Lotus Elan

ARE ELANS UNDER VALUED?

PostPost by: el-saturn » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:10 pm

it's a question of preference and knowledge of automotive ingenuity PLUS the desire to look more important: even mr brundle is proud to own an e-type, but comparing an elan with an e-type and an elan is like comparing einstein with TRUMP! those e-types are trucks, much like 3l healies (austin) sandy ---- 36 4982 maybe the last original chassis coated in zinc since 1980, and before that never got close to rain! here the orig chassis means everything!!!!
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:29 pm

Yes they are undervalued, however I'm happy the elan's present price point. It allows me own, drive and enjoy it on a daily basis (weather permitting).
It is probably the most 'Fun' cars I have ever owned. I had one when I was 19 and have one now I'm 60.
In between I have owned and drove several exotic cars, but the elan sets the 'Hi Bar' in my estimation. This includes P 911's, F 348, E30 M3, Escorts (Mk1 and RS2000) Cosworth Escort, and my present daily driver a 2004 STI.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:23 pm

The simple answer is that there are a lot of snobs out there. When the MX5 was first introduced there was a lot of slick PR material put out about it and how as part of the development they benchmarked various historical sports cars in order to get "the feel". There were number of pictures distributed with the MX5 seen amongst the benchmarked cars - Elan, MGB, Spitfire and a few others from memory. Which of these cars did they make specific mention of in all the PR drivel? You guessed it - the MGB ! Not one mention of the Elan. It's quite obvious which car the MX5 got all its styling and concept cues from. Even those wheels on the MX5 were designed to look like Minilites. Seen the rear end styling on the new MX5? Seen the rear end styling on the new Lotus? I for one can't tell them apart. Come on Mazda - be original !!!

The link between Lotus and Ford back in the early days was the combination of some of the best automotive engineering minds ever in history - Colin Chapman (and team) of Lotus and Keith Duckworth (and team) of Cosworth. Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar, etc, there's no comparison elsewhere in history. The DFV is the most successful engine ever in F1 history (pity it has a Ford badge) and look at all the innovation Lotus introduced to F1 car design.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:53 am

Anyone remember 1989-1990? Very similar situation with classic car values as now and it all ended in tears. Whether it will again is one for the crystal ball-it is a very different financial world now.

I think the point has been well made that the E Type was so special for its time--there was Nothing like it when it was introduced and apparently Enzo Ferrari was so impressed/concerned that the GTO was his response...

The Elan suffers in the perception of the buying public from having a fibreglass body and for being small. The fibreglass is a big detractor and brings up images of kit cars and other bits of nastyness.

We can only benefit from others concerns by enjoying the cars. :)
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PostPost by: HAIRY » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:19 pm

I read all these responses with interest and add a few comments.

The glass fibre observation is an interesting one as the use of glass fibre seems quite a respectable construction technique for many high value race cars like the Lotus 25 and some sports cars like the GT40. So, is glass fibre only perceived as an inferior construction technique for road cars?

Does the glass fibre Corvette suffer the same image problem in the USA?

The use of Ford and Triumph parts bins as a source of components is another interesting observation (and do not forget the MG, Austin, Land Rover, Norton Commando, and E Type parts bins?...or did the S4 rear lights that also appear on the V12 come from an Alfa?).

Interestingly the modest front uprights on the Elan may have come from Triumph cars like the Herald, but they were standard fitment on a number of F1 race cars such as Lotus and Brabham, and most likely contribute to the Elan's superior handling.

Note: the front uprights used on E Type were not used on F1 cars, and few if any road going car manufacturers used Jaguar parts.

Certainly it is true that the E Type is seen as more suited to that of a grand tourer where as the Elan is seen as more of a driver's car that is best suited to a dash across country on secondary roads. Consequently, a couple might find the appeal of an E Type more comfortable for a weekend away, than a white knuckle ride in a more highly strung Lotus Elan. Thus making it easier to justify to a partner an investment in an E Type with its relatively quiet cabin and comfortable leather seats etc.

However, E Types do not offer the uncompromising performance of an Elan. Which leads me to surmise: think what an interesting car the E Type could have been if Chapman had designed it??.and what parts bins would he have raided?..?
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:57 pm

Given a late 70s Elan or +2 was only marginally cheaper than an E-Type when new and is now much rarer... yes!

Just look at the values of the little French Alpine 110s these days, they used to cost the same as an second hand Elan in the 80s.

At least spares are still reasonably priced for the Elan, I suspect they would shoot up in price if the car values increased... :D

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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:57 pm

JimE wrote:It's backbone chassis was the inspiration for the Lotus 25 monocoque. Jim


Interesting. The 26 was the inspiration for the 25? Chicken and egg, maybe, but very unlikely I'd guess.
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PostPost by: jimj » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:53 pm

As you may have seen in a previous post, I`ve been helping a pal in his search for a really nice Sprint. Scrutinising what is available at the moment, even the more expensive ones are not what I`d call really nice. Clearly my estimate of what he`d need to pay is a little out of date or just unrealistic. Even high ?40Ks doesn`t get the car you might expect, it seems.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:26 am

jimj wrote:As you may have seen in a previous post, I`ve been helping a pal in his search for a really nice Sprint. Scrutinising what is available at the moment, even the more expensive ones are not what I`d call really nice. Clearly my estimate of what he`d need to pay is a little out of date or just unrealistic. Even high ?40Ks doesn`t get the car you might expect, it seems.
Jim


There are two prices. The asking price and the actual price paid. If the asking price is too high for the value presented, the car remains with the seller. Over time, the "firm price" tends to soften until the sale is made, or not.
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PostPost by: nono17120 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:50 pm

sure that they are under valued ...
and thanks to the rich people who just want to have a 911 or Alfa Bertone or E-type

That's the reason I could buy my Elan and lots of my other cars (each time, I was one shoot before): 911, Giulia Sprint, 2000 GTV, 205 GTI ...

In France, we could compare with some similar car in building, performance or icone
The Elan is one of the rare car able to go faster than and 911 S: it costs 3 to 5 times less
The Alpine 1300S or 1600 costs 2 or 3 Elans
A Citroen Mehari is an half of Elan: can we compare ?

The old car price is very strange, but each one is able to compare and make the good choise, if he knows ...
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:53 pm

Perhaps a more reasonable comparison for the Elan would be with the TVR, Marcos and Gilbern, which were competitors of the Elan at the time and in the same ball park for price. The same fibreglass bodyshell construction, Ford and BMC parts, and similar sporty market segment.

The Elan is 1.5 to 2 times the price of those cars in comparable condition now....does that make the Elan over-valued? :D
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:35 pm

Nope.
They are worth what a buyer is willing to pay. That's their value. Plus a bit, hence the prices creep up in a
bull market and pushy dealers.

The average person would see little difference between an Elan and a MG Midget. They all know an E Type. Fibreglass body is a general negative but not fatal. Handling etc is virtually irrelevant for value. Some real dogs are "valuable". Fibreglass bodied Daimler Dart prices are buoyant , and they are pretty awful cars!

Type 14 Elite are nigh on double Elan prices, but they are much more scarce. Will Elan's be that high in 20 years? Nobody knows. Least of all experts!

I do remember the bubble of 1989 / 90, this is a bit different as, so far, property prices are stable to increasing.
Darn sarf anyway.
Last edited by vincereynard on Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:46 pm

Totally agree. There is no such thing as over or under valued, they are all just valued. We've had 50 years to value the cars from the 60s, so I don't think that anybody is really missing a trick.

We may think that they are under-appreciated, but that's just our bias and enthusiasm.

I need to find someone with a 275 GTB quad cam and convince them that their car is way over-valued.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:05 pm

Interesting topic.. wrt prices I've always found it interesting that Elites are valued more inline with E-types etc. so that doesn't support the GRP theory, also Corvettes are GRP & fetch big money.

Maybe it's all to do with condition? Certainly in the past there were a lot of ropey Elans & Elan Plus2's. Very good Elans (such as a Peter Day or Matty full restoration) are fetching close to ?50,000/$50,000.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:08 pm

vincereynard wrote: property prices are stable to increasing. Darn sarf anyway.


We'll see about that :roll:
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