Colin Chapman studied Engineering, started with Trialing and built his own race car for 750 Club events. He started Lotus cars in 1951. The spartan Lotus 7 introduced in 1957 with the Ford 1172 engine was a true sensation, and was built in various series of developments until the rights were transferred to Caterham in 1973. By 1959 the groundbreaking Elite was available, built or in kit form to avoid the crippling British purchase tax. The Elan came next in 1962 with a highly modified Ford 1500. In 1968 came the Europa with its mid engined Renault 16 engine, that was a real hit in Europe, and not offered in the UK until 2 years later, during which the Elan had become a Plus 2, and later Plus 2S. Of course Chapman had plenty going on with his racing cars, whether Formula Junior or Formula one, or the race Ford Lotus Cortinas. He instigated a special 2 litre efficient twin cam which was used in the Jensen Healey. The Elan +2 was replaced in 1974 with the Elite S1 using the 2 litre 4 valve engine as used in the Jensen-Healey.