Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:37 pm

New Member here. I've joined this site to help discover interest in, as well as determine the value of my father's 1969 Lotus Elan +2. My 91 year old dad and his car both reside in southern California (Whittier) while I'm stuck in the midwest in Omaha, Nebraska. I have a handful of photos of the car at the moment, with 90+ more coming in the mail this week. Before I get too deep into the details, I'll need help with figuring out how to post the photos once I scan them. I'm not too familiar with Yahoo, so I'll be lost if I have to host my pics through them. Also, I'll answer any question that I can, but some I may have to defer to him, which will case a delay in getting answers. Most of my knowledge of the car are from childhood memories helping/watching him work on it.
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:27 pm

Further information related to the initial post. My dad is the original owner. It was purchased new at a dealership while in England in 1969. It was Cirrus white with black leather interior, U.S. left-hand drive version with Stromberg carbs. It is currently painted in light gray primer. Id does not suffer from weak-hinge door sag, and the fiberglass/gelcoat suffer from zero cracks or spider webbing. It has been heavily modified, much more than any other Elan I've ever seen. I consider his modifications as improvements, both in drivability and aesthetics; however, purists may disagree. As the sole owner of the car since new, he has kept meticulous records, particularly taking historical photos of every modification, step-by-step. The car was last driven approximately 15 years ago, and has since been kept on blocks. The engine has periodically been turned by hand via the pulley while on blocks. It has always been garaged, and never been outside of SoCal since it's arrival there in 1970. A brief, but incomplete summary of improvements are as follows;

6v electrical system completely replaced and updated with U.S. 12v system including trunk-mounted battery, alternator, etc.

Chassis replaced with Spyder Zetec conversion

Suspension updated with modern double wishbone set-up

Rotoflex (donut) couplings replaced with CV joint conversion

Cast iron headers replaced with chromed stainless steel units

Exhaust replaced with stainless steel unit

Radiator customized to double thickness and cooling fan replaced with twin fan electric motor driven units

Mechanical fuel pump replaced with electric unit

Body heavily modified with wide wheel flares and original 5" steel center hub knock-off wheels modified to 7" wide fronts, 8" wide rears, and chromed

Rear trunk lid spoiler added

Front under bumper intake vents added with fresh air tubing to interior

Side vents added to hood to assist with heat escape

Exterior door handles replaced with flush-mount units

Outside door mirrors replaced with Corvette mirrors

Electric retractable radio antenna from Corvette added

Seats replaced with Recaro seats

Momo steering wheel

Etc.

Photos will follow soon
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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:48 pm

Smitty

You are doing good so far - check through the forum topics - there is a cars for sale topic. You will get an idea of the cars value. Your Dads car has good value and is desirable.

When you have more info / pics post it here, perhaps with an asking price in mind.

Bill
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:55 pm

Thanks Bill,
I'm chomping at the bit to get some photos posted. Would you mind steering me in the right direction as to how to do that? Can a hyperlink to my SmugMug site be OK?
Smitty
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PostPost by: Bill » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:21 am

I cant help you there Smitty.

I am a clutz with the forum picture thing - i keep hoping for simple instructions to be posted

Bill
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:24 am

The tutorial for how to upload photos is here: questions-f20/tutorial-how-upload-photos-t27816.html

Generally it is best to upload them to this site here as they seem to survive longer than the private photo sites of members.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS I don't think Lotuses ever had 6v electrics I think you mean that it was converted from 12v Dynamo to 12v Alternator (a common modification)
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:48 am

Here's the photos that I currently have on hand. Many more in the mail. As soon as I have my hands on them, they'll get scanned and posted as well. Some of the obvious bodywork include fender flares, Corvette mirrors, chin and trunk spoilers, additional air scoops/exhaust, wider wheels.
Attachments
img_20160330_0012.jpg and
New chassis and suspension
img_20160330_0014.jpg and
Note hood vents added, chin spoiler, front intakes. Also note original knock-off wheels modified (hence wider fender flares), 7" front, 8" rear
img_20160330_0010.jpg and
Fiberglass fender flares complete, trunk lid spoiler wooden mold taped on
img_20160330_0004.jpg and
Beginning body mods. Note fender flare wooden molds taped on
img_20160330_0003.jpg and
As originally purchased in 1969
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:17 am

With the mods it's a little hard to judge the value. Some well like them and may pay more because if them, the opposite for some people.

My personal view of the current US +2 ball park market prices are:
- complete, ok looking but not running or on the road US 15k+
- running and basically road worthy, ok cosmetics 20k+
- running, on the road and reasonably tidy cosmetic 25k+
- running and cosmetically good 30k+

The history and one owner should get you a decent bump in price.

If you can get someone to get the engine running and car moving you'll probably bump the price a bit more.

Have you considered listing the car on bringatrailer.com auction? Probably get you the best price you'll get for it. May be tricky being remote from the car thou.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:11 am

The pics posted are just what I have on hand. The car is much more complete than shown. The glass is out and new rubber glass seals are in boxes ready to install. There are other mechanical mods not listed. More pics will follow soon. After I've posted them and received more feedback, and got a better feel for a price, I'll actually offer it up for sale. Because I'll be selling it on behalf of my dad, forum rules tell me it'll have to be posted in a different forum other than the standard For Sale section.
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:18 pm

billwill wrote:The tutorial for how to upload photos is here: questions-f20/tutorial-how-upload-photos-t27816.html

Generally it is best to upload them to this site here as they seem to survive longer than the private photo sites of members.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS I don't think Lotuses ever had 6v electrics I think you mean that it was converted from 12v Dynamo to 12v Alternator (a common modification)


I'm sure you're right about that. But this info is coming from a 91 year old who also insists his car is a 3 speed! Good thing he kept meticulous records that'll shed light on many many mods accomplished over a 30 year span.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:25 am

Hi Smitty and welcome!

Just curious, what were the circumstances of your dad buying the car in England and then bringing it back to USA relatively soon after purchase? My car has a similar initial story but I'm the 4th owner so I don't know it's reason.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:27 am

The Veg wrote:Hi Smitty and welcome!

Just curious, what were the circumstances of your dad buying the car in England and then bringing it back to USA relatively soon after purchase?


Dad was a chemical engineer for a company called Fluor that built refineries and chemical plants. When he was assigned to their office in London (twice,, once for 3 years, then a 2nd time for 4 years), the whole family came along. While in London on our 1st trip he visited the Lotus dealership there and fell in love with the Lotus Elite, but didn't buy it. On our 2nd trip, he visited the London dealership again, but the Elite was no longer in production, but he really liked the new Elan that was out then. However, he felt the +2 version was a much nicer looking car. Because the car had U.S. specs, he couldn't just buy one off the showroom floor but had to order it. He doesn't remember how long he had to wait, but said it wasn't very long.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:03 pm

What an intriguing story. I can't believe there isn't someone in your family who wants to keep it in the family.
My +2 is a home market car that was brought to the US by its then owner while he was working over here. Unfortunately, I only got to run it for a couple of years. Just too many other Lotus and racing projects.

Roger
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PostPost by: Smitty1960 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:44 pm

Elan45 wrote: I can't believe there isn't someone in your family who wants to keep it in the family.

Roger


I would absolutely love to keep the car in the family, particularly since I was involved in a lot of the work as a child. But unfortunately, none of us have the money, space, or time to keep it.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:03 pm

Very cool. I don't know the exact circumstances of mine, but the original owner was living in UK for some reason as he bought it directly from Lotus according to the original purchase receipts that I have, although it's a federal car. He drove it over there for a year or so before returning to USA, and the car still has its 1971 tax-disc on the windscreen and plastic reg-numbers on the grille. I keep trying to remember to ask the second owner what he knows of the story. No idea whether or not the first owner is still alive. I'm the fourth owner.
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