Lotus Elan

Advice on buying an Elan S3 or S4

PostPost by: daleb » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:21 am

Hi all,
this is my first post having only recently joined the forum. I have previously owned an S4 DHC (in the late 70's) and a Sprint FHC (late 90's) Now I realise things have moved on quite a bit since then and would be very grateful for some up to date advice on values, what to buy/not to buy ie. chassis changes mods etc.
I did a full mechanical rebuild with new Lotus chassis back in 79/80 on my S4 (you could order a replacement chassis from your local Lotus dealer back then) Sorry if I sound a bit vague on what I'm looking for (old age setting in) but i would prefer S3 really, ideally something on the road and could improve on as and when. I'm more into using my classics than leaving them minted up in the garage.
I currently own a MK1 Turner and a 105E Anglia....modified :wink: ....yep still young at heart!!
Thanks guys
Dale.
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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:53 pm

What about this; http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C912331 I know the car well, it`s not mint but a good sound car and the seller is a sound bloke. Not an S3 but better than an S4 and reasonably priced these days. Not very convenient to your location but worth a trip, I`d say.
Jim
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PostPost by: daleb » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:13 pm

Hi Jim and thanks for the reply. I had seen that car advertised and was put off a bit by the DHC conversion and also it being a Sprint but does look reasonably priced. Is the FHC to DHC something that is frowned upon these days?
As I said I'm out of touch with the Elan scene recently but am finding reading through old posts on here is good research.
Dale.
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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:19 pm

Re. the FHC to DHC, the general feeling, or, more accurately, my opinion, is that at the top end of the market it would matter quite a bit. At ?30k for a Sprint, a good useable car that someone is not looking at as an investment, I don`t think it matters too much and the price already reflects anyone`s concern.
I should add that I don`t have any financial connection with the seller.
Jim
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:50 pm

I see you live in Hampshire so maybe you could take a trip to chat with Miles Wilkins.
Alan
Alan.b Brittany 1972 elan sprint fhc Lagoon Blue 0460E
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:07 pm

Bit tricky as he?s stopped the garage and is parts only via the phone.

Back to the OP, I think the days of regular runners for ?12k are long gone, so you may need to have a long think as to what you really want. ?20k plus for something half decent seems to be the going rate now.

Regards,
Richard.
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PostPost by: daleb » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:36 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:Bit tricky as he?s stopped the garage and is parts only via the phone.

Back to the OP, I think the days of regular runners for ?12k are long gone, so you may need to have a long think as to what you really want. ?20k plus for something half decent seems to be the going rate now.

Regards,
Richard.


Hi Richard, thanks for your input but who mentioned 12k? not me. I do realise how much values have increased over the years and I don't have the budget or wish to spend 50k on a minter but I'd reckoned on a usable car that started with a 2 or 3 in front of the zero's...I have a feeling this could be a long search but my mind is made up and I have to start somewhere...Would like to say what a great forum you guys have here.
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PostPost by: Europatc » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:06 pm

Welcome Dale good luck with your search
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PostPost by: Rob P » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:05 am

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search, there have a been a few S3's and S4's in the past year for between the 20k and 30k mark so you should be able to find a suitable option, might mean travelling the length of the country though but they are out there.

A couple of examples below seen on car and Classics. you might need to do some tidying up but depends how good you are with the spanners and stuff.
http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C910172
http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C916472
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/33242414 ... rmvSB=true
Simplify and add lightness

Lotus Elan S4 Coupe - Wedgewood Blue
Lotus Elise S1 - Racing Green
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PostPost by: daleb » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:28 pm

I would like to say thank you to everyone above for their help, advice and for posting links to cars for sale. It's much appreciated guys.
Dale.
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PostPost by: elanner » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:24 am

Well it all comes down to money, but my advice would be to buy something that is as complete as possible. You want *everything* to be there. Looking for missing parts is time consuming and can get expensive.

For example, the car mentioned earlier in this thread without window frames. Don't think "I'll buy that one and then fit a couple of frames (and everything else in the electric windows) once I've got it." There are no more frames lying around on stockroom shelves.

It's too easy to worry about the water pump and worn balljoints and then overlook the missing pieces (which are probably missing for a good reason). And don't under estimate the value of a good paint job.

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PostPost by: 512BB » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:47 am

' I was put off a bit by the DHC conversion but does look reasonably priced.'

Your intuition was entirely correct Dale. When this car first came to market, a couple of years ago, the seller advertised it MANY times on Ebay, but it failed to sell. Why? Because nobody wanted a converted car at the advertised price.

I do not know if the then seller is the current vendor, or if he is a good guy or not. Makes no difference. It may seem cheap at circa ?28k, but it is not cheap enough for a radically altered car, and the market decides.

When I am buying a car, I ALWAYS think to myself, am I going to be able to move this car on, if and when I do not want it any more. And this car will prove difficult to sell as the vendor is finding out, but someone will buy it. For the record, I seem to recall that when it was for sale a couple of years ago, it was advertised as coming with its original steering wheel, but I see no mention of that in the current ad.

When good Elans changed hands at around ?10 - ?15k, originality was not so important to many. But now that Elans are ?30k and upwards, originality is far more important than it ever was, and the further you stray away from that, the harder a car will be to sell and the cheaper it should be.

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:27 am

............my car was imported to switzerland as OPEN with a hardtop (that's also what is stated in my cars' official car-license. however the car came as a fhc and everybody told me to make a convertible BECAUSE a) thats what i wanted and b) this car has been a dhc since i rebuilt it from 81 to to 83. what's important here AND EVIDENTLY NOWHERE else is having the ORIGINAL CHASSIS. here, and only if there's still the orig. chassis you get a "MOT" which is good for 6 years: the bodywork should be 98% original and all of the interior. a spyder chassis normally will never get a veteran status here: PLUS changing the bodywork is simple for us plastics people! sandy PS: new original lotus chassis (made to look old and WITH the original handwritten/ally plaque/badge) may also make it!?!?!
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