Rare Lotus Elan special for sale 1970 Wagener Alfa Romeo "Special" One Of A Kind

Rare Lotus Elan special for sale 1970 Wagener Alfa Romeo "Special" One Of A Kind

Take the platform of the finest handling sports car of the 1960s – the Lotus Elan – mate it to one of that decade’s most capable engines, Alfa Romeo’s acclaimed Twin Cam, and top it all off with unique homemade wedge profile coachwork – so emblematic of early 1970s coupés – and you have the engaging Wagener Special.


Designed and built in just 18 months from mid- 1970 by South African railway engineer Phillip Wagener, his one-off aluminium Wagener Special contemporary coupé used the Lotus Elan’s chassis and suspension for its exemplary handling characteristics, with power supplied by a tuned 118bhp, 1600cc Alfa Romeo motor, coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Following Wagener’s passing in 2010, his exclusive Special was sold to a well-known Cape Town classic car enthusiast, with the coupé successfully completing the tough ten-day Chinese Yangtze River Delta classic car rally in late 2019. Claimed locally to be made to an exceptionally professional high quality standard for a homebuilt special, the metal Wagener is reported to provide both the handling and performance to match its exotic wedged styling; not too surprising given its largely unaltered Elan chassis. The car does feature a marginally longer wheelbase and added 40kg of weight.

The unique Wagener was offered for sale at the time of writing for R250,000 to R275,000 (around £13,500) and was available for viewing in Cape Town, South Africa.

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