Lotus Elan

Notes from a Hopeful Buyer

PostPost by: jmesh » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:27 am

I've been searching for an Elan S3/S4/Sprint/+2/Plus2S/Etc since January of this year. I still haven't found a car but thought I would share a few observances.

1. It's a seller's market and buyers are catering to it. I've lost 3 cars that my contingent offers had been accepted on because the seller later refused to have a pre-purchase inspection completed. In 2 cases, I offered to pay for transport to a local Lotus mechanic so the seller wouldn't have to deal with it. After my deal fell through, one of the cars broke down and needs $3,000 in repairs! The other was listed on ebay for the second time today. The moral is that, as buyers, if we are not experts or can't see the car in person, we've got to demand an inspection by a qualified mechanic. This is standard practice for Porsche buyers and should be for us, too.

2. Red cars. I don't mean to offend anyone but I just don't want a red car and, apparently, neither do the owners. The only good cars I've seen in my price range have been red-I almost bought one of them but my wife talked me out of it. I couldn't get a second one inspected (argh!).

3. Lotus People. Lotus owners are an incredibly helpful and enthusiastic group. I think that's part of the allure and I hope to join in the fun very soon.

Please contact me if you know of a good condition Elan (FHC preferred but I'll seriously consider a DHC or +2) that needs no major work and looks great. It will be a daily-ish driver. I'm in the US and am willing to spend in the high teens (my budget is fast dropping as I'm starting to consider Mini Coopers).

Jason
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:44 am

Have you looked at this one, its not red!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Lotus-el ... dZViewItem
It used to be mine before I I lost my work shop, I had lots of enjoyment in it and I am very sorry I sold it. I just did not have the indoor storage to keep it.
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PostPost by: jmesh » Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:25 pm

Hi Gary,

I was the high bidder on that car the last time it was on EBay. It didn't meet the reserve but the seller and I later agreed on a price-contingent upon the car being inspected (I later upped my offer by $1000). Shortly thereafter, the seller refused to have it inspected even though I found a Lotus mechanic in his hometown and offered to pay to transport it to his shop. He then claimed that he had another buyer but would call me if that deal fell through. He didn't call me and I'm pretty disappointed to see it back on EBay.

I should say that while I prefer to get a pre-purchase inspection, if the seller is highly recommended, like Hayes at Wire Wheel, I would buy sight unseen-provided that I understand the mechanical condition of the car. I'm a bad mechanic and would like to start out with as good a car as I can afford.

Jason
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PostPost by: dmreeceuk » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:30 pm

I know you would be parting with alot of money but these are not like new cars were an inspection is necessary and you dont go under the hood later yourself. I bought my car without a 3rd party inspection and thought if I cant have a good look at one myself and figure it out I dont deserve to own one.
PS I am selling mine but not in the us. I dont mind anybody inspectiing it as I have nothing to hide but I would rather see the buyer himself.

You really need an elan owner to see it not an inspector who gets paid to write a report full of obvoius comments. Contact the local lotus club some friendly lotus elan owner is sure to relish the chance at looking under another mans elan :wink:
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:22 pm

Hi Jason

If you want to know about the Elan, give me a call . I rebuilt it in 93 and owned it for till 2002.

Gary
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PostPost by: mopho » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:03 pm

Having met Gary and seen his cars when I lived in Boston, I can vouch for his work (assuming the current owner has not made a mess of it ) :wink:


Is the white car the same one Gary?
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:22 pm

Hi Morgan

Yes Jim Had the Elan painted green, It was green when I bought it but I had it painted Ford Performance white. So yes, it is the same car.

Gary
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PostPost by: jmesh » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:55 am

Thanks Gary. I may call Jim tomorrow. When he and I last talked, I reiterated my interest in the car, after upping my offer the prior week, and he said that he'd call me if the other buyer fell through. I was very surprised to see it on ebay. I can only guess that he is trying to get more money after Hayes' successful auction recently.

It sounds like he's done a lot of work on the car since you sold it to him. If he had your reputation, I probably would have bought the car without having it seen first. The gearbox issue was a bit of a turnoff, too, though I had budgeted for a replacement when I tried to buy the car before.
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