited for the car's design.
  • If you do fit wider tyres the 175/70 VR 13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CN36 suits the Elan chassis better than other tyres in this size.
  • Lotus Elan Tyres

    Lotus Elan Racer

  • Some people fit even wider tyres. If you opt for a 185/70 R13 tyre, we suggest fitting the 185/70 VR 13 PIRELLI CINTURATO CN36.
  • The 185/70 VR 13 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CN36 provides the best handling within its size for cars that were not originally designed for low profile tyres. It's important to note that the Elan will perform better with its original tyre size.
  • These tyres fit a Michelin 13E innertube.
  • Our period Innertube Guides state which iterations of the Elan were tube-type and which were tubeless. If you have tube-type wheels you must fit innertubes, even if your tyres are tubeless.
  • Here are our thoughts on Lotus Elan tyre pressures.

Lotus Elan Tyres Explained

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    Lotus Elan Recommended Tyres

  1. Other Options for Lotus Elan Tyres

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Lotus Elan Tyre Pressures

Lotus Elan Tyre Pressures

  • Elan 1500 with 145R13 radial 1965 to 1968 tyres 24 psi front and rear.
  • Elan S.E. with 155R13 tyres 1969 to 1971, 22 psi front and 27 psi rear.
  • Elan Sprint with 155R13 tyres 1972 to 1973, 24 psi front & 29 psi rear.
  • Elan +2 1968 to 1973 with 165R13 tyres 26 psi front and 30 psi rear.

It should be noted that all the tyre pressures listed here are erring toward the higher pressure, fully-loaded high speed pressures. For a more precise tyre pressure suggestions have a look at our period tyre pressure books.

History of the Lotus Elan

The Lotus Elan was first launched in October of 1962 at the London Motor Show. The car caused quite a stir and as a result, eager would-be customers signed on the dotted line to go on a waiting list to own their very own Lotus Elan. They waited until May of the following year, when the first Lotus Elan rolled off the production line, to actually receive their car. The car cost £1499.00 in a complete form or for £1095 you could purchase the car in partial kit form. The Lotus Elan was based on a folded steel backbone chassis incorporating a lightweight fibreglass body shell. The car encompassed a 1558cc twin-cam engine, which was a conversion of the new Ford Anglia engine. The Lotus Elan would later go on to have a power boost in the form of a 1596cc engine. The Lotus Elan offered outstanding road holding and driver pleasure without the harsh bumpy ride that was common on other two-seater sports cars of the era. This was also true of the Series 2 Lotus Elan also.

Independent Tyre Test - The Results

In the world of modern tyres it is commonplace to come across a tyre test. Sadly, in the world of classic tyres, the investment never seems to be there to do a proper modern tyre test. However, a German magazine in July 2016 conducted this modern tyre test using classic tyres. This classic tyre test has been translated from German to English. What is remarkable in this tyre test is quite how well the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™; CN36 classic tyre performed in the table at the end. The scores in this table are not scored in relation to the other tyres in the test, so when a score of 1 is recorded, then that is a perfect score for a classic tyre or a modern tyre. It is wonderful to see that these classic PIRELLI CINTURATO ™; CN36 tyres can give such exemplary results.

Lotus Elan Borrani Wire Wheels

Lotus Elan with Borrani Wire Wheels

Borrani Wire Wheels

Borrani wheels are available for your Lotus Elan. As agents for the iconic Ruote Borrani Milano company we are able to supply all wheels from their extensive range.

If your Borrani wheels require rebuilding, then please contact us at [email protected]

Wire wheels made by Ruote Borrani Milano are, without doubt, the best wire wheels available. Borrani wheels utilise aluminium rims, steel spokes and steel wheel centres.

Click the link for Lotus Elan Borrani wheels.

Wheels made by Borrani are available in the following styles:

  • Painted silver finish, as per the racing wheels of the period
  • Polished and chrome finish, highly polished rim, chrome spokes & wheel centre
  • Painted finish with polished outer edge

Innertube Guides

1972 Pirelli Lotus Fitment Guide

1972 Pirelli Lotus Fitment Guide

1978 Dunlop Lotus Fitment Guide

1978 Dunlop Lotus Fitment Guide

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