Lotus Elan

My next car?

PostPost by: jono » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:42 am

Now the Lotus is finished I am thinking of my next classic car purchase :shock:

I have a 1965 Mini in the stable which is getting the BMC rally replica treatment but I would like a drop-head to add to the +2 and Mini.

This time I will look for a rolling restoration.

I have never been much of an MG fan but have always been drawn to an MGC - always a bit maligned but I like the idea of a lazy straight 6 and wire wheels in Primrose Yellow.

....a mad idea or a good one? What other cars are out there which might fit the bill?

MGA's look lovely but they're well out of my bracket now.

...I will never get this past the boss, but no harm in dreaming 8)
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:10 am

They look good Jon, and Primrose has to be the perfect colour for them. The straight 6 sounds gorgeous, and there's plenty of room in the car.

But I have found that being brought up on Elans has ruined the experience of other cars of the era. By comparison, the MGC is slow, unresponsive and wallows around corners. Braking has to be well planned! I've driven a couple, and traveled 100s of miles in a friend's car, and it doesn't do it for me, despite the looks and sound.

I would guess that given your liking for Sevens, Elans and Minis, then you'd share the same reservations. But the only way to find out is to try one....for 40 or 50 miles, not 4 or 5!

I don't think that you could find one upon which you could complete a rolling restoration either. They rot as all the 1960s metal cars rotted, and after more than 40 years, you can't patch up the shell and keep it going...it would really need to be fully taken apart and sorted properly....how are your fabrication skills??!

I also spent over 5 years and many 100s of hours restoring a Healey 3000. Having wanted one since I was in short pants, it was such a bitter disappointment to drive. After 500 miles I took it to John Chatham in Bristol, one of the Healey gurus, asking him to have a look at it as there must be something very wrong with it. He pronounced it one of the best he's driven! The Elan effect I'm afraid.

The TR6 is a fair bit quicker and a little more dynamic, but it's still very much 1950s technology.

The E Type is a lot better, given the compliant suspension, discs all round and a bit of grunt under the bonnet. It lacks the Elan's handling, but is a comfy and fast 'GT' with the powerful 6 or 12 cylinder engine.. But they are daft money now for a good one, and cost a fortune to get restored.

If it has to be a convertible, then my shortlist would be 3 cars in the ?10k to ?20k bracket (same as the MGC).

Elan (?20k)
TVR Griffith (?15k)
Jaguar XKR Convertible (the supercharged one) (?10k)

The Elan would need fettling at that price, but you'd get a really nice Griff for ?15k. The XKR is a giveaway currently, but of course it's not really a classic. The early cars has issues with the Nicosol plated liners and cam chain tensioner, but they've all been sorted now. The 4.2 has never had any problems....just add fuel and smile!

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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:25 am

Jon

Following up on Mark's sage advice, it can only be a ... Sprint!

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:20 pm

After an Elan

A plus 2S/130/5 for a similar experience but a more refined, better handling and practical package

and then

An early Esprit ( S1 or s2) for a different but also exquisite driving experience - everything the Europa should have and could have been.

after that I don't know but I keep looking

cheers
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PostPost by: casalunge » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:53 pm

Lotus 7 - Pure Chapman
1960 Lotus 18 FJ
1962 Lotus 22 FJ
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PostPost by: jono » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:41 pm

Thanks for all the comments guys and, Mark, you are probably right. :D

....but, I just like the look of them and think that one would be a great counterpoise to an Elan for exactly the reasons mentioned by Mark.

A good friend of mine loves his MGA's and has 3 of them including a TC (and I guess you could say the same about these cars in terms of archane chassis and handling). But, he's also a Lotus nut having been a previous owner of my plus 2 and current owner of an Exige. So there's more to a classic than handling alone which the other thread running just now alludes to.

So, what about a Triumph Stag - cheap and probably the best V8 sound tracks this side of an AM Vantage. :?:

PS: it's got to be metal
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:18 am

MGB/GT with a metal dash. LeMans/Sebring flares, lowered and 1" all around, overdrive trans and have a little fire breather (4) under the hood.
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:42 am

Jono
If you have an Elan/Lotus you can not really buy anything to compete with it unless you go exotica and silly money.
In situations like this I tend to go for a complete contrast.
I like the suggestion of a Triumph Stag. I have owned them and I love them. Totally different car to an Elan more refined, great for touring , fantastic engine noise and beautiful styling
I have always liked the Daimler Dart/ SP250
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:22 am

I really like the looks and spec. of the Stag, and have been tempted a couple of times. For some reason though they seem to be the only classic that was once appreciated, and is now in the doldrums.

When I lived in Hampshire, there was a company in Haslemere that restored and sold Stags. A mint car was ?25k, and that was back in the early 90s...after the crash.

I saw a stunning Mimosa Yellow car at auction last year. It had a ?60k restoration 7 years earlier, but hadn't been used much, and looked like new. The guide price was ?11k to ?13k, which I thought was just a teaser price...but it went for ?12500. It's a lot of car for that sort of money, and as Clive says, a nice contrast to the rest of the fleet.

It seems to be very much a buyers market for them, and cars for restoration are just about worthless. This is one I'd look at as it's so original, low miles and low number of owners. And the right colour!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRIUMPH-STAG- ... 43ca55f14e

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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:26 am

Whilst I acknowledge and respect others opinions about the merits or otherwise of 60s/70s sports cars, your MGs,Triumphs ,TVRs etc There is one which the majority overlook for reasons which baffle me :? In 1972 I sold my Elan +2 due to a growing family and bought a Reliant Scimitar GTE. I sold it in 1979, but found it again 2 years ago in a terrible state and totally restored it to its former glory.

SNV32213.JPG and


I was reluctant to sell my +2, but I was not disappointed in the Scimitar. After all, apart from the rigid rear axle, it shares an uncanny resemblance to the Lotus. Triumph front susupension (TR), fibreglass body on a separate chassis, Ford engine (Essex V6). She handled almost as well as the Lotus and yet had estatelike load capacity and a performance far exceeding many of it's contemporaries (135bhp, 0 to 60 in 8.5 secs). Yet these cars are as cheap as chips to buy these days, although mine is insured for ?10K, even this sum does not reflect how good these cars are. Cars are available for ?5-600, but will probably require some work. There is a very strong vibrant ownwers club.
OK, end of advert :roll: :lol:
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1970 Scimitar GTE
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PostPost by: jono » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:49 pm

...and you forgot to mention it shares its windscreen with a Plus 2 :D

Interesting wild card but I'm set on the next car being metal

...mmm a Stag :wink:

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PostPost by: nomad » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:08 am

My .02 would be a MGB/GT with a GM V6 and 5 speed. Very affordable, better handling than the C, and plenty of power. The GM V6 might be hard to come by on your side of the water though.

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PostPost by: jono » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:19 am

Kurt,

That's an interesting/left of field thought!

Why do you think a BGT with a GM V6 in it would handle better than a MGC?

...why not just go for the official MGB V8, or a Costello conversion using the alloy Rover V8 (developed Buick)? Tried and tested :D

Jon
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:48 pm

Salut

You could probably get classic car insurance for an S1 Elise - just two more years and the first classify as 'voiture de collection' here in France.

@+

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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:07 pm

jono wrote:Kurt,

That's an interesting/left of field thought!

Why do you think a BGT with a GM V6 in it would handle better than a MGC?

...why not just go for the official MGB V8, or a Costello conversion using the alloy Rover V8 (developed Buick)? Tried and tested :D

Jon


Well I've never driven a C but it was always my understanding that the suspension mod's done to create the C didn't improve handling. Do remember a friend test driving a new C and being very disappointed. As for the V6 conversion I imagine a Rover V8 is easier to come by in England than over here which would explain the popular swap here. Think the V6 has a little more space and is thus easier to fit as well.

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