Lotus Elan

Build a 'new' Elan?

PostPost by: AdrianSi » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:52 pm

jono wrote:
...and a note to add is that the bodyshell is the chassis unit on a Elan for the purpose of 'identity' so it would only be legitimate if you purchased a bodyshell along with its V5 then re built the car to original spec.

The unit number comes from the Chassis rather than the Bodyshell. The body number (certainly for +2's) is very often different to the Chassis number, but close to the Chassis number/VIN number. The bodyshells were manufactured in batches which included replacement parts. Matching number bodyshells and chassis were merely a coincidence dependant on the rate of production at the time of manufacture. The body was then mounted to a chassis and the chassis number used as the VIN. This was my understanding at the time of obtaining a Certificate of Provenance for my car.

Therefore you could by a body with V5 that doesn't match the body number of the physical Bodyshell... really you would be looking at buying a chassis and adding a new bodyshell. But then how many original chassis are there out there?

To get through an IVA test as a brand new built car wouldn't be that difficult. You would need to look at running the TwinCam on injection, with remappable closed loop lambda enabled and a half decent catalyst. A map could be created to suit the 0.2% CO requirements without too much of a palarva and other maps created for lets say the in between times of MOT testing *cough*. Age related plate transfered to the vehicle, and there you have it... a brand new built Elan! (In theory)
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:17 am

Nice to see that this subject still has legs !

Still interesting and, from a cost viewpoint, it must become ever more viable, as prices of good cars continue ever upwards...........
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:25 pm

Another interesting aside; back in the '80s one of the US car magazines (I think it was Car and Driver but don't quote me on that) built a Ford Model A from nothing but new reproduction spares available at the time, and then drove it across USA coast to coast. I don't remember much else from the article but I sure do wish I could read it again now that I would understand so much more of it.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:59 pm

Some people are happy to spend ?60k on a 'new' MGBGT built from parts with a Mazda engine so why not an Elan? :o


I guess around the ?80k mark would be about right!!

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PostPost by: Routen Chaplin Lotus » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:04 pm

Steve G wrote:I think it's because it would cost nearly the same, if not more, than restoring an actual one, by the time you had all the body parts made. Then there are many almost unobtainable items that most restorers look for when viewing sheds, and after all that you have to get it approved and registered, pay car tax on it every year, non classic car insurance and it would be worth a fraction of a fully restored original Elan, which can sell for ?45-50K, which is why so many are being so extensively and expensively restored.

There is a market for this sort of thing though, Spyder +2s have a following and there are Elans out there with Zetecs in them etc. There are other examples such as Eagle Jaguar that make beautiful recreations of E types, the LE50 which is the Mazda engined MGB and so on. Its a niche market but for those wanting the traditional looks but with a more modern driving experience (5/6 speed gearboxes etc.) and reliability then for them this is the way to go.

We insure recreations in much the same way as we do classics as long as they are going to be used in the same way, garaged, limited mileage etc so that is not a problem, but if you are willing to pay ?50K+ for an MGB then I don't think the cost of insurance is the issue and if you would pay ?50K for an MGB, how much would you pay for a "new" Lotus Elan?

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PostPost by: herrherr » Wed May 29, 2019 5:47 pm

I hope you guys don't mind that I'm resurrecting this old topic :)

I'm currently toying with the idea of building up a 26r/GTS car, which would not be used for racing but just road use. The people who have gone down that road, did they all start with an old Elan?

Because if I end up buying a new chassis, shell and engine I'm really wondering if it would be worth it - apart from perhaps obtaining some hard to find parts. In the end there would be really no part left from the initial car. Which brings us back to the question of buying just a VIN. Has someone here done that?
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed May 29, 2019 6:18 pm

This is probably more of a legal question. Generally selling just the VIN tag and documents is questionable practice. Whether you can do it or get away with doing it is probably down to your laws/regulations. So I would start by investigating that before spending any money.

Fixing a basket case with lots of new parts is probably lower risk but doesn't mean you'll end up with something you can register for the road in your country.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed May 29, 2019 6:20 pm

I would imagine loads have done just that!

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PostPost by: Slowtus » Wed May 29, 2019 6:40 pm

mmatthej1 wrote:In a whimsical way, I wonder if it would be possible/economic to think of building a 'new' Elan from available components?

I indulged in this exercise in mental masturbation many years ago, the subject car being a Morris 1000 - selected because I had access to the cost of all the parts needed.

Parts alone - before adding the BS&T required and involved - were 2.4 times the cost of a new car.

Possible? Absolutely

Economic? Not so much... though I have friend building a Lister Jag (Knobbly) at the moment and given his skills, which are fantastic, I suspect it will cost a lot less than buying a new one :D

That said - go for it.
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PostPost by: rcfurse » Wed May 29, 2019 9:59 pm

I did a detailed costing exercise for a DB5 four years ago. The parts for 1 were less than ?250K. Make a run of 10 and the parts costs per car drop to ?185K. Given that Aston Martin are selling the "continuation" ones for ?3m I would say they are making money!
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Wed May 29, 2019 10:06 pm

Frontline's MG LE50 is ?59,900.00 plus VAT Which kind of gives you an idea what new production Elan would sell for. Can I get a new Caterham or even a Elise for that price? A Beck Spyder is at least US$30,000 just for a roller.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Thu May 30, 2019 9:20 am

Ian Walker Racing are planning to make some 'continuation' Elans although I guess they will not be cheap..



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PostPost by: Bits » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:12 pm

In GB the DVLA, I have read, view the chassis and body as a final assembly and each of the two parts as a sub frame. So if you change either you do not have to let the DVLA know.
Each of the two parts work together - the body adding stiffness to the chassis. This is why you should not mess with the flanges on the body (mostly found in the engine bay).

How you go on if you changed both at the same time I don't know. Sounds like they would want to re-register it on a Q plate!!
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PostPost by: Evante » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:01 pm

Hi All,

I was just cruising around the site and found this series of posts from 2010. I thought they would interesting to post here as this is a recurring topic.



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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:56 pm

I've wanted to do this with an Elite. Much higher cost car and therefore more viable. Seems the main drawback would be a suitable engine that wouldn't drastically affect the handling of the car. Maybe the Ford 3 cylinder.

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