Lotus Elan

Sprint For Sale - and will be for ages

PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Thu May 12, 2011 7:19 am

Tim - should have stopped and thought before I asked how you knew about the FHC/drop-top change!

Could the galvanizing give the chassis that shiny silver finish?

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PostPost by: jimj » Thu May 12, 2011 7:36 am

I have a significant respect for Mark`s knowledge and opinion but he seems to suggest that a logical, rather than emotional, choice for a "sports car" would be a Z4M. I suppose disdain is an emotion and that would interfere with my logic!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu May 12, 2011 7:50 am

I know what you mean, Jim, but undeniably 340bhp in the M Coupe running through a 6 speed Getrag is pretty impressive. Combine that with handling that genuinely gave me a headache on a track, such was the G Force, and it is unquestionably, and in the best German logical sense, a superb package.

I'll stick to the old Jag as an everyday car though....I'm still ruled by emotion more than cold logic!!

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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Thu May 12, 2011 8:15 am

I remember a talk by Ken Myers and his son 10+ years ago.
They made a comment about a Sprint they had restored and just sold.
They would not reveal actual price, only that "it went for over ?30K"
Someone might be able to confirm this but I think, Ron Hickman bought it.
(I am sure I have a magazine article about Rons Blue Sprint mentioning Ken Myers name).
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu May 12, 2011 10:03 am

Hi Clive

Long time no hear! Hope you are well. Yep, Ken and Neil restored Ron's Sprint twice! Apparently Ron was so generous in letting visitors use his Elan that it became 'overused' shall we say and needed to be returned to it's former glory.

Ken is another in the Peter Day mould and will only ever restore an Elan to totally original specification. I understand that at today's prices you would see little change from ?40,000 spent restoring your Elan by the Myers.

Tim
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu May 12, 2011 1:00 pm

cliveyboy wrote:I remember a talk by Ken Myers and his son 10+ years ago.
They made a comment about a Sprint they had restored and just sold.
They would not reveal actual price, only that "it went for over ?30K"
Someone might be able to confirm this but I think, Ron Hickman bought it.
(I am sure I have a magazine article about Rons Blue Sprint mentioning Ken Myers name).
Clive


Yes I recall seeing it on display at the Lotus festival Donington, it was truly a work of art.
I heard later that Ron had bought it.
I suppose he was just about able to afford it :wink:

Nice to see you around again :)
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PostPost by: andyelan » Thu May 12, 2011 2:38 pm

Hi Everyone

I believe there is a tipping point in classic car prices above which values increase rapidly. This point occurs when values get close to the cost of a full professional restoration.

If we take the Plus 2 as an example, I am quite happy to spend huge amounts of money on restoration because I love the cars but it makes no financial sense at all to spend say ?20K to ?30K on a car which will only be worth say ?10K when finished so I?m an exceptional case (as are we all I?m sure). However, as prices of cars rise to may be around ?30K, then professional restoration starts to become viable financially and so people who would not otherwise be interested start to pay for (and demand) high quality restoration in the knowledge that they are not going to loose huge amount of money and in fact may make a profit. Once this happens then the standard of cars in the general population rises and so too does the average asking price of the cars. Anyone wishing to sell can hold out for a high price because a potential purchaser cannot go anywhere else and find one cheaper alternative.

I believe this is what has happened with Aston Martins Ferrari Dinos and a host of other high end classics and I think 2 seater open Elans are now getting close to this tipping point. Plus 2s are still some way behind at the moment but prices are still on the up. One thing I do believe however is that if all sellers suddenly started asking say ?50K for a Plus 2 I don?t think it would make any difference whatsoever to demand. At the moment there?s plenty of money about and I convinced demand for the cars outstrips supply. Whether or not this is a good thing or not remains to be seen. A problem for me now is that if I see something I need on e-bay I could find myself bidding against Chris Evans of Jay Lano so I could soon find myself priced out of the market.

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu May 12, 2011 9:22 pm

I have to admit that I'm baffled by the prices of +2s, OK it might not be as pretty as the +0 (something was never right about the angular tops to the front wings, those Duple lights and the front bumper) the rear end is perfect; it was much dearer when new, had all the gizmos and probably made a lot more sense.
Prices have gone up a little since Jim stopped breaking one every two weeks but even the Zetec effect has not dragged them up to their true value yet. If I had a bit more space, I would be going long on pork-bellies and tucking a couple of greased-up examples away somewhere on the farm.
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PostPost by: casalunge » Fri May 13, 2011 7:25 am

Didn't a chap called Oscar Wilde say something along the lines of "A person who knows the price of everything knows the true value of nothing"

Undoubtedly provenance is the issue and original specification being more realistic than original parts (given availability). The identity i.e a Type 36 purporting to be a Type 45 rather than the price is the disturbing feature of this vehicle.

One only hopes the eventual purchaser knows exactly what he/she is buying.

As for price I understand the vendor's realised ?30K for an S3 FHC (featured on this site) not so long ago, so maybe ?45K for a genuine Type 45 Sprint is achievable.

When looking at the recent rise in asking prices for Elans in particular those considered to be the more desirable variants look at the trend in demand for certain Aston Martin models and for that matter Porsche (so many similar models and interchangability of parts leading to the S4/Sprint cloning syndrome) as previously mentioned the more desirable model, correct specification and correctly restored command higher prices and rise in price out of proportion to their almost identical siblings which cost identical amounts to restore.

Why therefore should the price trend in Elans be any different?. Having lagged behind for so long they are now being appreciated for what they are.

Colin

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1962 Lotus 22 FJ
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Fri May 13, 2011 8:05 am

Another benefit without doubt is a good resale value will help stop the cars being broken up. :D

& .... This wee thread shows once again the fantastic knowledge we can all draw on. I salute you all. Especially Tim and Mark... Thanks for all the help over the years...I am sure we all appreciate it very much..

Z4 r's...... :roll: Mrs B and I have had two from new. Both 2.5's.. Run-flats and really cold weather with the rough roads up here now n then made for quite an interesting ride until the tyres warmed up a bit. I reckoned it was dangerous. God knows what the M vers' was like. The 2.5 shook ones fillings out...and tram-lined like mad everywhere.. It was scary!!

Just thought I'd mention that... :roll: ....... I'll get my coat. :wink:

Off up to Inverness this weekend in the Sprint. Its 1st longish run (3hrs) with 5 speed fitted...It's running great.

Al' ...... 8)
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri May 13, 2011 8:18 am

alexblack13 wrote:Another benefit without doubt is a good resale value will help stop the cars being broken up. :D

& .... This wee thread shows once again the fantastic knowledge we can all draw on. I salute you all. Especially Tim and Mark... Thanks for all the help over the years...I am sure we all appreciate it very much..

Z4 r's...... :roll: Mrs B and I have had two from new. Both 2.5's.. Run-flats and really cold weather with the rough roads up here now n then made for quite an interesting ride until the tyres warmed up a bit. I reckoned it was dangerous. God knows what the M vers' was like. The 2.5 shook ones fillings out...and tram-lined like mad everywhere.. It was scary!!

Just thought I'd mention that... :roll: ....... I'll get my coat. :wink:

Off up to Inverness this weekend in the Sprint. Its 1st longish run (3hrs) with 5 speed fitted...It's running great.

Al' ...... 8)



Having driven Z4's (not out of choice) for many thousands of miles on trips from Munich to Steyr in Austria, I can confirm the fillings falling out feeling.
Fortunately for BMW the then head of Development (who was a bit of a nutter) has retired & as I understand it the new Z4's have become more comfortable.
An Elise driver told me "too soft"; but that's coming from an Elise driver :lol:

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PostPost by: tynemead » Sun May 15, 2011 10:02 am

I have read all you comments and as the owner of this car would like to point out a few things.

Firstly the price, Paul Matty have a Sprint FHC for sale at ?43000, Hairpin Motor Company have recently sold a Sprint for ?45000, UK sports cars had a S4 sprint conversion for sale at ?21000 I have seen this car and it's ready for a restoration, prices or Elans needing restoration have also increased you cannot buy a project now for much less than ?10k.

The next thing is how many proper sprints are on the market, less than 5 cars, of these how many are a fresh professional restoration? Just this one.

Prices of classic cars have risen due to the Internet making it a world market, most dealers report that a large number of cars are leaving the UK, which we have also noted.

This means less cars coming back to the market in the uk, with the euro they are also
happy to pay more for the right cars. This is a different market to the 80's when I sold
classic cars there are no speculators buying cars which makes a big difference and the world has become smaller with the Internet.

TRW99 says in his post this car was purchased in March which is INCORRECT I purchased this car in December 2010 and it is now coming to the end of a 6 month professional total restoration.

Yes it was a FHC when it left the factory and converted later in it's life, but using the
correct D shape hood frame and there are many posts about roofs being removed and values. I have not advertised it as a DHC just a Sprint if you read the advert and the letter from Lotus is in the history to show it was a FHC.

TRW99 says the car is not that special! I have not said it is special, Regarding to history or owners it is not special, it's owners are known from new, it is a genuine Sprint not a converted S4 but it is special due to it's condition. Not everyone want to buy a wreck and restore it at home as not everyone has the ability and that's if they can find a genuine
sprint for under ?20k these days.

In my experience the type of low mileage low owners cars you mention normally require work once the new owner starts to use them if not before due to lack of use, I have sold
a number of 1 and 2 owners Elans with very low mileage and these cars cause more problems due to not being used. I have also found that history unless very special does not sell Elans, a 1 owner car is no longer a 1 owner car once it has been sold but condition is always the key to any cars price.

It has been said the cost of restorations by Myers is now ?40k and Day was ?20k in the 80's I can tell you that ?15k as mentioned will not restore a car to this standard, you would spend this as a home restoration if not more and that's without labour, Who can say if this restoration is not to the same standard as the Myers or Day cars when you
have not viewed it. We were visited by an ex Lotus employee of the 70's when we had
the Medici blue s3 car for sale and his comment was they never left the factory as good
as that car.

This car is not a quick blow over restoration, it has had everything done on it including a new chassis which yes is not correct red lead or black or galvanised but is silver powder coated by choice as are all the Elans we restore. This cars has had a full engine rebuild, new chassis, suspension, every bush nut bearing etc has been replaced, diff rebuilt, gearbox, prop, new dash, hood, carpets, this list is endless, and if you add the hours up
at ?50 per hour which is not a high charge for restoration work the end figure is massive.

The buyer of this car will be someone who wants and can afford a perfect condition Elan that they can cherish and enjoy not the type of buyer who wants to work on the car, or restore one and do all the work including the repaint at home in the garage and produced a car that we would start again on, like so many Elans I have viewed over the years and should not be confused with the Sprint in question.

This car also should not be compared to cars that where restored 3,5 or even 10 years ago as they will not however good the restoration was, be in the same conditions as this car.

If you already own an Elan you should be happy that prices have risen what ever the condition of the car, is that not another reason you do not all drive Z4's, the fact that it will drop in value every day unlike your Elans.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Sun May 15, 2011 3:40 pm

It has been mentioned that Peter Day had a lot of original parts for the Elan. When he stopped doing restorations where did these parts go?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun May 15, 2011 4:47 pm

He used up most of the stuff, Keith, and Paul Matty bought what was left for stock and his restorations. That was about 3 or 4 years ago, so probably all gone now.

Some interesting comments there, Mr Tynemead, and a good robust comeback!

However, I will question a couple of your points.

I really don?t think that ANY restoration undertaken today will come close to a Peter Day restoration, as he used a considerable amount of new-old-stock in his work on his best cars. No matter how you have something re-plated or re-painted or re-trimmed it is very difficult to achieve the same factory finish.

Most folks these days will use 2 pack for the colour coat and for some of the component finishes like the servo, radiator etc., and powder coat the suspension and other components exposed to the weather, all of which looks completely wrong when the whole car comes together. The resultant bling is certainly nothing like the car was when it left the factory, and it?s exactly this sort of area that Peter addressed so well. He used original finishes where things had to be re-done, and whilst on his last few cars he used 2 pack for the colour coat, he did at least rub it back to de-shine the gun finish.

It sounds very anal I know, but put a Peter Day restoration alongside another restoration and the subtle little bits of attention to detail become very obvious. All the tiny little detail bits, which on their own seen insignificant, add up to make a step-change in the finished product. Original new carpets, original new dash tops and centre consoles, door trims etc. etc. ?.you just can?t replicate that no matter how good you are.

As any classic car seller knows only too well, provenance is absolutely everything for a car, and the lower the number of owners, the lower the number of verified miles, the bigger the wow factor for the collector, and seeming out of all proportion sometimes, the higher the value. Originality is also of considerable importance, with matching numbers, original colour scheme and body configuration being essential for the serious collector.

As for a low miles one owner car being trouble because of lack of use, you are of course absolutely right. The hydraulics will nearly always need an overhaul, and quite often the engine will need rebuilding to re-gasket , rebuild the carbs etc. A job that Paul Matty does when he gets such a car in, and subsequently fixes if and when it give further trouble. Most of it is simple and inexpensive work for folks who know how to hold a spanner.

But what about a full restoration?.are you saying that will zero miles after the car is put together the new owner will get trouble free motoring? Of course it won?t. I recently took my E Type up to CMC one of the world?s most respected E Type restorers, to get finished off after a full restoration. They put between 600 and 1000 miles on the cars that they fully restore to shake it down and ensure that everything is bedded in and all the new components are behaving themselves?.often not always the case as we all know.

Every time they took my car out something happened to a component or sub-assembly that had been professionally restored or sourced. Instruments packed up, vacuum hoses collapsed, the servo and master cylinder failed, cables were binding, a disc warped, both engine mountings collapsed?..and the list goes on.

The bottom line is even if you?re sourcing the very best components there?s a high chance of failure given the state of play in the repro market. So a full restoration isn?t a guarantee of future reliability until quite a few miles have been put on the car. Incidentally, they charge ?42 an hour, which for one of the world?s highest regarded specialists in E Types is pretty reasonable, but they are not based in the expensive home counties. Whatever the hourly rate, ?35k to ?50k is the range of cost for a cheque book restoration on an Elan, with ?15k to ?20k for a home restoration, subbing out the paint and engine build to professionals.

I?m absolutely certain that there ARE speculators in the market, but the vast majority are very different to the speculators of the 1980s. I?ve lost count of the times I?ve heard ?it?s better than money in the bank? from guys who have a passing interest in classic cars, kind of fancy one, and can?t see the benefit of any other financial investment. I?m certain that these guys are going to be burnt.

You can plot the value of a classic car over the years, and its rise is usually steady and predictable. What?s happened in the last two or three years with a few of the classics is a fairly chunky sized blip above the norm, and that is fundamentally not sustainable. It happened 5 years ago with DB5 Astons and Dinos, which seemed to be a strange one-off blip, but then 3 or 4 years back it started happening with cars like the Lotus Cortina and Twincam Escort, where prices almost doubled, with the Elan following along behind rising by maybe 30% or so in that period. The high prices have been skewed somewhat by a few stunning cars coming on the market in the past year, and the guy in the street sees an Elan selling for ?30k or ?40k and thinks that?s what all Elans are worth. Standards are certainly rising, and that means that cars look more expensive on average.

Although I am a collector and amateur restorer, it doesn?t fill me with joy to see prices rise so quickly, as there will be an inevitable adjustment which in real terms will de-value the cars quite considerably if 1990 is anything to go by. And whilst high prices encourage people to spend money on their classic and get it restored, it then often becomes something ?too valuable? for them to use and have fun with?.it?s a real double edged sword.

Not many guys on here would agree with the views the market has for ?collector cars?, including the provenance and originality, as most are guys who like to ?upgrade? their cars and use them regularly. Most don?t care if a car is not its original colour, or if it?s had its roof chopped, or if it has tufted carpet instead of loop pile carpet?.it will still go just as well. But most would also not pay collector car money either, and that?s what you are asking for this Sprint.

But good luck with selling the car. If it does sell for the asking price then Elan values for non-collector cars have just jumped up another 20% or so!

Mark
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun May 15, 2011 5:18 pm

tynemead wrote:I have read all you comments and as the owner of this car would like to point out a few things.

Firstly the price, Paul Matty have a Sprint FHC for sale at ?43000, Hairpin Motor Company have recently sold a Sprint for ?45000, UK sports cars had a S4 sprint conversion for sale at ?21000 I have seen this car and it's ready for a restoration, prices or Elans needing restoration have also increased you cannot buy a project now for much less than ?10k.

The next thing is how many proper sprints are on the market, less than 5 cars, of these how many are a fresh professional restoration? Just this one.

Prices of classic cars have risen due to the Internet making it a world market, most dealers report that a large number of cars are leaving the UK, which we have also noted.

This means less cars coming back to the market in the uk, with the euro they are also
happy to pay more for the right cars. This is a different market to the 80's when I sold
classic cars there are no speculators buying cars which makes a big difference and the world has become smaller with the Internet.

TRW99 says in his post this car was purchased in March which is INCORRECT I purchased this car in December 2010 and it is now coming to the end of a 6 month professional total restoration.

Yes it was a FHC when it left the factory and converted later in it's life, but using the
correct D shape hood frame and there are many posts about roofs being removed and values. I have not advertised it as a DHC just a Sprint if you read the advert and the letter from Lotus is in the history to show it was a FHC.

TRW99 says the car is not that special! I have not said it is special, Regarding to history or owners it is not special, it's owners are known from new, it is a genuine Sprint not a converted S4 but it is special due to it's condition. Not everyone want to buy a wreck and restore it at home as not everyone has the ability and that's if they can find a genuine
sprint for under ?20k these days.

In my experience the type of low mileage low owners cars you mention normally require work once the new owner starts to use them if not before due to lack of use, I have sold
a number of 1 and 2 owners Elans with very low mileage and these cars cause more problems due to not being used. I have also found that history unless very special does not sell Elans, a 1 owner car is no longer a 1 owner car once it has been sold but condition is always the key to any cars price.

It has been said the cost of restorations by Myers is now ?40k and Day was ?20k in the 80's I can tell you that ?15k as mentioned will not restore a car to this standard, you would spend this as a home restoration if not more and that's without labour, Who can say if this restoration is not to the same standard as the Myers or Day cars when you
have not viewed it. We were visited by an ex Lotus employee of the 70's when we had
the Medici blue s3 car for sale and his comment was they never left the factory as good
as that car.

This car is not a quick blow over restoration, it has had everything done on it including a new chassis which yes is not correct red lead or black or galvanised but is silver powder coated by choice as are all the Elans we restore. This cars has had a full engine rebuild, new chassis, suspension, every bush nut bearing etc has been replaced, diff rebuilt, gearbox, prop, new dash, hood, carpets, this list is endless, and if you add the hours up
at ?50 per hour which is not a high charge for restoration work the end figure is massive.

The buyer of this car will be someone who wants and can afford a perfect condition Elan that they can cherish and enjoy not the type of buyer who wants to work on the car, or restore one and do all the work including the repaint at home in the garage and produced a car that we would start again on, like so many Elans I have viewed over the years and should not be confused with the Sprint in question.

This car also should not be compared to cars that where restored 3,5 or even 10 years ago as they will not however good the restoration was, be in the same conditions as this car.

If you already own an Elan you should be happy that prices have risen what ever the condition of the car, is that not another reason you do not all drive Z4's, the fact that it will drop in value every day unlike your Elans.


Hi Jonathan and thank you for your thoughts.

I must firstly apologise to you and all listers that I had the date of purchase wrong and stand very much corrected. Secondly, when I said that there was nothing special about the car, I should have perhaps used the word remarkable. By which I mean it was not the first or last Sprint, it was not a Motor Show car, it was not a one owner, totally original car, it was not an especially low mileage car, it had not been owned by someone well-known, all of which may have warranted a premium over the normal price, whether an Elan or any other make. However, I was interested to read your views and experience of such cars.

With regard to the question of an original FHC having been chopped at some stage to a DHC, I mentioned that since I know there are potential Sprint buyers who will shy away from such cars. They want the car to be as close to the form that it left Hethel, regardless of whether it has been restored or not and are not prepared to make a considerable outlay on what they consider to be an incorrect form.

Prices of privately sold Sprints tend to remain in the reasonable bracket, or at least that is my experience over the last year. You can still pick up a decent driver for around ?15,000 and a good, well sorted car for around the ?20,000 mark. Of course, the dealers cars are very much more visible to the world at large and it is their prices that tend to get bandied about. And as I have said before, I don't begrudge the fact that dealers have to make a living and so will charge a premium.

I'm sure your restoration will be very fine, it would certainly seem to be so from what you have told us about it. I hope nothing I have written casts any aspersions to the contrary. I do still believe that it will take a while for you to attract a buyer at the price you seek and good luck in doing so. As a matter of interest, do you see Elan buyers changing as a breed? Do you feel Elans will become more readily collected by the wealthy classic car nut who may have owned or still owns Ferraris, Astons, (OK Mark, E Types!), Bugattis etc? Might we see an Elan at Pebble Beach?

Tim
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