Lotus Elan

Bit of a Mongrel

PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:54 pm

440HUU wrote:However, values today are VERY much dependant on how far away a given car strays from being original, and they don't come much further away than your car.


I'm not sure I agree with this based on what I've seen. Yes, an original S1 with the original engine and chassis carries a premium, unfortunately because it clearly spent a few decades not doing what Chunky built it for. So does a 26r with enough provenance to prove it's a 26r. But most Elans aren't original, and even the premiums I've seen aren't all that large. The car (actually no car built by Chapman, oddly including the Type 15) simply doesn't get the kind of respect that, say, a 1964 Mustang or a 1970 Barracuda Hemi has.

Many of us translate "original chassis" into "front turrets rusted through." And if they've been repaired, that original chassis is worth quite a bit less than a Spyder even if it's functionally equivalent.

Focusing on your car, it's likely one of two animals: Either as 'Spyder fan' notes it has simply lived long and survived through shedding parts not designed to live long, or it was 'bitsa-built' from components and a VIN plate. Here in the U.S., provided some government has already blessed the result with a registration, the difference doesn't matter much, particularly because cars weren't titled in most states during the lifetime of the Elan.

Come up with a VIN plate someone else has already or have someone realize your engine block came from their stolen Elan and you'll see a bit more of a challenge, but with a 711M you're safe there unless someone really treasured their Escort.

The best thing you can do to establish the legitimacy of your car is to recover the original block or come up with documentation (provided it happened at a legitimate shop, which didn't legally have to happen) related to the body swap.

I have the original blocks from two Europas hanging out in my basement, and have notified the Europa group both of their existence and the VINs of the cars they came from. No takers or interest, but Elans are more popular right now than S2 Europas.

Provided nobody from the DVLA who has read your post is chasing after you for relabeled hot bits, I would price your tall block S4 (what it really is at this point) at about the same as a any other S4 in similar condition. Maybe higher. Late Elans aren't the most valuable, and the extra stroke increases the curl of the grin. :)
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PostPost by: MartinH » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:12 am

Thanks to all who have responded with sound advice and encouraging words.

In summary I have a 1967 registered car which is really now an S4 DHC with an Escort or Lotus Cortina engine, which has been mildly breathed on.

Pierre Bourgais in France who rebuilt the gearbox reckons it is a standard Cortina box and recommends changing the ratios to semi-close.

I will send all the details to my insurers and not to DVLA (I have been warned). I do have the V5

On the subject of value this seems to be up for debate. My question here is, are the majority of the ?30-40k cars for sale likely to have original engines and Chassis/frames? I suspect most have their original bodies, but a good number have solid drive shafts, alternators, upgraded cooling systems, suspension, etc. I will take up Leslies suggestion of asking Paul Matty to value it. I bought it from him 13 years ago. I really wont sell it, Like a number of others on here I have some other cars and a bike which are far more powerful but my favourite by far is the Elan.

Attached is the engine spec that came in the history file. Do the power output numbers look right to those of you with experience in this field?

Thanks for the colour suggestions, it needs a bit of touch up work so am trying to match the colour.

From memory the only other number I could see on the engine block was T16 or 16T

Thanks again for the guidance and free sharing of information
Martin
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engine-spec-001.jpg and
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:28 am

The quoted estimated 135 - 140 horsepower is about right - maybe even a little conservative depending on the rest of the engine details.

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PostPost by: MartinH » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:16 am

Thanks Rohan,

It has a TTR manifold and system for up to 150BHP, standard air intake box with K&N filter in the nose
Big alloy radiator.
Anything else I should look at?

Thanks
martin
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:01 pm

carb choke size and jetting ?

With say 34 mm chokes and TTR manifold and exhaust you should be above 140 hp. If the head has had any decent porting you would be around 150 hp

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:02 pm

The standard airbox will be costing you a few hp also with your spec engine.

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PostPost by: MartinH » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:44 pm

And a special thanks to Charles, aka 440HUU, who remembers the car as a silver coupe in 1968 belonging to a school friend's father, a restaurateur from Oxford. The forum really is a mine of information

Thanks
Martin
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