Lotus Elan

1966 S2 Elan - Price Reduced

PostPost by: craig chima » Thu Aug 03, 2023 6:36 pm

I am posting this Elan for sale on behalf of one of my closest friends who passed away about a month ago. I have known both him and his wife for 40+ years and am now assisting his wife in the sale of his Elan and also a 2005 Elise (seen in one of the pix). Currently, I have only the pictures shown in this ad but can go take some more in the next few days but will give a fairly detailed assessment of the car here. I have owned several Elans over the years and have built 4 full-on TTR 26R re-creations for customers so am very familiar with the cars. John owned the Elan for as long as I can remember (at least 25 years) and it was a basically a nice street car when he bought it. He was an avid and very competitive autocrosser and over the years both the Elan and the Elise morphed into pretty serious autocross racers. The good news on the Elan is that John kept pretty much every stock part that he ever took off the car and there are at least 8 or 10 sizable boxes of "stuff" that goes with the car in his basement. Starters, fuel pumps, wiring, switches, gauges, brake pads, rotors, shocks, sprints, wheels, tires in addition to the bigger stuff that I will list below.

As for description, here's the best I can offer. Mechanically, I would say that the car is about as perfect as an Elan can be. I rebuilt the motor about 10 years ago and I'll bet it doesn't have 1000 miles on it since that time. It was dynoed at just under 140bhp on the dyno I have used for the past 30 years. There may be dyno sheets somewhere in his files but I haven't located those yet. I also rebuilt the tranny (close ratio) at the same time and the driveline should be good to go for many thousand more miles. I went over to start the car about a week ago (John was diagnosed with brain tumor in December and his health deteriorated fairly quickly and I don't think that the car was started at all in the past 8+ months) and it fired right up. ZERO smoke, it came to smooth idle within about 10 seconds and the car drove perfectly in a 5 minute ride around the block. As I would have expected because he was meticulous about maintaining the mechanicals. It has a programmable 1 2 3 ignition (distributor) and while I have no experience with those, perhaps that's why it started so easily and ran so smoothly. I know that it has uprated shocks and springs because the stock stuff is in boxes in the basement. Plus a new set of Spax adjustable front shocks never installed and at least 5 or 6 additional sets of springs. I forgot to check to see if it has CV joints when I was there but I'm sure it does given John's seriousness about auto crossing and attention to detail. There is also a 3.9 diff in one of the boxes in the basement and I suspect that was removed in order to install something much shorter (my guess is that it has a 4.44 based on rpm/mph from my short drive). Probably a quaife lsd too but I can't swear to it. Long story short is that I would give the car a 9.5+ out of 10 and aside from perhaps changing back to the 3.9 and softer springs I don't think it needs anything mechanically. Oh yeah, it has an aftermarket header and larger diameter exhaust with Supertrapp muffler so it is kind of ratty sounding and a little loud for my taste but the original exhaust manifold and complete exhaust (with stainless muffler and tailpipe) are also in the basement. The stock front ARB is also in the basement as it has a larger diameter bar currently on the front.

The interior is just fair (probably a 5 or 6 out of 10) and it has a race seat and rather tall rollbar as you can see in the pix. But the stock driver's seat is in his basement and all gauges and signals worked except for the tach and as is visible he installed an aftermarket tach under the dash on passenger side. Maybe the stock tach doesn't jive with the 1 2 3 ignition??? The passenger seat and stock driver's seat are just fair and could be re-covered. The dash pad is cracked but he has a new replacement one in his basement. All the glass is great and the windows go up and down smoothly and easily. The convertible top, bows, and door frames are in the trunk and are all in great shape. The dash is "not bad" and could be refinished if someone wanted to pursue that but looks o.k. as is and there is a pix showing the dash. Door cards/panels are actually in excellent condition and very nice. All in all I would consider the interior "fair" but easily could be spruced up with carpet, new seat covers, dash pad installation and a little TLC. I peeked in the trunk and the fuel tank looks like a rather new replacement.

The body is actually really nice except for the fact that he cut the wheel arches to accommodate much wider autocross tires. It's not terribly attractive as-is, but the good news is that the pieces that he cut out are in a box in the basement and could be grafted back on without too much effort (think 4 individual "eyebrows" that were hand cut out with a jigsaw). Plus there is an unistalled set of some kind of aftermarket flares that I have never seen before. They are not terribly attractive and rather bulbous but are definitely for an Elan. The autocross tires he was running are 10" wide and I suspect he got those flares to cover the wide tires but never got them installed. Personally, if it was up to me I would either graft the stock pieces back on or would buy a set of proper 26R flares and graft them on but besides the wheel arches the body is straight and damage free.

I've covered some of the spares already but in addition to the Panasports that are on the car (I believe that they are 5.5" wide), he also has the original steel wheels and hubcaps with nice tires, plus has another set of 8" wide Panasports with race tires mounted plus another set of 8" wide 3 piece aluminum wheels with race tires mounted.

So, there is lots of "stuff" that goes with the car and it can be enjoyed absolutely as-is or could be an easy and fun project for someone. Now for the difficult part. What's it worth. I've spoken with several people in our local Lotus club chapter and the consensus is that somewhere north of $25K and south of $30K USD so putting it here for $27,500 which I think is extremely fair given all that is there. Frankly, I strongly considered buying it myself but have 2 other project cars going and don't need a 3rd. Hopefully it can go to a good home and interested parties can contact me for any additional information. I can get more pix but the car is about 20 minutes from me and I probably can't get over there until sometime next week. Craig Chima, CC Motorsports, Akron, OH (330) 807-0738 or [email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
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Last edited by craig chima on Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: craig chima » Sat Aug 12, 2023 1:47 am

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I was able to go over and take additional pix of the car today. I know that she is motivated to sell and would likely consider offers in the $25K range
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PostPost by: craig chima » Sat Aug 12, 2023 1:51 am

As stated in the original post, I believe this car to be in superb mechanical condition and it comes with most of the parts that would be needed to address the cosmetic side of things. It could be a REALLY nice car with nominal investment and some TLC and elbow grease
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PostPost by: craig chima » Sat Aug 26, 2023 11:41 am

Price reduced to $22,500 OBO. No tire kickers please. There is a ton of value in this car at that price point.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Aug 26, 2023 9:25 pm

" I forgot to check to see if it has CV joints when I was there but I'm sure it does given John's seriousness about auto crossing and attention to detail. "

From the 2nd. photo it would appear that U/J's are fitted , not the best solution for the " Baby " Elans..

John ;-)
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PostPost by: craig chima » Mon Aug 28, 2023 1:22 am

John,

Curious why you say that? I have fitted them to many cars over the years without any issues. I always felt it a good thing to get rid of the donuts in any Elan that was going to be driven somewhat aggressively...
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Aug 28, 2023 5:10 am

Craig
It's all about the length of the driveshafts and the angle of the U/Js at full droop , they can lock up on the smaller cars ( only just OK on the plus 2 )

John ;-)
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Aug 28, 2023 10:15 am

Fit droop limiting shock absorbers or a strap to prevent this.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Aug 28, 2023 11:25 am

Colin Chapman

" Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong -- look what they can do to a Weber carburetor in just a few moments of stupidity with a screwdriver. "

Although saying that, I had to "relieve" the U/J housings a little on the Plus2 to give clearance on full droop.

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PostPost by: S2Jay » Wed Aug 30, 2023 12:10 am

Just a suggestion from the bleachers. Have you considered listing this in any of the on-line auction sites?

I really dislike seeing good Elans going off on low prices [more concern from my wife, actually], but I do see the concerns with this one. Still, given the quality & condition of the mechanicals with all of the upgrades, I would be tempted to list it somewhere.
To go on "BaT"- literally "Bring-a-Trailer" you would be best served to make a driving video as well as a "cold start" & a walk-around vid. Some prices are down right now anyway, but it is worth considering. At the very least, you would have a much greater audience, word gets around & it only takes 2 to bid it up a bit.
just looking for clues at the scene....
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PostPost by: craig chima » Fri Sep 15, 2023 2:52 am

Jay,

Thanks for the recommendation and BAT is likely the next step. I am not discounting the fact that there is some money to be spent on this car but someone with a little initiative could easily glass the cut out fender pieces back into place and then let a competent body shop finish and re-spray the whole car. I know that paintwork has gotten stupid expensive recently but aside from the arches there are no appreciable bad areas on the car that would be time consuming or labor intensive and I'll bet it could all get done for $5K. And then if you replaced the dash pad (included) and recovered the seats and tidied up the interior and spent another $1K tops on that it could be a really nice early Elan. I picked up a file on the car from John's widow a couple of days ago and went through it and it is crazy how much money he spent on it over the years. Mostly mechanical but all important stuff. Plus I'd forgotten that he had the body off the frame at one point and there is an invoice detailing frame reinforcement and repair of cracks (to be expected) and then re-painting with epoxy. Just another example to reinforce my belief that the mechanicals/chassis/suspension/driveline is all tip top and should be good for he foreseeable future. I believe that she would consider offers around $20K for the car at this point.
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PostPost by: craig chima » Tue Oct 24, 2023 6:06 pm

CAR IS NOW SOLD. THANKS TO ALL WHO INQUIRED. HEADED TO THE Pacific Northwest
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PostPost by: jabingb » Fri Jul 19, 2024 1:40 am

Did the 3.9 go with the car? If so, would like to discuss with the new owner, thx.
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