THE UNMUTUAL PRISONER VEHICLE GUIDE
THE LOTUS ELAN
Text: Rick Davy and David Jarrett.
IN THE PRISONER: In "The Girl Who Was Death", Number Six, in a Lotus Elan, follows Death (Justine Lord) from a Funfair to the village of Witchwood, who is driving an E-type Jaguar. In the same episode, it can be seen driving up to the entrance of Number Six's local pub.
IN REALITY: The
car used in the series is an Elan S3, the S3 was current in 1967. The S3's
most identifiable feature is chromed
frames to the door glass. Originally the Elan S1 was called the Elan 1500 (having a 1499cc engine) but these were very quickly replaced with 1558cc engines (to the extent that most cars were returned to Lotus and upgraded). The 1558cc engine remained throughout the 'baby' Elan's life. There was no larger engine than 1558cc.
The Lotus Elan was launched in October 1962 at the London Motor Show, although it wasn't until May 1963 that the car was available to buy. The Elan was designed by Ron Hickman, who worked under 7 designer Colin Chapman. Hickman interestingly also later designed the Black and Decker Workmate! The Elan was based on a folded-steel backbone chassis with a lightweight fibreglass body shell.
The Elan was originally offered to McGoohan (see interview with Graham Nearn) to be Number Six's main car, but in the end only appeared in the episode "The Girl Who Was Death", numberplate LWF 120E (the inclusion of 120 certainly points to it being a demonstration car provided by Lotus), as the car driven by "Mister X" (McGoohan).
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