Prince William of Gloucester

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Louis Mazzini

Jun 12, 2024
United Kingdom
Forgive me if I'm posting this in the wrong place.

I am a Lotus Elan enthusiast of long standing; recently I acquired a 1963 Elan that was originally sold to Prince William of Gloucester. I have letters and documentation from Lotus and the Prince confirming this.

The car was UK registered and then exported to the United States where the Prince was attending Stanford. I understand that it was his plan to return to the UK with the car, however that didn't happen and he sold the car to it's second owner (Jim King) in 1964. Jim had to register the car with the California Motor Vehicle Department, which he did and the original UK registration was lost.

I imported the car from the US to the UK in January and would like to re-unite it with it's original UK registration, but I am struggling to find what that number is. Lotus records are thin. I've spoken to Cheshunt / Hertfordshire County Council archives and they have the registration numbers that they supplied to Lotus, but not the chassis number to which they were assigned.

Is there an official archive for the Prince?

Many thanks!


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How lovely. I don't know the answer to this but I know there are a lot of Lotus fans around today and I've met several over the years. Regarding the registration, I would try posting in a car related forum also or getting in touch Lotus itself. Perhaps the counties where he lived here also like Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire? William sounds like a ray of sunlight, I have no idea if anywhere has grouped together things relating to him. Best of luck with this.
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Hello RabbitRabbit, thank you for your kind words. I've spoken to the Lotus archivist and he has confirmed the provenance of the car, but Lotus doesn't hold much information on Elans - record keeping was poor sixty years ago and apparently many records were destroyed in a flood, probably for tax purposes...

William did seem to be a fine human being.

I have to buy a copy of the New York Times from 29th November 1963, I gather it carries a story about how William was arrested after a high speed coastal run in the Elan. I wonder if that makes him the first English prince to be arrested?

Jim King, the second owner of the Elan worked at Philco, they built all of the terminals and mission control screens for NASA. Jim owned the car for more than fifty years.
I don't think the first to be arrested but maybe the first in America, although someone may have been cautioned for possession in the 1920's in New York when partying (drugs where about but the Police may have refused to arrest those person(s)) but I'm not certain and wouldn't give out a name. Great to the have a solid link in the story.
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