Lotus Elan

1970 Plus 2S for Sale - Running Restoration Project - SOLD

PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:38 am

My May 1970 +2S chassis number starts with a 50/.......
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:14 am

A hare seems to have been set off when it really need not have been.

From 1st January 1970 all Lotus cars adopted a new VIN format. This was due to changes in vehicle legislation and of course, at that time Lotus was a publicly limited company and obliged to operate lawfully.

The new format is as follows: 7001010004L. Breaking the number up gives 70 ? Year of manufacture; 01 ? Month of manufacture; 01 ? Batch number; 0004 ? Unit number; L ? Letter to denote Elan type, L covered UK spec Plus Two S & S130 & S130/5. From 1 January 1972 the batch number was dropped, so the format became, for example: 72040701L

Lotus did retain the Type Number and that was still stamped onto the VIN plate. So for all +2 and Plus 2S Elans that was 50.

The letter from Lotus in 2005 was probably from Stuart Brett or Chris Brown. They got it wrong, as it was never Lotus policy to refer to any car in the way laid out in the letter after 1 Jan 70. Besides, the old way was to use a dash after the type number, such as 50/0123 and whoever wrote that letter didn't apply that way either. The rest of the information, colour, engine number and date of invoice all accord with the records I hold.

So the correct VIN for your car should be 7001030080L, though I have made a supposition about the month and batch number based on those of the closest I have knowledge of, being 0077 & 0094.

Johns, if you were to contact Andy Graham, the current archivist at Lotus, he would ne able to provide you with a correct Certificate of Provenance and thus prevent the confusion caused with the incorrect letter you currently have.

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PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:42 am

Tim,

Tried to PM you but it does not seem to be working, so will post this here (with apologies to the original poster for the hijack):

Hi Tim,

I've never taken any notice of VIN numbers, being more interested in driving my Lotus, however this thread caught my attention.

My Plus 2S was first registered 14/05/1970 according to the V5 and bears the chassis number 50/**** (four digits) - the actual plate appears original and the number is engraved on rather than stamped.

But you say it should be a number starting with 70? Why does mine not, is it because it may have been built prior to 1970?

Cheers

Jon
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:50 am

Quite possibly Jon. There was often a lag between date of invoice at Lotus and date of first registration. This was often the case, of course, with component cars, where the build process took longer than the first owner had hoped it would!

If you go to my website (below) there is the facility to send me a message via that. Let me know your VIN and I'll tell you what I have on your car in the records.

Tim
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PostPost by: johns » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:50 pm

jono wrote:Tim,

Tried to PM you but it does not seem to be working, so will post this here (with apologies to the original poster for the hijack):

Hi Tim,

I've never taken any notice of VIN numbers, being more interested in driving my Lotus, however this thread caught my attention.

My Plus 2S was first registered 14/05/1970 according to the V5 and bears the chassis number 50/**** (four digits) - the actual plate appears original and the number is engraved on rather than stamped.

But you say it should be a number starting with 70? Why does mine not, is it because it may have been built prior to 1970?

Cheers

Jon

My V5 follows that of yours Jon.

I am still of the opinion that VIN numbers are registered with DVLA (or whatever it weas called back then) in blocks and not on a one by one basis as cars are built. If I am correct then the early +2S cars would quite possibly have had their VIN registered with the authorities in 1969 although some were not actually built/completed until 1970 and these vehicles used the old still VIN. Any initially registered after 1st Jan 1970would have followed the new style. As said earlier yet anothe Lotusism
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:54 pm

Thanks Tim, have done that
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:01 pm

That's interesting John as our cars a very close to each other chronologically

I looked long and hard at your car and I must confess was tempted as I dearly love mine and would like another, particularly one I could take back to Yellow. I think your price is very fair BTW and it's good of you to offer it on here first rather than Ebay.

However with 1 plus two, an old Alfa, two Minis and an old house I think I have enough on my plate!

Best of luck with the sale and apologies for hijacking your thread.

Jon
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:06 pm

[quote="johns"]I am still of the opinion that VIN numbers are registered with DVLA (or whatever it weas called back then) in blocks and not on a one by one basis as cars are built.[/quote]

Johns, I am afraid that is not the case, certainly as far as Lotus is concerned in the Elan era.

From my research the Unit no was allocated at the start of the car's production and stamped onto the chassis; the Body shop allocate the Body no to each body as it left them. Finally the engine shop allocated the Engine no as the completed engine left them. The Unit, Body and Engine were then bought together on the production line, ensuring for example that a Federal body and Federal engine went to a Federal Unit.

It was not until the very end of production, after final inspection, that the VIN was completed and stamped, to include month and batch no in the case of post 1 Jan 70 cars. All Elans were numbered sequentially, but one needs to look at the invoice date (the only date left within the Elan records) to get a better idea of when changes took place, for example (the Parts List always mentions Unit nos as change points; its far more accurate to look at the dates, though, I have found).

As I understand it, DVLA is responsible for the UK registration of cars, not for recording the production of cars. After all, they do not record cars made for foreign markets.

On a separate matter, I owe everyone an apology, as I got something wrong in my post above about the new VIN system. Looking again at the +2 records, there is clearly a production overlap between cars made under the old numbering system and those under the new system. It is clear (now, to me!) that in 1970 Lotus produced +2s under both the 50/#### system and the 700101####L system. This went on for most of the year and even into 1971, I have discovered. I now need to attempt to find the reason why.

As an example, 50/2375 was invoiced on 15 Dec 69; 50/2244 was invoiced on 25 Feb 71 and 50/2524 on 30 Mar 70. Meanwhile, 700101030004L was invoiced on 25 Feb 70, 7002060136L was invoiced on 27 May 71. It appears, without having done too much analysis, as if the great majority of the 1970/1 50/#### numbered +2s were destined for export markets.

Looking at the Domestic engined versions, it seems clear that production of 50/#### numbered cars ended in Dec 69 and that the 70########L numbered cars began in Feb 70. There may have been a few exceptions!

As ever, we unearth another Lotus conundrum, which it may take a while to expose. It does seem to me that there were two periods of upheaval at Lotus, in early 1968 just after the move to Hethel and in late 1969 as new legislation came into effect. These times are reflected in the records, with some cars having a paucity of data noted against them.

Tim
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PostPost by: johns » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:27 pm

fillpoke wrote:I totally understand. So if i was able to beg, steal or borrow some further funds what would be your best price? Best regards Dave

Dave

You have a PM
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PostPost by: draenog » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:58 pm

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PostPost by: johns » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:47 am

draenog wrote:Now on eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/162453078738

Thanks Draenog. WIll update on here as and when it sells (eBay or elsewhere)
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