Lotus Elan

Hello all - new Elan +2S owner

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:27 am

Hi all - My wife and I just bought a 1971 Elan +2S and are really excited to start enjoying it. We've had a couple of classic cars before, though more from her side - she had a Volvo 1800ES and an MGB, but this will be my first time really diving into owning a classic. The Esprit was my favorite car growing up, and I recently learned that Lotus was in its early years situated in a garage just 2 blocks from where I grew up in Muswell Hill (though they were long gone by the time I was there), so I've got some history with the marque. I've lived in the US most of my life and these Elans are pretty rare, so if there are other owners in the Maryland area, say hi!

Ours is in pretty good shape but needs a few things taken care of - new tires, battery, windshield trim, sagging left (driver) side door caused by cracked fiberglass around the lower hinge. This forum has already been invaluable at helping out with these! Looking forward to driving it regularly once it's a little more shipshape and continuing to learn from folks here!
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:03 am

Let me be the first to welcome you to the forum and congratulations on your +2 purchase.
We love to see pictures and hear all about the cars good or bad.
Hopefully some of the US owners are nearby to meet up. I have always found fellow Lotus owners really friendly and incredibly helpful.
Enjoy driving your Elan ( I know you will)
Clive
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
cliveyboy
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 614
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Oxfordshire UK

PostPost by: berni29 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:43 am

Hi

Welcome! They are great cars, I am sure you will love it. Please post a picture when you can.......

All the best

Berni
Looking for a + 2, Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Must get another soon!
User avatar
berni29
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 442
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Location: Beckenham Kent

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:56 pm

Thanks all! Haven't had a chance to take my own pic yet, but this is one from the sales listing.
Attachments
elan white.jpeg and
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: mbell » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:10 pm

Welcome, is the car the recent Bring a trailer car? If so I think you got a good buy there. Last few +2 have gone for very strong money. Not sure why that one didn't get more as looked solid car. Personally i think it is a +2S130 car.

I would second the BAT comment about having a look at the sill members. These are known to rust and provide the side impact protection and seatbelt mounts. So good to know there condition.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2124
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: berni29 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:19 pm

Hi

Looking at the pictures on BAT you can see that they (the sill members) have been changed. Im 99% sure.

Nice car, in one of my favourite colours.

All the best

Berni
Looking for a + 2, Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Must get another soon!
User avatar
berni29
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 442
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Location: Beckenham Kent

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:45 pm

mbell wrote:Welcome, is the car the recent Bring a trailer car? If so I think you got a good buy there. Last few +2 have gone for very strong money. Not sure why that one didn't get more as looked solid car. Personally i think it is a +2S130 car.

I would second the BAT comment about having a look at the sill members. These are known to rust and provide the side impact protection and seatbelt mounts. So good to know there condition.


Yes exactly, that's the one :D We feel like it was a very good price also. We have the original purchase and service records from when the first owner, a US Serviceman, bought the car in UK and lived there for the first few years until moving back to Florida and importing the car in 1974. There's no indication of it being a 130 in any of that.

The guy who was handling the sale on behalf of the gentleman who owned it before us is a mechanic and he worked on the car from 1997 onwards so knows it very well, and we've got all the records from that. I don't recall anything about the sills being replaced but I can double-check. We're having another vintage/Lotus-specialist here in Maryland (Vintage Restoration) do a thorough going over in a few weeks.

First order of business is to figure out a replacement battery :D The one that's in there is a BCI code U1R - it's tiny so fits into the well at the back of the trunk with plenty of room above to clear the trunk floor panels. But it's only 370 CCA and very little standby time so may see if I can get a Group 90 battery to fit as suggested elsewhere on this forum (requires a baseplate to act as a spacer, and may make it a bit tight to the floor panel above the binding posts)
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: mwhitaker » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:44 am

Congrats on your purchase-they are such lovely cars and I am sure you will enjoy it. Interesting history too- I wonder if your original owner got it from the same selling dealer my Dad got his 71 Elan S4 FHC in 1971- I believe it was Wright & Wright Motors of Tring, the selling dealer for Federal spec cars at the time.

If you have your car going to Vintage Restorations then you probably know about the DC/MD branch of the national club-Lotus LTD-Phil Mitchell at the helm. I am in Northern VA with sister club NOVA Lotus with my 69 Elan S4 DHC-haven't tried Vintage Resto yet ( about 90 miles away for me) but they have a good reputation which is rare for classic shops in this region. Don Butler at Union Jack Exotics is also a good resource and Ray at RD Enterprises in Quakertown, PA is great for parts. Elans are pretty thin on the ground, esp Plus Twos, as you note. As you are finding this forum is brilliant- I wouldn't be able to run my car without the help available here. Welcome and enjoy!

Cheers, Mark Whitaker
69 Elan S4 DHC
45/8396
mwhitaker
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 67
Joined: 03 Sep 2017
Location: alexandria,va

PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:50 am

Welcome from a Plus 2 owner down in Georgia!

Interesting story about the first owner. Is it a federal or domestic car?

Mine was also bought by a Yank in the UK but slightly different story...he wanted a kick-ass sports car and after months of research and weeding through the choices (including rejecting the E-Type!), he settled on the Plus 2, made the deal through Lotus East (US distributor), then went to UK to pick it up at the factory. It's a federal car but he stayed in UK for a few months to make sure he was near the factory while the bugs were being discovered and worked-out :mrgreen: so he did register it in the UK and it still has the tax-disc and reg number on it. Then he took it home to Florida (what part did yours live in? Mine was in St. Pete).

Anyway, welcome again and I look forward to hearing more of your adventures with it!
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: 1929
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:52 am

mwhitaker wrote:Congrats on your purchase-they are such lovely cars and I am sure you will enjoy it. Interesting history too- I wonder if your original owner got it from the same selling dealer my Dad got his 71 Elan S4 FHC in 1971- I believe it was Wright & Wright Motors of Tring, the selling dealer for Federal spec cars at the time.

If you have your car going to Vintage Restorations then you probably know about the DC/MD branch of the national club-Lotus LTD-Phil Mitchell at the helm. I am in Northern VA with sister club NOVA Lotus with my 69 Elan S4 DHC-haven't tried Vintage Resto yet ( about 90 miles away for me) but they have a good reputation which is rare for classic shops in this region. Don Butler at Union Jack Exotics is also a good resource and Ray at RD Enterprises in Quakertown, PA is great for parts. Elans are pretty thin on the ground, esp Plus Twos, as you note. As you are finding this forum is brilliant- I wouldn't be able to run my car without the help available here. Welcome and enjoy!

Cheers, Mark Whitaker
69 Elan S4 DHC
45/8396


Thanks for the info on the local chapter Mark, I hadn't heard about that before! Will definitely check that out and hopefully join an in person event at some point. I've looked at the RD Enterprises site, it's a real goldmine of parts.

Unclear if our car is a Federal one or not, but I don't think so. It's obviously LHD presently and i don't have any evidence that it was swapped from RHD. It has Federal seats with headrests, but those could have been updated at some point (it also has 4 sets of seatbelts).

I've got a 1970 copy of the +2 Service Parts List that came with the sale, and according to that Federalized bodies for USA started with chassis number 50/0857. Ours is numbered 50/0216, which seems like it would make it a very early run from 1967 - much earlier than 1971 which was how the car was described in the sale. But that does seem like a wide discrepancy. Not sure if anyone can shed light on the quagmire of 1970s automotive record keeping? :)

Earliest official document we have is an MOT badge from 1973. We have some of the early maintenance records from while it was still in Ipswich in 1974. That was with Evergreen Motor Engineering ("Engine Tuning Specialists" and "Lotus Service Dealers"), so that may be where it was bought. For example, they charged the princely sum of 4-46 for rear brake pads on 21st April 1974!
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:56 am

The Veg wrote:Welcome from a Plus 2 owner down in Georgia!

It's a federal car but he stayed in UK for a few months to make sure he was near the factory while the bugs were being discovered and worked-out :mrgreen: so he did register it in the UK and it still has the tax-disc and reg number on it. Then he took it home to Florida (what part did yours live in? Mine was in St. Pete).

Anyway, welcome again and I look forward to hearing more of your adventures with it!


Sounds like maybe a similar story! We also have tax discs, for 73 and 74, and K-reg plates too (tempted to figure out how to put at least one of those back on the car...). Ours then moved to Tampa
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: berni29 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:01 am

Hi

It certainly does not look like an early car, the body shell has the extra driving lamps and does not have the exterior handle on the boot also the bonded front screen and interior are commensurate with a later car.

All the best

Berni
Looking for a + 2, Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Must get another soon!
User avatar
berni29
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 442
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Location: Beckenham Kent

PostPost by: mbell » Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:09 pm

It is federal car. It has the side markers, federal seats and dual circuit brakes.

It looks very much like a S130 to me, may be its not and just happen to have the S130 features but that also means it not an early car and certainly is after 1970. You need the VIN number not the chassis or body number to identify the car.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2124
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: Richardsona39 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:23 pm

OK figured it out... Hand written onto a folder containing some of the paperwork and it lists Unit Number, Engine Number and VIN (which is what I'd been going off). The Unit Number starts with 7110, so it was built in October '71, and ends in an N, so it is a Federal car and S130. Mystery solved!

I hadn't actually realized that S and S130 were the same thing. duh... It has good grunt to it, and did feel like a decently powerful engine, so that makes sense.
Richardsona39
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Location: Maryland

PostPost by: mbell » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:53 pm

S and S130 are different spec/age cars. Interior and engine differences.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2124
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests