Lotus Elan

Elan back in production?

PostPost by: Ianashdown » Fri Dec 02, 2022 9:34 pm

Have you seen this piece written by/for Hagerty?

https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/s ... -replicas/

Comments, thoughts?

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 03, 2022 4:18 am

I’m surprised there are no comments yet!

Obviously the is just a piece written to help sell more insurance, but it does raise a valid question.

So many ‘continuation’ cars are being built and presumably selling some quantity, why wouldn’t the car that so many say is the best handling ever, not have a similar afterlife?

An Elan could be built using 100% new components, and enough tech to make ownership a little easier whilst not giving up the essence of what makes the Elan so special. The development costs should be very reasonable.

Just imagine being able to buy a new Elan, with service available, a warranty, and being able to get a loan to finance the purchase. The cost has to be lower than some of the restored car are selling for.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:01 am

Its been possible to build a new Elan from scratch for many years and a lot of FIA racers where replicas are allowed do just that.

The biggest challenge would be the windows frames if you wanted to build a S3 or S4 / sprint replica road car. If Spyder and Boss Motors got together I would guess a production run of say 20 cars would be easily possible. Whether the price would be acceptable to buyers is another question :D

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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 9:58 am

The CN Sprint and the Evante did not sell in the large numbers their creators envisaged.

I suspect that would be the case should a contemporary Elan be built and sold again.

Things have moved on and younger generations expect different things.

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PostPost by: vxah » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:14 am

Not to mention, as most restorers will know, a great many “new” parts don’t fit or are of inadequate quality to use!
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PostPost by: Bits » Sat Dec 03, 2022 1:22 pm

vxah wrote:Not to mention, as most restorers will know, a great many “new” parts don’t fit or are of inadequate quality to use!


I can endorse that. :evil:
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PostPost by: Slowtus » Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:30 pm

I'm going to stock up on Twin Cams!

The biggest problem I see is that Mazda 'mavens' will complain that Lotus has copied their Miata design... :D
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:33 pm

Slowtus wrote:I'm going to stock up on Twin Cams!

The biggest problem I see is that Mazda 'mavens' will complain that Lotus has copied their Miata design... :D


I never thought of that! :lol:

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:54 pm

vxah wrote:Not to mention, as most restorers will know, a great many “new” parts don’t fit or are of inadequate quality to use!


You’re making my point!

Imagine a turnkey car, developed and built as a cohesive unit, re-engineered for reliability and quality and with modern engineering where appropriate, but retaining the ‘Elan-ness’. I can see a range of options of performance and trim, a dealer network to support the owners etc. It would have some safety improvements, by 1960’s standards, but far short of todays standard. That is where much of the development cost and weight is found.

Many of the Hypercars of $1M+ sell a few hundred cars worldwide, it amazes me, but I guess there are enough enthusiasts out there for almost everything/anything! The Elan is such a simple car, I believe it could be built to a high standard but still sold at reasonable price, and the enthusiasm for these cars and retro style is huge.

In a few years you won’t be able to buy a new ICE powered car, I believe the US Low Volume producers will be exempt so you’ll still be able to get your fix!

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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 5:58 pm

Unless someone also builds new twin cams the reproduction cars will not be Elans without the Twink. There is also another? can it be a Lotus Elan if it isn't built by Lotus?
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:15 pm

The popular replicas like Cobras, Speedsters, Jaguars maybe the Persang exist because the originals are million dollar cars. I can buy the best Elan for US$50,000 so unless you can build a replica for less than that it most likely won't sell. Then again there are the exceptions like Singer and Frontline MGBs
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:11 pm

saildrive2001 wrote:Unless someone also builds new twin cams the reproduction cars will not be Elans without the Twink. There is also another? can it be a Lotus Elan if it isn't built by Lotus?


100% of the Twin Cam is available new and improved!

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:17 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote:The popular replicas like Cobras, Speedsters, Jaguars maybe the Persang exist because the originals are million dollar cars. I can buy the best Elan for US$50,000 so unless you can build a replica for less than that it most likely won't sell. Then again there are the exceptions like Singer and Frontline MGBs


I think it could be done for less or equal to a top restoration. The bar, I believe, is now $81K! I’m thinking $55-70K depending on options etc. But it will be reliable, drive and handle beautifully, have an interior and a few features that are more of current times.

I was thinking Singer as a kind of a model, but an order of magnitude less expensive. Imagine the nicest restomod you can think of!

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PostPost by: ajwheels » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:29 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote:The popular replicas like Cobras, Speedsters, Jaguars maybe the Persang exist because the originals are million dollar cars. I can buy the best Elan for US$50,000 so unless you can build a replica for less than that it most likely won't sell. Then again there are the exceptions like Singer and Frontline MGBs


I'm with Fred here....I think the the "marketplace" indicates what the general population feels about an object, and for whatever reasons, the early Elans have been a bit on the low end....though that seems to be changing a bit. Those of us here are in a bit of a bubble....we know better :) and appreciate the value of the real deal....it's a whole lot of car for the money, and it's place in automotive history is truly legendary.

Perhaps the "marketplace" will catch up some day, but that is off in the future.....until then, $50 to $80k for the best examples remains a smokin' deal.....and with a quite decent driver under $30K or so, well, that's just heaven.....
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:38 pm

saildrive2001 wrote:Unless someone also builds new twin cams the reproduction cars will not be Elans without the Twink. There is also another? can it be a Lotus Elan if it isn't built by Lotus?


You can build a new Twincam from all new parts except for the sump ( dry sump alloy pans are available) and one day someone will start casting an alloy wet sump.

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