Lotus Elan

Halcyon days

PostPost by: Seamus » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:39 pm

Sitting here in Tier 4 on the first day of 2021 got me reminiscing about the wonderful selection of cars available when I first got my license 50 years ago. The term "Classic car" was a couple of years from being coined and the few publications around then such as Cars and Car Conversions were the closest thing to a specialist magazine for sporting cars,

Many hours were spent scouring Exchange and Mart for bargains and in 1971 I sold my Lambretta and bought my first car an MG Midget Mk1 for £80 in which I tooled around West London on "L" plates . When I passed my test the MG went because I was fortunate enough to get a new company car straight away, a benefit I enjoyed for the next 30 years until the tax liability killed off the benefit in kind. But I had been bitten by the sports car bug and it wasn't long before I was on the hunt for another as a weekend car.

The progression went like this: another MG Midget Mk1, Austin Healey 100/6, GP Beach Buggy, Jaguar E type 3.8 then my first Lotus in 1976 an orange Elan S2 which I think I paid around £400.

Unfortunately the following year I managed to wreck the Elan but luckily I was able to locate a rolling S1 chassis, my plan was to use the S2 as a donor and make a running car from the pair. It was at this point that domestic life intervened and it was time to set up home with the girlfriend and I needed a deposit to buy a house so the Elans had to go and the pair were bought as a project by Moto-Build to complete.

Where are they now?
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Lotus Elan 3608KX 001.jpg and
Elan DHU 717C_2 001.jpg and
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1968 Elan S4 45/8357
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PostPost by: Slowtus » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:40 am

Seamus wrote:Sitting here in Tier 4 on the first day of 2021 got me reminiscing about the wonderful selection of cars available when I first got my license 50 years ago. The term "Classic car" was a couple of years from being coined and the few publications around then such as Cars and Car Conversions were the closest thing to a specialist magazine for sporting cars,

Many hours were spent scouring Exchange and Mart for bargains and in 1971 I sold my Lambretta and bought my first car an MG Midget Mk1 for £80 in which I tooled around West London on "L" plates . When I passed my test the MG went because I was fortunate enough to get a new company car straight away, a benefit I enjoyed for the next 30 years until the tax liability killed off the benefit in kind. But I had been bitten by the sports car bug and it wasn't long before I was on the hunt for another as a weekend car.

The progression went like this: another MG Midget Mk1, Austin Healey 100/6, GP Beach Buggy, Jaguar E type 3.8 then my first Lotus in 1976 an orange Elan S2 which I think I paid around £400.

Unfortunately the following year I managed to wreck the Elan but luckily I was able to locate a rolling S1 chassis, my plan was to use the S2 as a donor and make a running car from the pair. It was at this point that domestic life intervened and it was time to set up home with the girlfriend and I needed a deposit to buy a house so the Elans had to go and the pair were bought as a project by Moto-Build to complete.

Where are they now?


Good question - this one
elan.JPG and
was pretty ropey when I bought it, I cleaned it up a little but I doubt it still exists, paid £200 for it, thrashed it and sold it because my wife was infanticpating with our first and we needed something larger so I bought a Mk1 Lotus Cortina. This is her and first born being dropped off somewhere north of the border - I did pick her back up, honest, in my # 1 Mk1 Lotus Cortina,
precious1.JPG and
I had two at the time but then, who didn't back then? :D


There is a theme there...
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:55 am

Seamus wrote:Sitting here in Tier 4 on the first day of 2021 got me reminiscing about the wonderful selection of cars available when I first got my license 50 years ago. The term "Classic car" was a couple of years from being coined and the few publications around then such as Cars and Car Conversions were the closest thing to a specialist magazine for sporting cars,

Many hours were spent scouring Exchange and Mart for bargains and in 1971 I sold my Lambretta and bought my first car an MG Midget Mk1 for £80 in which I tooled around West London on "L" plates . When I passed my test the MG went because I was fortunate enough to get a new company car straight away, a benefit I enjoyed for the next 30 years until the tax liability killed off the benefit in kind. But I had been bitten by the sports car bug and it wasn't long before I was on the hunt for another as a weekend car.
K
The progression went like this: another MG Midget Mk1, Austin Healey 100/6, GP Beach Buggy, Jaguar E type 3.8 then my first Lotus in 1976 an orange Elan S2 which I think I paid around £400.

Unfortunately the following year I managed to wreck the Elan but luckily I was able to locate a rolling S1 chassis, my plan was to use the S2 as a donor and make a running car from the pair. It was at this point that domestic life intervened and it was time to set up home with the girlfriend and I needed a deposit to buy a house so the Elans had to go and the pair were bought as a project by Moto-Build to complete.

Where are they now?


No doubt you’ve done a DVLA search - 3608KX had a new V5 issued in 2012 and the registration is associated with a Lotus Elan, but no record of tax / SORN or MOT. Maybe exported, undeclared scrap or in a shed somewhere waiting to be restored?
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PostPost by: Seamus » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:14 pm

No doubt you’ve done a DVLA search - 3608KX had a new V5 issued in 2012 and the registration is associated with a Lotus Elan, but no record of tax / SORN or MOT. Maybe exported, undeclared scrap or in a shed somewhere waiting to be restored?[/quote]

Yes, I had done a search and noted that the colour is now green, I wonder whether it still has the engine and gearbox from my S2 as I had gone as far as installing them into the S1 prior to sale.

Another common reason for S1s to be on SORN would be that it had been converted to a 26R clone/ GTS racer. I was just wondering if it was known on here
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:29 pm

When I had just turned 16 years old in 1979 I scoured the Trader, our local version of the exchange and mart and found a 1967 S3 Elan DHC for sale in a chicken barn, engine disassembled, painted purple with blue bumpers and completely covered in bird droppings. I painted it (in my buddy's backyard) a Corvette shade of yellow (very close to Lotus yellow but slightly brighter) with black bumpers and wheel centers, rebuilt the engine, re-veneered the dash with rosewood, installed new carpets, and drove it to highschool daily. I don't recall what I paid for it but maybe around $2000? I would love to know where that car is today. During highschool I owned three Elans and one Europa, all of which I rebuilt at some level, and I have kept one of them ever since; the blue S3 SE DHC which I ported, polished, balanced according to Vizard's book, and runs L1 cams. I bought, fixed and sold a large number of cars to put myself through engineering, and now my only regret is that I didn't buy a Ferrari 166, 212 or 250 back in those days when these were all just old cars. Halcyon days indeed.
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PostPost by: Seamus » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:56 pm

When i got my E type in 1974 it was advertised for £350 and I managed to do a straight swap with my GP Beach Buggy, I was also looking at an Aston DB4 for £450 at the same time but he wouldn't do the deal!
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Webp.net-compress-image (1).jpg and
20210102_132102.jpg and
Seamus Doyle

1968 Elan S4 45/8357
1968 MGC Roadster
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Seamus
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