Lotus Elan

I have a decision to make

PostPost by: Tahoe » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:28 pm

To sell or not to sell, that's the decision. Many things have happened in the last year from health issues to possibly moving. Health issues are now behind me and I'm feeling excellent, however the opportunity to move to the Big Island of Hawaii has me thinking. If, and it's a big if, should I take the Elan? 55 mph max speed limit, the famous VOG that can rust and destroy everything, the possibility I won't have a garage because I can't afford one, etc. The postives are numerous, so if this happens, 25% chance, I need to be prepared one way or another. I know there are many classic cars in HI including some Lotus, but is it worth it. They do have an SCCA chapter and they do autox, etc., but my car is morphing back to stock, so I had no plans of competition. In Tahoe speed limits are low (55max) as well, but the number of lonely twisting roads around here makes up for it. This area is Elan heaven in my mind, in Hawaii it's not so much, and slow with much local and tourist traffic. Having been there many times I know I'll love it, but will I go through Elan withdrawl? Don't want to ship it there, and find out it won't work out and then try and sell it 2500 miles from anywhere. I know I'm rambling, but this is weighing heavy on my mind. I have my dream Elan, a type 26 series 1 1/2, tonneau cover, like new soft top, factory hard top, slowly getting it back to stock. Yes it needs a total body and paint restoration but it drives great. Fould my close ratio box, and tons of missing original parts. Still have some parts I need to find, but nothing I can't eventually find. I'd hate to not finish this car some day, and I would miss it, but not sure taking it would be the right decision. Oh well, plenty of time to think about it, I still have a few months to decide on the Elan and the opportunity, which could possibly not work out anyway. One positive, is I could drive the Elan all year long instead of only 6 months out of the year.
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 687
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:07 pm

Good luck with your life-changing decision, Russ.

Since so much would be changing for you, it might be nice to have the certainty of your Elan still with you. It sounds as if doing the work on her is as therapeutic for you as driving the car.

On balance I think I'd say keep the Elan!

User avatar
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 2834
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: delle » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:20 pm

Hi Russ,
read your own post, I think the decision is already made :D

69 S4 DHC
68 S3 FHC
User avatar
First Gear
First Gear
Posts: 34
Joined: 06 Nov 2012
Location: Ostbevern - Germany

PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:58 pm

Russ, I can imagine you regretting nottaking it, but can't imagine you regretting taking it. You've put so much of yourself into it's restoration you just have to finish it. Stop dithering and just TAKE IT! You know you will :D :D
1965 Elan S2 (26/4726)
2002 Elise S2 (now sold :-()
1970 Scimitar GTE
"The older I get the better I was !"
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 414
Joined: 06 Feb 2014
Location: Plymouth, England

PostPost by: Bill » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:53 pm


If you go there - take it. There are quite a few back roads there with minimum traffic. Remember that when the last taps are played, you, like me, can make the FINAL decision!

That is; Hmmm.

Should I use it as my coffin?

And take it with me.


Wild Bill
Bill Rathlef
Vancouver Island, Canada
"Keep your stick on the ice, boys."
User avatar
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 659
Joined: 05 Oct 2003
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

PostPost by: 661 » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:22 pm

You have your health back, everything else will full into place.
I just think you'd regret not having it, wherever your own personal journey takes you.
Peterson JPS Exige
User avatar
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 841
Joined: 29 Mar 2012
Location: East Sussex

PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:19 pm

I have a friend who lives on the big island, and he doesn't seem to tire of riding his motorbike around there. That should tell you something.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 1522
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: elanner » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:33 am


Find something else to worry about - like the high prices for everything!

Of course you must take the Elan. At the very worst, garage it in CA for a year and then decide.

I never experienced vog during my short visit to the Big Island but, however bad it gets, surely it can't be worse than a British winter for rust generating capability? Anyway, it's only south west of the mountain, right?

Break the speed limit by 15mph or so. That's what they were designed to do. :-)

User avatar
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 514
Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Location: Boston, MA, USA

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:19 am

Russ, I've been going to Hawaii for more than 25 years (primarily Kauai, not the big island). I would not bring a sports car to the island unless I knew I could keep in in a garage. Buy a cheap used car, drive it without concern and enjoy the lifestyle change. Store your Elan for a year on the mainland and then decide. Cars rust faster than is almost believable if exposed to the weather on the islands.
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
User avatar
Certified Lotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPost by: PhilGreen » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:44 am

Hi Russ

Having owned my S2/SE for 42 years and laying it up within the first 9 months, I have had many life changes and been very close to selling it while in bits. But I'm pleased to say that I stuck with it and finally completed the restoration last year. All I can say is I'm so pleased I completed a life long project. Having owned many cars in between that have come and gone, I do have regrets about letting some of them go. Good luck with whatever choices that you make.

dscn1173.jpg and
First Gear
First Gear
Posts: 42
Joined: 04 Aug 2015
Location: North Wales

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:55 am

Hin Russ, I have never been to that part of the world so know nothing about the climate and it's problems - however living in Ulster presents challenges (usually wet) for Lotus owners. Got to say that having read this thread I agree with other replies - you really want to keep the Lotus so do so.
I also think that you might try to leave it safe and garaged with friends on the mainland whilst you go on ahead to sort out a house and find a garage; you can do that at your leisure without the panic of having the car sitting outside whilst you try to find suitable garaging.
Just my thought....good luck

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
72 Europa Special, 72 Sprint, 72 Plus 2
Third Gear
Third Gear
Posts: 326
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Location: Belfast

PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:39 pm

I agree with those who have suggested storing the car and making the decision in a year or so.

I made a decision to move in my 20's, ended up deciding it was not the right choice and moved back "home" in less than a year. Not a good career move, but ultimately the best move for my mind.

'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 886
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPost by: Tahoe » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:18 pm

Storing the car does make sense, it gives us time to settle in. I will have enough other things to take care of making a move like that. Selling is a last resort. Having been to all the Major Islands several times I knew going in a garage was a must if you care about keeping it presentable. The Subaru can take all the abuse and stay outside, and my wife's car would do best in a garage as well. This plan seems to be accelerating hourly, but it could all fall apart in a minute. We decided that if it works out we send one car, some personal items, and the dog. The other 2 cars can come later, and we'll try and rent out the house first and try and store our old RV for awhile. If we have to move back we don't want to start over. One thing that scares me to death is the high cost of living, but there are ways to minimize that. I'm thinking get some land and build a 3 car garage with a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, tiny house on top. :D Seriously though, other than my life long addiction to cars, I need very little. An SUP, kayak, hiking shoes, and a place to sleep works for me, and of course a 3 car garage! :twisted: Hopefully in as short as a few days we'll know more.
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 687
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

PostPost by: nomad » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:09 pm

Russ, there's one flaw......it's an island! You run out of new roads to drive! :D

Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
Posts: 940
Joined: 05 May 2012
Location: South Dakota, USA

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests