Lotus Elan

Elan Plus 2 With Cosworth BDA **** SOLD****

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 20, 2016 9:34 am

****** NOW SOLD ******


Get yourself a beer or a glass of wine before reading this, as it's possibly the longest advert to have appeared on LotusElan.net!

Introduction
This is a 1-previous-owner 1968 Plus 2, upgraded to have a BDA engine which was fitted in 1971 / 72.

This was one of the first, if not the first, Elan to be fitted with the Cosworth BDA in the day, and was written up in Motoring news in 1973 where it was received with great enthusiasm.

The interior and bodywork were rebuilt about 20 years ago, and the engine rebuilt in 1984, refreshed in 1997 and dyno'd, with less that 1000 miles covered since then.

The car now needs to be re-commissioned after being laid up ( in a dry garage) since 2006. It is running and driving (on private roads!), with most things working, but for safety it will need the brakes etc. looking at and potentially overhauling. Most importantly, the bodywork and interior are superb, as is the engine, gearbox and final drive.

Also available is a considerable spares package.

There is a considerable amount of documentation with the car, including the original order, Lotus sales invoice, kit delivery instructions, test certificate from Cheshunt Lotus Centre, many letters between Lotus and the owner, invoices for work completed and old MOTs. The original handbook and service record book are also present.

The Story
The car was bought new as a kit by Eric Lyons, ordered on 5th December '67, invoiced on 18th July '68, delivered 20th July 1968, and tested on 1st August '68 at Cheshunt Lotus Centre.

Its registration number was originally VLX 2 G, then Eric put his private number on....1 ELU. In the 80s he put 1 ELU on his everyday car, and the Plus 2 had an age related registration put on which it still has. VLX 2 G plate was still available when I contacted the DVLA a few years ago, and the car would need to be MOT'd to get it.

Eric was the manager of Dave Smith Engineering in Ilford, Essex, who specialised in Ford and Lotus Twincam race engine preparation, and the car was fitted with a BDA in 1971 / 1972 to showcase what Dave Smith Engineering could do. Many months of trying different cams and carbs resulted in a fairly mild state of tune (about 165bhp) to allow the car to be easily driven around North London, and it had to cope with hot weather as it was often taken down to Spain in the summer.

The car was featured in Motoring News on June 14th '73, and I have a copy of the article.

Eric, the first owner, wrote a few pages on the history of the car, which included these two stories....

The Elan lost it's engine to a rally Twincam Escort, where the owner had driven over from Athens (Greece) in his Twincam to compete in European rallies. The import tax on car parts was horrendous, so he popped a 100e side valve engine in his Escort to get him to England, and turned up at Dave Smith Engineering wanting an engine in a hurry!

A decision had been made to swap over the Twincam for a BDA already, but this was the incentive needed to get it done

Apparently it took longer to clean the oil from the engine bay of the Escort that to remove the twincam from the Plus 2 and rebuilt it to rally specification. Somewhere in Greece the original engine for this Plus 2 may well be sitting in an Escort.

Once the BDA was installed, the car was used as a daily driver in London, and for the occasional holiday in Europe. Eric writes that on one occasion in Spain, with his wife asleep in the passenger seat, and an open road ahead, he put his foot down to see what the car would do. 140mph at 8000 rpm apparently, and his wife slept through it all!

The car wasn't used much from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, when it was largely restored.

In 1984 the BDA was re-built to the following specification:

1700cc BDA in an AX Block (original block still with car)
Accralite 83.5mm forged pistons
BD3 camshafts
1.070? Exhaust Valves
1.220? Inlet Valves
Tuftrided crankshaft
Custom Built 'Mike The Pipe' exhaust manifold.
Opus Ignition (also from the 70s, as used on the works Escort BDAs)
8000 rpm redline.

The car was only used for 100 miles or so in the next 10 years, when the engine was refreshed (head off, valves checked, new clutch) and set up on a dyno at the Lotus Service Centre at the end of 1993. This shows 166.25 bhp @ 7000 rpm, with 139.1 lb/.ft torque @ 5000 rpm.

Again, the car was little used, and in 2000 the car had a partial restoration, consisting of:

Body stripped and repainted to original colour (Carnival Red)
All brightwork re-chromed
New sill strengthening bars
New dashboard and switchgear
New Headlining
New windscreen
New Rev Counter
Stainless steel headlamp vacuum tanks
Tyres
Chassis repaired at front tower
Calipers overhauled
New pads, including handbrake pads
New discs
Servo overhauled
Clutch master cylinder overhauled
Clutch slave cylinder replaced
Brake master cylinder overhauled
Differential rebuilt
Rear wishbones replaced
Rear wheel bearings
Trunions replaced

The car was put back on the road and used sparingly until 2006, when Eric decided that after 38 years he'd had his money's worth from the car. I bought the car in 2006, through a mutual friend, Eamonn Swords of Rapier Services, who also used to build race Twincam and BDA engines.

The bonnet has a bump let in to clear the cam wheels of the BD engine. It was decided that this mod was a lot easier than lowering the engine or modifying the chassis! Consequently, engine mounts are standard, and the gearbox / propshaft are in their original position.

The exhaust manifold is a custom made item from 'Mike The Pipe', a well known character from the 1970s!

Eric did carry out a couple of additional modifications, the most obvious one being the installation of the spot lights. Additionally, the boot floor was modified to take a straight exhaust system (the early cars had a transverse silencer which the tuning boys didn't like). The driveshafts are solid / jointed, modified from a Ford Granada, and the differential output shafts are upgraded.

Current Condition

I used the car on the road for a couple of months after I bought it until I became very busy at work and tucked it away. It drove really very well, and the BDA started very easily, ticked over smoothly and didn't overheat in traffic. It revved through the range very cleanly. The engine has completed only a few hundred miles since it was rebuilt, and had a clean bill of health from Eamonn, so I wasn't expecting any issues.

The car now needs re-commissioning to put back onto the road. It will certainly need the brake and clutch hydraulics doing, and the suspension examined with a view to re-building with new bushes and shocks.

The paintwork is still very good, with no gel coat cracks or micro-blisters, There are a couple of very small stone-chip size marks. After 20 years this is absolute proof on a fibreglass car that a top job was completed!

The chrome-work is very good, although the wheel trims and spinners need re-doing. The interior is largely original, with some small marks on the seats, and a small split at the rear of the driver's seat base. A new dash fitted in the restoration, and the car still has it's original Colin Chapman signed steering wheel.

Most things are working, including all lights, instruments, engine fan, electric windows and pop-up headlamps. The wiper motor is very slow, with I suspect, a poor connection or earth.

The engine was fitted with a new cambelt in 2016, and fired up quite easily after draining the petrol tank and putting in fresh petrol. The carbs will probably need cleaning as it does pop a few times when reving through the range, although with use it has got better. It ticks over very smoothly and quietly and there is no smoke.

There is a good opportunity to upgrade some of the bits in the engine bay, such as the Thermostat filler and radiator overflow bottle, with something a little more in-keeping. The radiator fan is now a bit old fashioned, and a more modern twin fan system may be better. The OPUS ignition system is a fine bit of kit for 1972 but quite large, and maybe a modern electronic system would be beneficial. The spark is quite weak, and I'm sure bif improvements will be made in replacing the ignition system.

As mentioned above, the chassis was repaired in the 2000 renovation. It looks OK, but some may prefer a new chassis to be fitted, and a spare, galvanised chassis does come in the spares package.

There is some fascinating documentation with the car, including the original order sheets from Lotus Cars and Lotus Racing Engines. There is also the original invoice from Lotus, the Test Certificate issued by Cheshunt Lotus Centre (Eric built the car as a 'kit', requiring Lotus to inspect it) and the original handbook and stamped up service book. There are many old invoices, some going back to the 1970s, and some old MOTs, dyno sheets....etc., etc. Of course, there is also a copy of the Motoring News article.

I have also been collecting parts as spares, nearly all of which are not needed for the re-commissioning, but as the car is an early one, I thought it a good idea to collect this stuff whilst I could.

It's a really difficult one to price, as the BDA engine is worth ?12,000 - ?15,000 to the Escort boys. The body, paint and chrome need no work, and the dashboard, instruments, seats and side panels are in very good original condition.

I'm looking at offers around ?18k for the car, and the spares can be bought for ?2000 as a package, probably less than half what they would sell for as individual parts. I am open to negotiation with someone who appreciates the historical significance of this car, and doesn't just want to buy it for the engine.

I believe that this is a very significant Lotus with the ultimate period modification, amongst the first to be so modified, completed in period and written up in the press in period. There are two Plus 2 cars that I know of with BD engines, one in New York and one in New Zealand, but they were done in the 1980s / 1990s. There is also an Elan Sprint well known in the UK that was only modified 10 years ago, and that ihas been for sale for ?80,000. Of course the Plus 2 does need some work, but it is also a quarter of the price of the Sprint.

Please not that none of the parts are available separately, but will be offered with the car only. If the buyer doesn't want some or any of the parts (unlikely), then I will offer them separately.

The photos below are of the car as I bought it in 2006. I can't add more photos to this thread for some reason,, so the next thread shows a bit more detail, and they were taken yesterday.
Attachments
zad10.jpg and
zad11.jpg and
zad12.jpg and
Last edited by Elanintheforest on Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:11 am, edited 14 times in total.
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 20, 2016 9:40 am

Some more photos...
Attachments
zad21.jpg and
zad20.jpg and
zad1.jpg and
zad3.jpg and
zad5.jpg and
zad6.jpg and
zad7.jpg and
zad8.jpg and
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: gherlt » Fri May 20, 2016 10:40 am

this **IS** the longest advert ever !

Beer + chips + some olives + tell the missus you need 30 minutes
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
gherlt
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 485
Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Location: Weiden (DE) & Tarragona (ES)

PostPost by: elan66 » Fri May 20, 2016 5:35 pm

Mark
can you be more specific :lol:
Good luck if i had the money i would snap your arm off
regards
Paul
elan66
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 182
Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Location: sussex

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 20, 2016 6:03 pm

I've just added some more parts in the spares package that I've just thought about.

I had most of the write up done as a chap emailed me a few years back saying he remembered the car back in the 70s, parked outside Dave Smith's garage. He always wondered what the bump was.

The advert acts as a pre-qualification as well Paul, where only those with an attention span greater than 5 minutes, and able to retain more than sound-bite information, need apply to buy! I'm fussy about where this car goes, if it goes.

Hopefully those reading this lot will realise that it's not just an old Plus 2 with the wrong engine fitted needing work!
Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: elan66 » Fri May 20, 2016 7:39 pm

Mark
i totally agree,its a very rare and desirable lotus,it should hopefully go to someone who appreciates it
regards
Paul
elan66
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 182
Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Location: sussex

PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri May 20, 2016 7:58 pm

Looks like a bargain compared to that rather tired Sprint I saw this morning!
User avatar
Mazzini
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1876
Joined: 11 Dec 2010
Location: NE UK

PostPost by: JohnP » Fri May 20, 2016 8:06 pm

PM Sent.
JohnP
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 80
Joined: 25 Feb 2015
Location: Twickenham

PostPost by: Thornts » Sat May 21, 2016 8:45 am

Brilliant car, brilliant description as ever Mark. +2 Elan with added +. +++++2 description!
Good luck
Cheers
Rob
S3 SE FHC
S2 7
22
Thornts
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 80
Joined: 03 Mar 2011

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun May 22, 2016 4:09 pm

Just trying to keep up with your extensive descriptions in the auction catalogue Rob!!
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: Tony a » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:19 am

Hi is the car still for sale ?
Tony
Tony a
New-tral
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 05 Jan 2016
Location: Essex

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:59 am

The right buyer hasn't been found Tony! But I have been contacted by a chap in South Africa who has a very similar car, that had the BDA transplant back in 1972 using an engine from one of the 50 RS1600 Escorts sent out there. Now there are now 2 of these cars in the world that were BDA'd in the early 70s.

PM me if you're interested with your phone number and I'll call you.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:52 am

After having 5 blokes come look over the car, with 4 only interested in a cheap BDA engine, I'm taking the car off the market as I've started the re-commissioning work. It seems that a non-running BDA is too big a risk for most folks, and having the car up and running properly should ensure that it isn't just bought for the engine, as it will cost too much! However, in doing the work I've remembered why I bought it in the first place hearing that BDA burst into life, so I'll probably carry on and get it all sorted and enjoy the car.

The worst job in getting the engine running was to drain the petrol tank. The drain looks to be inaccessible, so I undid the banjo bolt at the bottom of the tank, and petrol pored out in all directions, running down the chassis and emerging onto the garage floor in 8 or 10 places.

A mate changed the cambelt on Friday, which only took an hour or so once the radiator was out. Most of that was double and treble checking that the original cam to crank positions had been retained. The engine is a de-tuned race specification, so the cam timing is slightly different to that in the book, with alternative timing marks....not for an amateur mechanic like me to mess about with.

I'd poured Redex down the bores the previous week to de-gum any sticky rings, and after cranking the engine to clean out the fuel line, hooking up the carburettors, the engine fired up 2nd go. It was spitting and complaining for a few of minutes, but settled down.

I've run it up a couple of times now, and it's still spitting a bit at higher revs, due to mucky carbs I'm sure, and I'm hoping that a bit more Redex carb cleaner in the petrol will sort it out with several more start-ups. Otherwise I'll pop the carbs off and get them cleaned properly. They are 40 DCOE 48s, which I'd never heard of before.

The engine sounds gorgeous, and has no nasty mechanical noises, or any mechanical noises. It was built by Dave Smith engineering, one of the BDA gurus, so it should be good.

I'm enjoying the fettling now, and will carry on in spare time, and re-condition the brakes, and get all the little bits and pieces working. I've had a good look at the chassis, and the repairs have been done very well, and the car can go on the road for quite a few years with this chassis. But replacing it would give the excuse to do all the running gear at once, and clean up the underside of the car, a very nice winter's job.

I still have too many projects though, and my project Elan S4 DHC.is looking nervous!

Indecisive-in-the-forest
Attachments
z161001-2a.jpg and
z161001-2ba.jpg and
z161007-2a.jpg and
z161009-1a.jpg and
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:48 am

Good to see it running rather than sold for a cheap engine

Changing the timing belt looks a breeze. You should try doing it on an Esprit ! :shock:

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7486
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:25 pm

Just looking at the Esprit engine bay makes my back ache Rohan! But even that is better than my Renault Clio V6, where the engine has been moved to the back in a hatchback, and the engine covers permit a view of the top of the engine, and very little else. It all has to come out to change a clutch, or water pump or cam belt, but luckily there are a couple of garages nearby with the right equipment.

The BD is nice and easy to work on in the Elan, and changing the water pump would take 10 minutes! Changing the belt is a darned sight easier than a chain on the twincam, but then the chain shouldn't really need doing between rebuilds.

The shorter inlet manifolds allow better access to the distributor, petrol pump and mounting as well. In fact, given that the BDA is just a different head and front cover sitting on a Kent short motor, it really is just a 16 valve Twincam lump. Lotus were offered it in 1970, but turned it down for cost and profit reasons. Shame!!

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: Geoffers71 and 4 guests