Lotus Elan

Your Lotus Elan - What Was It Like When You Acquired It?

PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:38 pm

My Plus 2 was basically solid but in need of much work, and I wouldn't really know how much until after purchase. It turned out to be lots more than I'd anticipated.

The car came from a friend. It goes back to a few years earlier when I had the Esprit. a friend learned that I'd bought a Lotus and said she'd have to introduce me to this couple she knew, as they had a Lotus too. So I met Beth and David, and they showed me the little yellow Plus 2 in their garage. I loved it instantly, and upon sitting inside was immediately taken by how much more legroom it had than the Esprit did! The car wasn't running at the time, and I came to grasp that neither of them was really all that mechanically inclined. I said let me know if you ever decide to sell this car! I was told at the time that they'd never sell it, but time changes things.

Five years later I learned in a roundabout way that they did indeed want to sell, and by then we had five years of good friendship between us so I said I was interested, and give me a day or two to see if I can scrape some money together and please don't sell it until you hear back from me! I managed to scrape and borrow enough to buy the car, and Beth was very pleased that it was 'staying in the family' as she put it. I think she came to realise that she and David didn't have the skills to give it the work and care that it needed, so she was glad to see it go to somebody who did. Well, at least I have the capability to learn by doing! Beth and David follow my progress and are quite pleased with what I'm getting done. I've promised them some wheel-time when Yelotus is ready, and that should be a blast as they moved a couple of years ago to the hills of western North Carolina, an area known for great twisty roads.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: skelteanema » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:06 am

I was lucky, my car was in pretty reasonable condition when I acquired it. Not concourse by any means but not requiring any major work immediately. I had bought it from a fellow in a city about 600km (~370 miles) from where I live, and he arranged to have it shipped to my place. However, he didn't tell me when it was coming, and I duly arrived home from work one day to find the car in the driveway with the keys in the ignition :shock: .

I got the car started pretty easily and took it for its first blast down a back road near our place. All was going well until, in the remotest area, the Elan suddenly started making a horrible crashing /smashing noise from under the car. I pulled over and turned it off, fearing the worst. It turned out that the starter motor had decided to part company with the engine and was hanging by the cable and had been banging on the road /engine/chassis etc. So I was lucky that the noise was not something terminal, but I was now stuck in the middle of nowhere with no phone, no tools and no starter motor attached to the car. I found a bit of wire so could tie the starter motor out of the way, and luckily someone came past and gave me a push start.

When I got home I found out that both mounting points on the starter motor had broken, one had been shoddily repaired by welding, but obviously gave way and this cause the second one to break. I bought a second hand starter motor with a good mounting plate for about NZ$20 (~10GBP) from a local dismantler (he had about 30 to choose from).

That was my first experience driving my Elan, and since then I never drive the Lotus without a tool set and a phone! In the next 18 years it has broken down on me a couple of times, but nothing that couldn't be fixed at the roadside. :D
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