Long story short is that my first Lotus was a '68 +2 that I adored and have never forgotten. I've been through a plethora of cars since (No Jay Leno here - can't afford to own them all at the same time), but my heart has always been back there.
I went a couple of years without a toy trying to pay down bills and stumbled upon my current '69 FHC for sale. The P.O. had spent close to 15 years "restoring" it. I'd even helped him lift the freshly painted body back onto it's freshly refinished chassis 5 years ago when part of one of the local LOTUS clubs. He ran into issues with a certain government body in charge of revenue and was forced to sell it just as he had it finished... That's when I got lucky.
This was originally a yellow car that he'd purchased and drove back to MN from out east. It had plenty of cosmetic issues, but ran like a top. He restores and modifies 40's-50's American iron, so was pretty talented. I use "restoring" in quotes as purists will tell from the photos that all is not as it left the factory. Personally - the changes are welcomed ones. The paint is a '89 Ford Mustang Red and was both meticulously and copiously applied. It's gorgeous. Again, he did this body off so EVERYTHING was done, and done well. He body coloured the bumpers. He shaved the ugly side marker lights. All mounting hardware was done in stainless. New seals all around (inevitably, the windshield gasket is showing the slightest of cracking). He molded in mounting planks in the doors for the mirrors to secure to. There is even one in the passenger door - he just decided he liked the looks without the mirror. The interior is just this side of stunning. The dash was completely refinished and the clear is 10' deep. The dash pad is quite lovely, with the smallest of spider cracks just beginning to form. All chrome on the bezels is delicious. Everything works - with a few notes... The gas gauge never reads completely full - thus empty is more like 1/4 full. He chalked this up to his freshening of the tank and the replacement float. The speedo bounces a little, but settles more at higher speeds. Electric radiator fan is on a manual switch. Windshield wipers have recently started moving very slowly. Windows work, though driver's is slower than passenger's. Interior door handles rattle a little. Carpet is all new with lovely red piping. Driver's seat right thigh bolster has a 1/2" slice. Headliner is not pristine, but nice, and is only loose near the passenger side courtesy light. Boot is fully trimmed, with a very nice light wired in on a manual switch. Boot lid sits a tad high on the edge when closed due to the new seals. Passenger side door hinges need to be adjusted. They are not loose, and are not causing any rubbing, but the lower rear edge of the door appears to the eye to be not closed all the way - although it is. Headlights hold their vacuum 90+% of the time, go up and down as they should, but the retaining spring is a little weak, so they will bounce when up over dips and bumps. The chassis and frame were media blasted, treated and painted. All bushing replaced (there is some squeak from the fronts when going over dips) - new shocks as well. The braking system was completely rebuilt, however I ended up replacing both front calipers for piece of mind. I just replaced the starter this summer, and had the wheels media blasted and then powder coated a more correct silver than the body coloured RED that the P.O. had done. Tires are brand new this season. The engine pulls like a train, and does not (noticeably) smoke. P.O. had pulled the head, did an inspection, replaced gaskets and made adjustments as need be, and called it good. This included the cleaning up and repainting of the block and valve cover. New exhaust including headers and straight pipe with minimal resonator. It's louder than a stock Elan - but not like an annoying Harley loud. Quite nice actually. There is an oil leak that to the best of my investigation point to the breather down tube. Frankly - I just have not been motivated enough yet to remove the carbs and do the job, so catch tray I have! The clutch works great, and does the transmission in all gears - however, compared to my old +2 ,the gate does not feel as rifle bolt precise.
It's truly a stunning example of a FHC. I drive this car, so it does have some minor rock chips in the nose. I can only see one "spider" crack (and for now it's just a straight line) developing on the driver's front fender in advance of the windshield. The glass is near perfect. This is not and unmolested - eat off the originality show car. It won't get you 100 points, but the hard work has been done and it is well respected and enjoyed.
All those GLORIOUS things being said, it's not a +2, and I'm still enamored by my first love. Since I'm not in the position of owning more than one at a time, I thought I'd post and see if there are any trades - full or plus cash for a +2 available, and if not - try to sell her outright and try to find one.
The car is insured for $30K. I'd like $27K for it. Let's talk. Both I and the car are in Minnesota, U.S.A.
I guess that long story wasn't so short. Then again - I like to have the details as opposed to the mystery when I'm shopping. Hopefully you can appreciate as well.
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Looking forward of talking with you . . . my family has roots in Minnesota.
Call Mark at (505) 232-2314.
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