View Full Version : some racing history on our 26R

10-25-2003, 11:19 PM
I hope you will pardon my son Paul's (aka osi26r) youthful exuberance. His excitement about the Elan is not wholly unjustified, though. He has done a lot of good work on the car, including finding out a lot of things on the internet I never knew. I had always thought I just had this old Elan in the garage that was raced in the SCCA of the mid 60s. I had no idea it was a "26R", or what a 26R was. All my attempts to find parts were failures and progress was non-existant. The internet changed all that. Paul found a number of places on the internet that had parts, including Dave Bean. A couple of e-mails later I discovered that not only did Dave have a 26R, but that it was originally raced by a guy whose name I new very well, Bill Young. Bill Young won third place in points for the west coast division in 1965. Joe Ward (Paul's grandpa) was second in points behind Dick Jones of Fresno. All three drivers were eligible to race for the national title at Daytona in Florida. During the shipment of my dad's Elan to Florida the hub was damaged and he wasn't able to qualify. Bill Young, who had a similar Elan back in LA wired his shop, had them remove the hub from his older car and send it to Florida - True sportsmanship. The hub made it to Florida in time for my dad to race on Sunday, but he had to start dead last(27th position) because he couldn't run the qualifying races. By the end of the race, Dad had made it all the way to 3rd place against the top drivers in the country. Who won? Well, you know. Bill Young.
Paul also found a video on the internet that had some footage of our Elan. www.motorsportcollector.com. (https://www.motorsportcollector.com.) If you go to that site and page down a little ways you will find a section that has a link for "videos". There, you will find the video "1965 Times Grand Prix". The video was actually taken from an ABC Sunday sports show at Riverside International Raceway. I thought I would buy the video hoping that maybe there might be some footage of Joe Ward in our Elan. Sure enough, there are about 6 different clips of the car, mostly getting passed by the likes of Jim Clark in his Lotus 40, or Hap Sharp's Chaparral. He had qualified 41st for a starting field of 40 and it looked like he wouldn't be in the race. Then, Jim Hall's Chaparral's suspension broke and moved Joe Ward up to the last spot on the grid. The only other car in the race that even resembled a street car was a factory backed 427 Cobra. Joe Ward finished 3rd in the under 2 liter class behind a pair of Lotus 23s and 17th over all.
The video, with shipping and all, is about $31.
I never thought I would ever see actual footage of our Elan, but I am hoping now that there is more available. If anyone knows of any, let me know. Thanks,

Super 7
10-30-2003, 02:17 PM
Thats pretty darn cool

The SCCA outlawed 26R's from production racing at one time. They did the same with 7's.

SCCA will normally outlaw or sandbag Lotus until Porsche wins.

10-31-2003, 01:17 AM
I am kind of partial to the Super 7 myself. Before my dad bought the 26R that my son and I are now restoring, he won the SCCA West Coast Divisional Championship for C production in 1964 in a Super 7. Out of the 21 SCCA points races he entered that year he got 13 first place finishes. Three of those were first over all wins, Cobras, Vettes, Porsches and all. I'd sure love to get my hands on that car, or at least find out what ever happened to it.

11-01-2003, 04:16 AM
I was very excited to see your reply. I posted a couple of pictures in the "member's rides" gallery. The first one is of my dad taking delivery of our 26r from Bob Challman in October 1964. You wouldn't happen to be one of the guys in that picture, would you? As you can see from the picture, the car was originally white. Dad eventually painted the car BRG with a yellow stipe, as did Terry Hall. I was thinking Bill Young's car was red, but I don't know. The second picture is a newspaper clipping of Terry Hall and Joe Ward at Riverside Raceway.
I would certainly love to see any pictures you have, or any other info. Do you know what ever became of Terry Hall's Elan?

[ 11-01-2003: Message edited by: osi26r ]</p>

Dave Thielke
11-01-2003, 04:36 AM
It's good to see some info on the old 26r's. My memory is a bit dimmed, but I sure remember Joe coming into our Lotus agency in Manhattan Beach with the Super 7. He was always a great guy.
I recall we imported 3 of the Elan 26Rs, one went to Bill Young, the red one to Terry Hall, but I couldn't remember who had the other one at that time. Perhaps you could tell me the color of Joe's car, I'm looking around to see if I might have any old photos of them.
Not to knock Porsche, but the politics of the time sure made it hard for the Lotus owners to compete on anything like an even field, Usually the Elans and Super 7 were up against the Corvettes and Cobras (doing pretty well unless leaned upon), leaving the Porsches to their own class.
Enjoy your 26R
Dave Thielke

Dave Thielke
11-02-2003, 03:55 PM
Just looked at the picture and for a moment thought it was me in glasses on the left side, but realsed there was way too much hair on top. (See the Elite in members rides)
It's fun to renew old aquaintances, even if only in photos. It may take a while, but I'm still looking.
Dave Thielke bluspit@yahoo.com