Lotus Elan

Just bought a 1969 Elan on impulse

PostPost by: RG99 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:53 pm

So I just bought a 1969 Elan S4 what I believe. Not really sure what I'm gonna do with it, whether it be to fix it up or to flip it to someone who actually knows something about it. I'm located in Maryland US and was wondering if anyone knew what the market value on it would be or maybe could give me some info on the rarety of it.
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PostPost by: roblotus79 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:33 pm

Awe, it's not really worth anything at all. It's just going to be a whole lot of trouble for you, usually serious. I'll take it off your hands and save you a lot of grief. :wink: :lol:
50/2180 1969 Elan Plus 2
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:14 pm

What is the serial number? I wouldn't say it's rare. Does it run? Biggest question is what condition the chassis and engine is in. That will determine a lot as both are expensive and time consuming to replace/repair.

I'm in the midst of a rebuild of same year car although I have a sprint engine in mine. See my post for the details :D
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:14 pm

roblotus79 wrote:Awe, it's not really worth anything at all. It's just going to be a whole lot of trouble for you, usually serious. I'll take it off your hands and save you a lot of grief. :wink: :lol:



:lol:
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PostPost by: RG99 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:12 pm

Certified Lotus wrote:What is the serial number? I wouldn't say it's rare. Does it run? Biggest question is what condition the chassis and engine is in. That will determine a lot as both are expensive and time consuming to replace/repair.

I'm in the midst of a rebuild of same year car although I have a sprint engine in mine. See my post for the details :D


Where at in the car can I find the plate with the serial number? Engine cranks but won't start but I believe that the carbs are gummed up. The chassis seems to be in good condition. Frames not rusted out but it does need some fiberglass repair.
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PostPost by: m750rider » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:12 pm

The number plate should be lower edge of the windshield on the drivers side, and also in the engine compartment on the drivers side. The engine compartment plate will also include the engine number. It is a stamped plate about 4" x 4". The serial number should be 45/xxxx.

Where in Maryland are you. I am in NC but my brother lives near Dover, DE and is very knowledgeable about Lotus, has owned an S4 and currently has an Esprit. He might be interested in looking at your car and giving some advice.

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Welcome RG. If you decide to fix the car up you have come to the right place for any advice, etc. Looks pretty nice.

Check the base of the front towers for corrosion to determine integrity of the frame; can corrode from the inside particularly if the drain holes are plugged.

Best of luck with the car.

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PostPost by: RG99 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:11 am

Thanks guys. Yea I'm undecided on what I'm gonna do with it just yet. I'm located in Pasadena MD not too far from Dover. If I remember correctly, the vin on the title said 453662 which I'm guessing means 45/3662. I'll check when I get back home and get a chance to look at the car. Again appreciate the help
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PostPost by: m750rider » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:05 pm

RG

If you want to send me your contact information by email or by PM, I'll contact my brother and see if he would be willing to come by when convenient for both of you.

Regards

Bob

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:51 am

RG99,

Please don't take any criticism the wrong way. i love Elans and have owned them since the early 1970's You've asked for some info on market value and rarity. Well the rarity isn't that rare. They made for S4's than any other model. It is also the least wanted model as they made a good number and it has the lowest HP rating at 105 HP. It's too early to be a Sprint. But restored could still be a nice driver.

From the pics, it's missing some parts. No badges, no outside mirrors, S3 seats, emission equipment missing, etc. What is that sitting on the Console? Is that the veneer someone peeled off the dash facia?

Let's look at some restoration cost estimates. Just approximate numbers. Assuming the frame is good (and they rarely are, especially if it ever spent any time in the Northeast), what would it cost to get it running and safely drive-able. Some of these estimates are based on whether you do the work yourself or have it done for you.

Remove fuel tank, have it chemically cleaned, checked for leaks, and resealed. $300 Or replace it for $800.
Rebuild fuel pump $200
Rebuild carbs $1000
Rebuild or replace Radiator $500 to $2000
Change all fluids $200 to $300
Rebuild Clutch Master Cylinder or replace it and the also the Clutch Servo. $200 to $500
Rebuild Brake Master Cylinder or replace it. $200 to $400
Rebuild all four brake calipers and new pads, and machine or replace the rotors $800 to $2000
New battery $100
Possible Water Pump $500 to $2000
Engine overhaul $4000 to $10000
Transmission $50 for fluids to $3000
Clutch $300 to $1500
Generator $300
Belt $50
Wipers $40 to $500


The odds of it having good suspension bushings and shocks is extremely rare. $2000 to $3000
Rear Donuts $300 to $2000
Tires $600 to $1000

So now you have something that can be safely driven. If the frame is bad, well that's another story. If it has rust in the front the headlights don't work properly. And at the worst, it could make the car a death trap!!!!

What if you want it to look good too.

Paint $7000 to $15000
Electronics - Do the gauges work, do the lights work, do the windows go up and down, etc? Is the wiring harness good or have the mice gotten to it? $200 to $3000
How's that dash looking? $1000 to $2000
How is the convertible top? $1500 to $2000
Chrome? $4000
Interior $1000 to $4000
How is the rubber $300 to $2000
Carpets $400 to $1500


Value as is (my guess so take that with a grain of salt) $8000 to $12,000
Restored to one of the finest in the country $35,000 to $45,000

I think I've left out all kinds of things but that's for another day. Want to talk about it or not tackle it, . Give me a ring. 678-596-1207.

Frank
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PostPost by: RG99 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:30 am

Famous Frank wrote:RG99,

Please don't take any criticism the wrong way. i love Elans and have owned them since the early 1970's You've asked for some info on market value and rarity. Well the rarity isn't that rare. They made for S4's than any other model. It is also the least wanted model as they made a good number and it has the lowest HP rating at 105 HP. It's too early to be a Sprint. But restored could still be a nice driver.

From the pics, it's missing some parts. No badges, no outside mirrors, S3 seats, emission equipment missing, etc. What is that sitting on the Console? Is that the veneer someone peeled off the dash facia?

Let's look at some restoration cost estimates. Just approximate numbers. Assuming the frame is good (and they rarely are, especially if it ever spent any time in the Northeast), what would it cost to get it running and safely drive-able. Some of these estimates are based on whether you do the work yourself or have it done for you.

Remove fuel tank, have it chemically cleaned, checked for leaks, and resealed. $300 Or replace it for $800.
Rebuild fuel pump $200
Rebuild carbs $1000
Rebuild or replace Radiator $500 to $2000
Change all fluids $200 to $300
Rebuild Clutch Master Cylinder or replace it and the also the Clutch Servo. $200 to $500
Rebuild Brake Master Cylinder or replace it. $200 to $400
Rebuild all four brake calipers and new pads, and machine or replace the rotors $800 to $2000
New battery $100
Possible Water Pump $500 to $2000
Engine overhaul $4000 to $10000
Transmission $50 for fluids to $3000
Clutch $300 to $1500
Generator $300
Belt $50
Wipers $40 to $500


The odds of it having good suspension bushings and shocks is extremely rare. $2000 to $3000
Rear Donuts $300 to $2000
Tires $600 to $1000

So now you have something that can be safely driven. If the frame is bad, well that's another story. If it has rust in the front the headlights don't work properly. And at the worst, it could make the car a death trap!!!!

What if you want it to look good too.

Paint $7000 to $15000
Electronics - Do the gauges work, do the lights work, do the windows go up and down, etc? Is the wiring harness good or have the mice gotten to it? $200 to $3000
How's that dash looking? $1000 to $2000
How is the convertible top? $1500 to $2000
Chrome? $4000
Interior $1000 to $4000
How is the rubber $300 to $2000
Carpets $400 to $1500


Value as is (my guess so take that with a grain of salt) $8000 to $12,000
Restored to one of the finest in the country $35,000 to $45,000

I think I've left out all kinds of things but that's for another day. Want to talk about it or not tackle it, . Give me a ring. 678-596-1207.

Frank


Thanks Frank. Really appreciate you taking the time to type all that out for me. A little bit of history of the car, my uncle has owned it for the last 30 years. It was originally a Texas car but it has spent the last 25 years in storage or in his garage. From what I could see, the frame looks solid. It is still at his house so I haven't gotten the chance to get it on my lift to check out the full undercarriage. The brakes have been redone but since it sat so long the fluid has congealed in the lines. Like I said it was pretty much an impulse buy and will most likely be reselling it to someone I know will enjoy it because I don't have the time for a full restoration.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:02 pm

RG, I am in Baltimore and also have an S4. I bought mine 12 years ago in similar condition as yours. I did a lot of the list that Frank described as part of a rolling restoration, so I enjoyed driving it and working on it. Some I did. Some, like paint and some of the engine work, I paid others to do. It has been a great journey. If you like always having a project to do and are patient, it can be great fun. I am happy to come over and look at yours when you would like and talk about local suppliers. All the best, Dan
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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:08 pm

I think Frank`s estimate of the car`s value as it is seems about right. Not so the list of costs; $4000 for chrome? the price of a new soft top or new transmission? Surely not, and I doubt this car needs so many things so don`t be put off. If the chassis is sound it looks like it needs a good service, a polish, attention to the hydraulics and it`s good to go, with improvements, new dash and so on, as you go along.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:39 pm

Then there's the question of just make it run and enjoy the patina, or full resto, or what point in between?

I'm doing the 'rolling resto' thing with my Plus 2 and expect to have it driveable within a couple of months bit then have many more projects to enjoy doing to it over time. Will never be a full resto unless I fall backwards into a pile of money, simply due to how much paint costs. I expect wind up with a car that needs a paint job but is otherwise pretty good.
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