Lotus Elan

Help my 1st Elan....which one?

PostPost by: wannas » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:49 am

Hello - I am a new member.

I have for some time been looking at purchasing a classic british sports car...but have been bamboozled by the choice on offer! ( It's a minefield, albeit a very nice minefield :) )

My mind was made up last week when visiting a friend who has a small collection of 50's and 60's british cars whilst out at a classic car rally..........it was of course the LOTUS ELAN!! What a beautiful unique car.

My only dilemma now is which model, either the elan sprint or the + 2, I would really like a convertible......my question is can someone tell me if the + 2 is available as a soft top?

many thanks
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:56 am

The Plus 2 was not originally made as a drophead but a few have done their own conversions and Christopher Neil's also did some commercially. Never having been conceived as a drophead a lot of strength needs to be added to maintain riigidity. They do come up for sale occasionally - unless a very good job I would think they probably make a little less money than as they were origiinally intended.

I am thoroughly biased but for me it is the drophead Sprint everytime.

Take your time with your search - and don't jump in on the first one you see - try to get to know them a bit first (this from the guy that took 7 years to get his first sprint restoration on the road and currently 6 years in on the second - doh!)

Good Luck & Welcome to the forum

Steve
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:43 pm

Welcome!

Well not surprisingly I'm with Steve on this one!

Where are you located? And what do you want the car for? Show, go or restoration?

Tim
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PostPost by: Leo Leentvaar » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:00 pm

Welcome to this forum first of all.
My reply may be a bit old fashioned, buy some books and read up on the Elan's evolution.
Also you may consider joining a club and go to meets. Talk with owners and the two combined
will help you find the car that meets your goals in classic ownership.
Each and every one of Elan s are gems to drive when properly sorted.
best bit of advice is: to buy the best car you can afford.
Half sorted cars can end up as a money drain, unless you want to restore a car off course,
then it's better to buy a project car.
Once you think of buying: bring a club member or ask here in the forums to see if there's
a member close to you or where the car is located.
1971 Sprint DHC
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:11 am

wannas wrote:Hello - I am a new member.
My only dilemma now is which model, either the elan sprint or the + 2, I would really like a convertible......my question is can someone tell me if the + 2 is available as a soft top?

many thanks


Welcome Wannas

This recent thread has a few photo's of a nice Plus 2 convertable, and the last post has a link to one that may be available for sale still in Ontario.

elan-photos-f18/new-elan-130-cabriolet-owner-sdk-434l-t21371.html

To add to the excellent advise above, suggest trying out an Elan & Plus 2 for fit. The Plus 2 offers a bit more room, which I prefer. I moved the seat back a bit to gain additional leg length. :)
Stu
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PostPost by: bast0n » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:13 pm

Welcome Wannas!

It has to be an S3 convertible with a Sprint spec engine.

The S3 has by far and away the most attractive body, (have you seen the rear lights on a Sprint, and all those stripes and two colours and sidelight repeaters and squared off wheel arches and and and................)

Anyone who does not own an S3 is jealous............................ :D

Don't grow up too quickly.........
David

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:32 pm

bast0n wrote:have you seen the rear lights on a Sprint, and all those stripes and two colours and sidelight repeaters and squared off wheel arches and and and................

A terrific description of perfection 8) 8) 8)

Welcome Wannas - ALL the responses so far are absolutely correct - so don't expect a definitive answer to your question.
The best advice has been given in saying to take your time and look around before buying. You don't say where you live, so it's difficult to give advice on where to look.
Brian Clarke
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PostPost by: AHM » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:28 am

Welcome!

There is no doubt that Elans (in all forms) are great cars. But first work out what you want to do with it as this will lead you to the answer of which one. I like the S2 but don't like noise or being wet so have an S4.

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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:57 am

I like the S2 but don't like noise or being wet so have an S4.


I like noise and being wet so it's an S2 for me every time. Love the rounded guards and the nice tail lights and the lack of hoops on the doors.

Mind you I would love any Elan that was in my garage.

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:31 am

After spending a number of years with a seven as my daily driver I swore I'd never buy another car with a soft top so when I was looking for an Elan it was definitely going to be a fixed head. So far I've not really regretted buying my FHC S4.

It can get a bit hot inside sometimes in the summer - particularly if you're stuck in traffic and are having to use the heater to keep the engine cool :oops: :oops: but as soon as the rain starts or the temperature drops I'm pleased to have the solid roof.
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PostPost by: bast0n » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:23 pm

Brian Clarke wrote

A terrific description of perfection
to my description - not very polite - of the Sprint!

Brian, look at it this way:-

The S1s and 2s are the spotty teenagers - lots of promise but a bit compromised, windows, steel wheels and so on.

S3s are the blossoming of the teenager into a beautiful woman in her twenties with a fair skin in no need of makeup or frippery and all the required parts have arrived.

Sprints are those in their 50s who have decided to try and regain lost youth with extra warpaint, costume jewellery and bits of clothing from other ladies of a similar age - (E type rearlights!!) - It is a valiant try and her engine is certainly worth investigating as long as you don't look too closely!

Wannas - there is no decision to make as there is only one answer!!

I rest my case.............................. :lol:


Don't grow up too quickly.....................................
David

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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:18 pm

Not wishing to sound like a paedophile - but the S1/S2 are by far the purest experience :)

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:19 pm

Baston, I love it!!!

Mark
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PostPost by: jimj » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:17 am

When Elans were current I first of all had a `64 S1 which I loved but then I bought an S3 which (I`m tempted to say " no offence" which usually precludes something offensive) was like moving from a kit car to a proper car. Ok I didn`t like the fixed window frames but compared to the hopeless previous arrangement, rubbish roof , and boot lid designed to collect water, was a big improvement especially in overall refinement. Farbeit for me to say, but not far enough, that rose tinted glasses confuse a lack of decent build quality with "character".
I thought that subsequent Sprints just got better still but human nature dictates that proud owners tend to recommend one just like the one they own.
Just find the best of any model you can afford, enjoy it and use it.
Jim
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PostPost by: skelteanema » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:31 am

I agree with BastOn, the S3 is the finst example available, perfectly proportioned tail lights, and the smooth lines and rounded wheel arches. But then again, if I had a Sprint in the garage, I might favour the squared off wheel arches and the large rectangular tail lights, and if it was an S1 or S2 then there would be some other feature that would get my favour to make it the best example. All of them are a gem, in their own ways and the best advice, as already given, is get the best example you can for your money. Originall I wanted the S4 because I thought the bonnet bulge looked cool, but a much better example S3 came up for sale for similar $$$ and I have loved every minute of ownership. As in any relationship, my patience has been tested on occassion, such as the time when the dear old thing decided to spit out the starter motor about 5 miles from home, with the thing dragging on the ground by the power lead.
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
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