Lotus Elan

Is The Elan A Feasible Daily Drive?

PostPost by: Hotstonp » Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:49 pm

Hi Folks

I am new to the original Elans though I used to have an M100 S2.

I am thinking of getting an Elan DHC and using for my daily drive and also doing some Historic Road Rally. I am new to it all so would intend to take it easy for the the first year or so.

How realistic a view is this? I tend to do about 15k mile a year.

Any advice and points of view most welcome.

All the best
Peter
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PostPost by: tdafforn » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:05 pm

Hi Peter,
There certainly are people who use them as daily drives, and I think that given regular maintainance it shouldn't be too much problem. That is of course if you start with a good one. It has always seemed to me that a lot of the trouble people hear about old cars comes from "rolling restorations", which, by their nature, will breakdown.
Of course if you want a very reliable engine then you can always go with the Zetec conversion.
Good luck
Tim
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:24 pm

Peter,

Having run old cars from the 50's and 60's as daily drivers up until last year I'd say that, provided that you start with a 'good' one', the maintenance won't really be an issue; it's mostly simple and fairly inexpensive. One of the biggest differences from a more modern car in my opinion is with the 'creature comforts' - such as heaters which take ages (by comparision) to clear the screen, draughty hoods, water getting into the car and so on. Not issues on weekend cars, but they'll soon get you down if you're using it every day!

I'd suggest a good soundproofing kit and a set of new doorseals would be a good starting point, plus a weekend spent curing any leaks to keep the rain out!

Go for it!
Simon
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PostPost by: Hotstonp » Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:01 pm

Hi Simon & Tim

Thanks for your replies. That is heartening news. Iknow about the leaks as my M100 Elan used to leak like a sieve on the passenger side. I had a conversation with Tony at TTR (he certainly knows his stuff) and he seemed to reckon that driving any 60s car in the winter is not a good idea due to the salt on the roads and that this would lead to excessive maintenance costs.

The car I currently drive is bullet proof, high perfomance but costs me about ?2.5k a year to run (1k in insurance, ?500 tyres and 1k service & maintenance) so I would hope that against that cost it would be less. (OK Sorry it is a german car with the engine in the back)

Thanks again for your pointers

All the best
Peter
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PostPost by: bvt » Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:47 pm

"costs me about ?2.5k a year to run (1k in insurance, ?500 tyres and 1k service & maintenance) so I would hope that against that cost it would be less. (OK Sorry it is a german car with the engine in the back)"

Bloomin ek.. remind me never to look at VW beetles again!!!
Think I'll stick to Lotuses,
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PostPost by: steveww » Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:37 pm

Why not do what I did when I moved on my Porsche? Buy 2 cars as a replacement. I have the Lotus Elan as the weekend toy and a smart for the run to the train station and back. A similar route has also been taken by a friend of mine who has some old TVR for the toy and a Renault Clio for the run to the office.

I know for sure that running my Lotus Elan and smart costs a lot less than running the Porsche :o
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PostPost by: Hotstonp » Thu Nov 25, 2004 5:08 pm

Hi SteveWW

Yep that is exactly the way I am thinking. All I have to do now is convince the wife. That is a large mountain to climb. :unsure:

Keep well
Peter
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PostPost by: wobblyweb » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:48 pm

Hi
I used my Elan every day for about 15 years including weekend hilclimbs and sprints.Have only used it occasionally for the last 3 year and have had more problems due to it standing and not in use.
Yes, minor things go wrong, door handles etc but the engine /drivetrain is as reliable as a modern. Water pumps I beleive last longer with regular use.
In 15 years I failed to drive home twice, both times by my own stupidity!!!
Drove to anf from the competions too with a blown silencer the only problem over 3 years.
Go for it... :D :ph34r:

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PostPost by: Hotstonp » Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:09 pm

Hi Rae

Wow! So it is possible then. What sort of mileage were you doing on a weekly basis during you 15 years of daily use?

Thanks.

Peter
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