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Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:27 pm
by 4regt4
Hi. I've always had an interest in the Elan, and now it looks like I might have a lead on one locally. I haven't seen it yet, but will be (hopefully) sometime in the next few days.

I'm sure there must be numerous "What do I look for" type threads here, and I'll do some searching. But if anyone has a good link to get me started it would help.

Built a Lotus 7 clone a number of years back, but had to sell it without enjoying it hardly at all. Was mostly into Corvettes when younger, but age has brought interest in the fringes of the sports car world. Had a Ferrari/Dino 308GT4 for many years. Currently I don't have anything "sporty", just our Quattroporte road trip car. It's good for that, big and comfortable. But I would like a toy - hence the interest in the Elan.

Anyway, any advice would be appreciated so I'll have at least a minor clue as to what I'm looking at when I go to see the local Elan. I think it's been in storage for a while, how long I'm not sure....


Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:45 am
by Elan45
Pay special attention to the front turrets of the frame where the front wishbones attach is No 1 priority. There is a cut-out in the outside of each and the pocket should not be full of debris. The frames can rust at that location. In the back, there are torque rods at the bottom of the diff and they can damage the frame where they bolt to the sides at the front of those rods. Look at the details of this site about the the various models. There is a lot of difference between an S1 and an S4 or Sprint. Good luck!


Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:07 am
by rgh0
We you see the car post photos of anything that appears doubtful and I am sure people can give you answers.

The body work and paint tends to be the hardest / most expensive thing to fix so make sure that meets your needs or find out you local costs to get it done. Many / Most Elans will have had a new chassis / sub frame in their life and replacement ones are relatively easy to fit and readily available even if expensive with shipping. Almost everything mechanical, electrical or trim is available for replacement at reasonable costs if needed given the use of the major manufacturers parts list by Lotus. If the car is a series 3 or 4 the windows frame is one thing that is not available so check them closely.

Getting replacement glass can also be expensive in the US due to shipping cost for a one off item as no one appears to hold stock


Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:00 pm
by tdskip
Welcome Hans!

Lots and lots of pictures of any candidate car will get you excellent feedback here.

I am a newbie too, close to putting a 1969 back together and maybe even making it run and drive. I'd be happy to talk live and share my experiences if helpful. Just drop me a PM.

Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:07 pm
by billmoore42
I bought a 67 FHC a couple years ago, in very good condition. If you work 5 days a week or more, keep in mind a Lotus can be a big time sink. Besides jobs like replacing the rotoflex couplings, even a car in great condition can have the fan heater go out, or need a new heater core. This will involve removing the dash board, a job which I found took way more time than expected. And after putting it all back together with a new heater core, the heater fan has again gone out!

The other thing is to check the rear end diff ratio. Mine has a 3.77 with a 4 speed, which makes it tiring on the freeway with the high revs. I am thinking of changing to a 3.54 at some point, but this will be labor intensive. I would not buy a car with a 3.9 ratio if you plan to do any freeway driving.

So plan on spending time working on the car, no matter what the condition. Having said all that, I love my Elan, and am not thinking of selling it! It has a steering feel and sensitivity that makes it a joy on two lane roads.

Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:19 pm
by 4regt4
Thanks one and all.

I've been in contact with the parties involved, and hope to look at it within the next several days.

I don't know how long it has been sitting unused. Anything in particular to look at on a car that hasn't been driven in a while? Seems I found mention here that the water pumps don't play well with storage. Anything else besides the usual battery, inspect oil and coolant, etc.?


Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:51 pm
by tdskip
Brakes, clutch, clutch slave...

Chassis rust as mentioned.

Moldy carpets.

Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:14 pm
by The Veg
Welcome Hans! Got fingers crossed for a good find- let us know how it turns out!

Re: Yup, newbie.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:47 pm
by Sploder90
Welcome Hans.I
They are truly great cars, only regret I have is waiting too long to get one. Took a bit more work than expected to get it back on the road and still a few more little jobs to do over the winter but it is great fun and I generally enjoy working on it.. And as for driving :D

Mel 68 S3 DHC