Lotus Elan

Okay, whats it worth?

PostPost by: zackspeed » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:00 am

first post ever. I've been reading this site for about 3 months. and i think its great. today i looked at a 71 US california model elan coupe that was largely complete but had been partially disassembled by a guy who unfortunately passed away before he could get very far into it. he had removed all the outer body fixings and sanded off all the paint. the interior is trashed but mostly complete, engine compartment hadn't been touched yet. its got twin zeniths with a smooth black cam cover and air injection for cleaner emissions. the car has been in dry storage and from what i could see there was no rust on the chassis. given that the car is an unfinished project i have no idea what to offer. this is just about exactly how i'd like to buy one. i've got the elan bug bad but cant afford a runner. besides its all about the project for me. i'm a lotus tech at a dealer and have been driving elises all year. i love those cars but theres no project in buying a new elise. i also dont care if it takes me 10 years to finish the car. is there any thing i should look for to indicate that the car could be special in any way? when and what cars had big valve heads? were any sprints brought to the US and how hard is it to build a 26R replica? i'm going to bed now so i'll look for any answers tomorrow. thanks.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:20 pm

you cant just build a 26R it must have the proper serial number -- :twisted: -ed
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:39 pm

He wrote replica... and I think a person could just build a 26R with a lot of hard work,but where does one get a lightweight body? Off the top of my head, if all the pieces are there and no cracked glass, I'd say the car is worth 5500 to 7000 US dollars.
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:43 pm

1964 S1 wrote: where does one get a lightweight body?


Paul Matty Sportscars sell them, and probably other UK suppliers too.

Matthew
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:43 pm

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PostPost by: steveww » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:09 pm

TTR has most of the bits needed including bodies and chasis. The FIA now accepts faithful replicas so you can get all the right paper work if you want to race. 8)
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PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:16 pm

as far as I know, Elan Sprints were imported into the US. So it may well be a proper Sprint.

If you ask me it would be not a good idea to throw the body away and build a 26R. The 26R cars were based on the S1 and S2, 1963-65. These were spyder bodyshells with a hardtop, and had a different shape compared to a 71. It just does not match. Even though the FIA should be of no significance in the USA, a 26r replica based on a 71 FHC will never have any pedigree.

You could either either rebuild the car to original 71 spec. A car like that will feel great and hold its value well.
Or, you go for a 26r spec chassis and uprated engine and cloth it in the original body, creating a fast road Elan. 26r spec parts are readily available from specialist. However, do keep in mind the 26r parts are even more expensive than standard parts.

My advice is to rebuild the car to original spec, maybe blueprint the engine and ditch the smog equipment and go for Webers, and modern driveshafts, but keep it original otherwise. You will end up with a classic car which is as much fun to drive as the Elise.
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PostPost by: zackspeed » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:50 am

thanks guys. so i guess that you're all in agreement on the value? (i was hoping a little lower, we had a baby girl 2 weeks ago) all the glass is there and appears to be crack free but all the trim is dry rotted, the car will definetly need a complete tear down. i didn't know that the 26R's had spyder body shells so i guess a clone would probably not be feasible. even though it would be very cool,:) Jolly Jumper, i think i like your last suggestion the best. Webers and big valves! is there a way to tell if a car is a sprint by the VIN? and are there any other differences in a sprint other than the engine? has anyone had experince with Spyder's rear double wishbones? just curious, anyway thanks again.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:58 am

I go with Jolly Jumper too. And if you want a fast punchy car, then Webers are probably necessary. My +2 engine is a screamer with Strombergs but not punchy. (I'd love to stick it in an Elan to see what it feels like.) Maybe you should make the interior bare minimum, chuck those electric window motors and go S1 S2 spec, manual. What's the dash look like? I've got some used dashes for sale. Try the car with the engine as is and see what you think. Maybe add cams that can be carried over to a Weber head if you switch. A good used Weber head is $2000, I don't know if valves are interchangeable with the Stromberg version. Have fun, drive fast. Eric ps; I'd love to hear more on value too, but it's tough to say without photos...I may be high.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:16 am

pps; I'm researching the Sprint info I've got in books, so far, first Sprints, February 1971. Starting with CHASSIS 7101. That may not be the VIN on the title.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:10 pm

The Sprint inception:

Chapman asked Tony Rudd to design the big valve engine in early October 1970, too late to make the Earls Court Motor Show that month, when the Sprint concept was first announced. Chapman and Rudd decided to increase power as sales were falling and they needed to pep the car up and keep Graham Arnold happy. Work for the redesign of the engine was done in 10 days.

Production of the Sprint and BV engine began in January 1971 at Hethel. The engine was announced in late January 1971. The Sprint was re-launched in February 1971 with the BV engine and duo paint livery. The first road test was by Motor, carried in the early March edition of the UK weekly, so probably tested in mid February. This was on an S4 converted to Sprint spec. Several S4's were converted to Sprint spec but essentially the Sprint unit numbers do start 7101 (1971 January)

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PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:35 pm

zackspeed wrote:i didn't know that the 26R's had spyder body shells so i guess a clone would probably not be feasible.


Zack,
just to make sure there is no misunderstanding: With "spyder" I meant DHC bodyshell, not the company Spyder. But the conclusion is the same: It makes no sense to construct a 26R clone on 71 Sprint.
With regard to the wishbones offered by Spyder: The spyder parts may be well enginereed and may make the car "better" somehow. But, and this is a big but, the Elan is Classic Car, and originality counts and it definitely does not need modern hardware to perform well.

The Baby Elan is a brilliant design as it is with small tyre etc. and it goes really well. Keep it is as original as possible. As I said, blueprint the engine, go for Webers, replace to rubber doughnut with solid driveshafts like the Mick Miller ones and you have a great car. If you want mods on the chassis, go the 26r spec route. But then you need to take the car to the track, otherwise there is no real benefit.

If it's a 71 chassisnumber it is a Sprint.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:11 am

So.... all Elans made after February 1971 are Sprints?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:03 am

Yep, that is right, all made after Feb 71 are Sprints.

An unknown number of S4s were converted to Sprints by the factory. These would appear to be from cars parked up at Hethel awaiting despatch to dealers. I am aware of four such cars. One was the press demonstrator tested by Autocar in June 1971, AVF 444J. This car came off the production line as an S4 in December 1970 and Autocar called it the prototype. It may well have been so, though it is interesting to note that it is an F S4 SE for export model, though clearly RHD. Another S4 was pulled from the factory new car park, having been manufactured in March 1970, converted to Sprint specification and then registered for the road in August 1971. An owner placed an order for an S4 in late 1970 and took delivery of the kit in late January 1971 in Sprint specification. The car had been manufactured in August 1970 and was road registered in March 1971. These cars retained the ignition on the dashboard, often had the bonnet bulge and had silver painted wheels. From the February re-launch Sprints officially had the duo paint livery or optional one colour scheme, semi gloss black wheels with rimbelishers, flat bonnets and the ignition was placed below the steering column, in line with the new European safety rules.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:05 pm

My Jan, '72 built car is definitely a Sprint. I'm the third owner, purchased in May of '78. It has the diff reinforcement brace, Sprint donuts (as opposed to donuts without the reinforcement plate between the bolt holes) and, at the time of purchase, the two tone paint and black wheels. All this stuff is easily duplicated on any car but the fact that it is a '72 car, confirms the Sprint status. I have a very notchy gearbox shifter and one of my readings way back when indicated this is a Sprint thing but I can't confirm it. Its a Federal car, imported by Lotus East, so, yes, Sprints came to the States.

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