Lotus Elan

Value of an Elan Sprint project please

PostPost by: Messer » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:03 pm

Hi all

First post in here and looking for a little help please. I've just finished restoring a 1966 Ford Cortina Mk1 2 door GT and am always on the lookout for what's next.

A friend who's a farmer has an Elan sprint which he started to restore a long time ago and then it got left. Is mostly complete and I beleive the chassis is done. I must admit I don't know a great deal about the elan other than I like them. He has asked me to make him an offer so I was looking for some advice where to start with this and what sort of things I should be looking at or considering.

Thanks for your help!

Tony
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:07 am

Hi,
first of all. welcome, you are in the right place for asking all about Elan ...
Second, to answer your quesion, your location is relevant, UK Prices are higher than in the US ...
Third, an aborted restoration which "chassis done" could also mean that many things are not working or engine still does not turn, and that - with painting - is one of the main restoration costs ...

You should give some more details then, or pictures ...
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:42 am

Tony, I`d like to think that I have a pretty clear idea on values and know enough about what`s what with Elans.
I`m also not too far away, in the Peak District, and would happily drive over and have a look as long as it`s not too far beyond Warrington.
I could come this afternoon or on Thursday but after that we`re off to France, in the Elan, of course.
Jim
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PostPost by: Messer » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:12 am

thanks for the offer of help its much appreciated. I will try and sound him out first and get an idea what he is wanting for the car to see if its worth investing the effort in to following up. If he says he wants 15-20k for it I will know its not worth my time.. I know what cars cost to restore I spent about 15-16k on my cortina it all adds up, so I dont want waste my time if I cant make it work financially.

Ill try get some more infomation and will let you all know.

Thanks again!

Tony
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:15 am

Tony, I'm Mark (TinaInTheForest) who was keen for you to paint your GT it's original Monaco Red a few years ago!

Restoring an Elan is a very different prospect to the GT, and if you can do the mechanical work and paint prep yourself, needn't be too expensive to restore. A new chassis is less than ?2k (and they often need doing if they are original) but that is the only rust that you worry about.

A project Elan now starts at ?10k for a basket case, and if the Sprint is complete with all the rare bits, probably a fair bit more than that. The transmission, steering, brakes and suspension are very cheap to overhaul, and the Twincam bottom end the same as your GT. The head and carbs can take ?500 plus of work to sort out.

There are a few bits and pieces that the car must have to be viable, such as door frames, seats, dash crash pad,instruments, switches, hood frame (if it's a convertible) and a few other bits and pieces. You also have to make sure that the bodywork hasn't been botched in the past, and that the wheels have the same gap around them on both sides!

The bottom line is it will cost more to buy the project initially, but you can potter along over the coming months getting the car back to life without spending a fortune, doing most of the work yourself.

Mark Kempson
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PostPost by: Messer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:19 pm

Hi Mark
Yes I remember that vividly as my dad was considering going down the white and green route but I was more wanting to take the red route. In the end I chose to go down the alan mann colours and we'll happy with the decision as I love how the car looks.

Regarding the Elan it's hard to see what the gaps are as the body is currently off. He's over in Japan at the moment but I'm going to buy some other stuff off him in October so ill have a better look then. How can I verify that it's a genuine sprint? He said its got the correct big valve and a 5 speed box. Are you thinking it will be in the region of 10k there or thereabouts?
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:11 pm

VIN number, Chassis and engine Number, Then e-mail the lotus Historian with the details.
He will give you the production history

Do a search on site for Lotus Historian.

Good Luck

James

I wish it were as easy with old Ford models
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:55 pm

I bought my Sprint FHC three years ago completely dismantled. The body was OK but needed prepping and painting, the chassis was a new Spyder and the PO supplied all new suspension and brake components. The engine was dismantled but had been rebored and balanced and the head had been overhauled professionally. The transmission was not touched but seems OK - the car had only done 40,000 miles when it went off the road in 1977 following a minor accident. That was when the PO bought it. He repaired the body and over the thirty or so years he has been accumulating the parts to finish it, but never found the time. The seats are good as is the roof lining. The dashboard is refurbished. There were no usable carpets but I have every other piece of the car bar some trivial items.

I got the whole car in that condition three years ago for ?10K. A bargain I think. It is two-thirds on the way to getting back on the road now - I'm really looking forward to it as I've never driven one before.

Mike
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:04 pm

Tony, if the car is complete, and you got it for ?10k you'd be stealing it!

There are a couple of things to check out. If it is a convertible, then check out if it was originally a convertible, or converted from a fixed head coupe. A coupe is worth maybe 10% less than a convertible, but a convertible made from a coupe is worth less than an original coupe. Top money demands originality, and a top Sprint these days is ?50k plus.

Is it a real Sprint? A very good question! As a rule of thumb, if it is a 'K' or 'L' registration number, it is a Sprint. If it is an 'H' registration, it is an S4. The 'J' registration cars need to be looked at carefully. Most were S4 models, but the last few months were Sprints. At the time, many S4 Elans were recalled to the factory to be converted to a Sprint, and these are considered to be a real Sprint.

Have a look at the Sprint website:

http://www.lotuselansprint.com/index.asp

That will give you all the pointers, and then you need to get the chassis number, and send it to Tim, who runs the site. He will verify the number for being a Sprint, Convertible or Coupe. He's also in this forum, and I'm sure will pipe up very shortly. He doesn't miss much to do with Sprints!

And if the guy wants ?12k for it, and you don't want to buy it, then PM me very quietly...because I will!!

Cheers, and good luck with the hunt.
Mark Kempson
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PostPost by: Messer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:30 pm

Cheers again for the heads up. I'll keep on the case and will let you know ow how it goes.

I've bought loads of stuff of this guy so I'm sure he knows that I am a hassling pain in the neck and he will probably just want to shut me up.

He knows his stuff though (well with bikes he does, not sure about cars) so I can't see it being bargain of the century. Originally I asked him.in the hope it wasn't a sprint and was a lesser cost model but now it is a sprint I feel it's likely to be out of my price range but who knows.

Cheers
Tony
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PostPost by: AHM » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:34 pm

Tony,

Don't forget to look at some complete runners - you may get a lot more working car for your money.

For that reason I'd walk away at much more than 10k. Just think of the time and expense! It'll soon be cold and wet out, and that does wonders for prices!
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PostPost by: Messer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:44 pm

To be honest I wasn't looking for a project as I've already got 2 motorbikes in pieces and the mk1 to maintain and another 2 bikes that are running to maintain but this I kind of stumbled across and it got my attention. I could afford to but a runner especially a sprint and all my bikes and mk1 I bought as project cheaply and are now very good examples worth a lot of money if I ever chose to sell. Better than money in the bank is how I look at it, plus I cam enjoy it too. I enjoy the restoration just as much as the finished article..

But if a cheap running project comes up of course I am all ears!

Here is my Cortina it's the red one. The lotus was a friends and is now sold
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:56 pm

Original Sprints didn't really come with 5 speed boxes - apart from a handful - so worth identifying how it acquired one.
Richard
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:02 pm

Tony

I did send you an email via the forum explaining how I could be helpful in verifying that the car is a genuine Sprint, but it would appear you have not received it unfortunately.

Here is most of what I said: "First of all, please take some time to read through my
web site on the Sprint: www.lotuselansprint.com It should help give you some
information on Sprints.

Secondly, it is important to confirm that you are buying a genuine Elan
Sprint and not a S4 that has been made up at some time by a previous owner
to look like a Sprint. If you let me know the VIN, engine and registration
numbers I shall be able to do this. (I work with the Lotus factory - Andy
Graham - compiling Sprint numbers as many were lost during a flood there in
the 1970s).

I am here to be helpful so please do drop me a line, either via the PM, email or via my web site.

Tim
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PostPost by: Messer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:09 pm

Thanks again. Tim I didn't see your mail ill double check my junk box maybe it found its way in to there somehow.

Appreciate all of the help here

Tony
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