From Elite Wiki
About the Spectrum Version
The Spectrum version of Elite was converted by Torus and published by Firebird in 1985, and probably became one of the most popular versions of Elite around.
It was one of several versions of the game that came with the annoying Lenslok copy protection device.
The last time I played Elite was about 25 years ago on my trusty ZX Spectrum. It used to take 20-25 minutes for the game to load, which was done from a portable casstte player! The anticipation of waiting for the game to load was brilliant in itself - and I prayed that the tape didn't get chewed up! Way back then the graphics were simply white on black; no colours at all, and any sort of ship or space station was just lines - accompanied by some crackly sounds! Garp (2006)