Lotus Elan

ARE ELANS UNDER VALUED?

PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:31 am

Looking through an old 1974 issue of Classic Car, I though it would be interesting to compare second hand car prices to see what other cars could be bought then for the cost of a used Elan with a view to comparing values now.

Bell & Colvill had a number of Elans for sale. a 73 +2S for ?2590 and a couple of 73 Sprints at ?1995. So starting with these prices what other cars second hand were available at similar prices?

Brian Classic in Cheshire had two 63 Ferrari 250GTE at ?995 and ?795, a 68 Ferrari GTC at ?2450 and a 1972 E-Type at ?2200.
Clarendons in London were offering a restored 1937 41/2 Bentley Sports Saloon for ?1850
Thorne-Gibb in London had a 1971 TVR Vixen for ?1000
Lenham Sports Cars (who made hard-tops for the Elan) were advertising a 65 Healey 3000 MkII for ?1095
JK Sportscars in London, a 95 Jaguar XK150 for ?995, 1960 Aston Martin DB4 ?1095, a 1965 DB5 ?1395. a 1967 DB7 ?1695 and interestingly enough 'the' Lotus Metier M20 (+2 prototype) for ?995!!

This seems to suggest that Lotus buyers in the 1970s were quite a 'selective' group seeing what else they could have bought for similar money... Never mind what most of these cars are worth now!!

Carl
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97 Alpina B10

http://www.lotuselan.co.uk
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PostPost by: HAIRY » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:42 am

David B, there is no firm evidence but it has been in print on many occasions. Here it is again:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture ... -19621973/
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:43 am

When i bought my Elan in 1974 I did exactly that comparision of Lotus , Jaguar and Ferrari :D

My Elan cost me around A$4000 and i could have bought an E type in similar condition for $5000 or a Dino 246 for around $6000. The Elan was about 1 years salary as a graduate engineer

These day in Australia a good Elan is around A$50000 and still about 1 years salary for a graduate engineer. A comparable E type is around $100,000 and a comparable Dino 246 at least $200,000.

My perception is that Elan values have not changed much but E types and Ferraris are well over valued !!!


The difference is due to Elans still being drivers cars while the others have become status symbols of success like a trophy wife as they were never that good to drive but good to look at :roll:

cheers
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PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:49 am

It just needs a TV motoring celebrity in a car show to say Elan are good value for prices to shoot up with all the 'speculators' jumping on the band wagon. At least most Elan owners are currently still enthusiasts which can't be bad. we know what we have!! :-)
Carl

72 Elan Sprint
87 Excel SE
97 Alpina B10

http://www.lotuselan.co.uk
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:44 pm

let's keep it the way it is! parts'll stay within certain limits. it's the dudes who go out and buy 2 calipers for a maserati 3500 superleggera which sets them back by 15000$ !! ................ and we don't want them sandy
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:18 pm

Hairy: thanks for providing that link to the R&T story-I am still unconvinced! I am afraid that over the years I have developed a habit of questioning many motoring journalists claims. Hyperbole seems to be the order of the day to sell magazines.

I am questioning their claims not your enthusiastic support of the Elan! :)
'65 S2 4844
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:20 pm

Re the torsional strength of the Elan chassis. When I researched my Elan book, I found a reliable source that said the chassis something close to 5000 lb per degree of twist. Later research for my Triumph Stag book revealed that the Stag body was getting on for twice as rigid with the 'T' bar fitted. So while the Elan chassis was probably stiffer than a conventional ladder chassis and significantly lighter, it was not as stiff as a steel monocoque. But it did give the required stiffness for the application, with minimal weight and material and was easy to make - so it was a bit of a no brainer to go with it rather than continue trying to make an open glass fibre monocoque stiff enough. That said the Elan probably relied on the chassis flex to assist the suspension operation which helped to provide the compliant and comfortable ride.
As for the Elan chassis inspiring the Lotus 25 monocoque, that just ill informed journalistic speculation IMHO. One look at the 25 monocoque shows it to be completely different in design. The patent application described it as 'a pair of spaced tubular elements of substantial width and depth.....connected by cross members which serve to brace the structure..the engine one of the cross members', The only similarity is that both chassis are made from sheet steel.
As for Elan's being underpriced - I prefer to think of it as the Jags and Ferraris are overpriced!
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:40 pm

Many thanks for that informed response Matt. After many years on TNF I have a healthy scepticism when claims are made by magazine journalists!
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PostPost by: a d price » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:56 pm

All the classic car magazines seem to have a fixation with Classic car prices and often the journalists have their own agenda. For instance Quentin Wilson on his tv programme went on about how fantastic e- types are. This did not stop him selling his pride and joy shortly after the programme was aired for just short of ?300,000. He owns 3 Daimler Darts I bet they are featured on a future programme of his
A lot of miss-information is now out there and there are some awful cars being touted as future classics-Maxi,viva, allegro etc. If they were awful when new what makes them a classic ten years down the line?
I think the Elan will always be an enthusiasts car and not a speculators car. There is a huge difference and I hope it stays that way. Myself I have had classic cars for 40 years and never made a penny out of them but it keeps me happy
I will give my Elan a hug tonight!
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PostPost by: JimE » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:09 pm

Talking of values, UK Sportscars currently have a 1971 DHC Sprint for sale at 49k against a 1969 DHC S4 at 30k. Ostensibly the S4 looks a bargain (although its missing window frames) in comparison although the Sprint looks wildly overpriced looking at the photographs and write up.
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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:42 am

My perception is that Elan values have not changed much but E types and Ferraris are well over valued !!!


I think that is spot on, and would add that 356 Porsches are greatly overvalued as well. Not just the relatively rare 356s (e.g., Speedsters), but also the much more common coupes.

The very tired Speedster I bought in 1973 for $2000 is now (restored) worth a ridiculous amount of money. I still have it because I can't sell it (taxes would kill me).

Rick
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PostPost by: HAIRY » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:03 pm

The May 2017 issue number 628 of the UK's Classic Car magazine features and article by Quentin Willson with the title "Smart Buys 2017". In it he praising the virtues of an Elan S4 and claiming "it deserves to be much more expensive than it is".
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PostPost by: a d price » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:59 am

You dont see an Elan with a private number plate on very often. Does this have an effect on prices. I said earlier in this thread that Quintin Wilson owns Daimler Darts- guess what last months classic cars magazine he was loving his Dart! We will now have a blow by blow account of the restoration of his beloved dart before sadly selling at a small profit. Maybe I am a psyshic or a cynic
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PostPost by: persiflage » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:33 am

Saw a DB6 yesterday at the classic show.
?275k described as a good runner but cosmetically needing attention.
Bubbling paintwork, rusty chrome.
Personally I think the worlds gone mad . . .again.
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:03 pm

At least one positive side effect of steady or rising prices is the likelihood that manufacturers will tool up to produce low volume, high quality (albeit, expensive) reproduction parts that may not have been made if the cars were worth very little.
Elan owners are very well catered for when it comes to the majority of mechanical and electrical parts and trim, with only a few parts unlikely to be made again on any scale (S3/S4 door frames?)

Mark
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