Lotus Elan

Values increasing

PostPost by: jimj » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:05 pm

I really don`t think I`m kidding myself but, to reassure myself for a particular reason, I was having a think: I don't believe the proportionate increase in Elan or +2 values since they became "classic cars" is far from the average increase in values generally.
If you assume they double in value every 10 years that doesn`t seem too far from reality, do you think?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:00 am

Jim, I think that you would have to be careful from whence you extrapolate!

For example, in 1988 my S3 Coupe was valued and insured at ?9k, and in 1990 it was insured for ?20k. By 1992 it was back to ?8k. That was (and is) a good original car with no faults, but with fairly average paintwork.

Taking the height of the market would have it be worth ?80k by 2008, which clearly it wasn't. Even taking the ?8k in 1992, by 2012 values it at ?32k, which it certainly isn't worth...that's mint / factory original territory, which my car isn't. In fact it's value today is probably only a little bit more than ?16k, which is only just over double in 20 plus years.

Something else to factor in is that the market is more sophisticated now than it was in the '80s, and standards have risen, in some areas considerably. It's not unusual now to see E Types, Healeys etc. in absolutely perfect (and unused) condition for sale, and that was a rare sight 20 or so years ago.

With E Types in this condition selling for ?150k and Healeys for ?80k, the market is very skewed. They lose around a third of their value as soon as they start to be used, which puts them back into a normal pricing structure. I've not seen many Elans sold in this condition....I think that Elan owners are more interested in using their cars than polishing them. However, there have been some stunning restored Elans come on the market in the last few years (I think that you have probably just bought one) which can command a price that more closely reflects the cost of a professional restoration....?35k - ?55k. Like the Healeys and E Types, that will drop when the cars start to develop a bit of patina!

So I think that the situation is quite complex, and coming back to my original point, it really does depend where you start from. Right now, I believe we're pretty much at the top of the market, and as soon as interest rates start to go up, the 'investors' will pull out, and the values drop somewhat, and will then go through a period of re-stabilising for a couple of years.

So starting your doubling of values from now may be a little optimistic ...maybe look back a few years at the values then and extrapolate from there to be more conservative.

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PostPost by: jimj » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:21 am

Aw ! Mark, don`t burst my bubble. What`s wrong with a bit of self delusion?
Jim
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:12 am

Jim,
I wonder if Elan prices are somewhat governed by their 'rebuildability'. I suppose classic car values are to some degree proportionate to their rarity, it may be the ability by so many to rebuild these cars that holds their value fairly steady.
I personally chose the elan because I could rebuild the car myself (with a lot of help from this forum) whereas a Ferrari Mondial 8 for example would be beyond me and my skills (and budget).
I passed my driving test in a minivan and I cannot beleive how much they now sell for :shock: .
So maybe because most minivans have now rotted away, the remaining fewer numbers increase their value?
Maybe I'm being self deluded as well, who knows?
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PostPost by: adigra » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:05 pm

Elans had a surge between 2008 and 2012 and just about doubled in value in that time, but have flattened out since. You could buy a good condition car for under ?8k, and the best for under ?18k, so you can double that by now. But once those values were reached it seems people with those budgets started looking at other cars in the ballpark whose values have then gone up since. Alfa Romeo Giulia, Lancia Fulvia Zagato and Triumph TR6 were all much cheaper than an Elan, but have all moved into the ?20k territory as they get restored. And many people realised that they can get nearly the same experience for much cheaper with a Plus2, so they have jumped in value too.

I think there are a number of reasons the Elan values flatlined: Lotus name took a real beating with the current company troubles and F1 shenanigans, Japanese market died down with their economy and the Yen losing value, and the troubles and cost of restoring fibreglass have become more known due to forums such as this. Fibreglass cars have always been looked down upon; if Elan was made out of aluminium it would probably be valued the same as an E-type.

You never know with markets, but based on the way some other cars I'm familiar with are doing, I think we are going through a period of equalization where people are getting more educated about the bargains, which is bringing up cars which have traditionally languished, such as the ones I mentioned above.

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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:41 am

Mmm...If you level out the hiccoughs and ignore the extremes, say DB5s, I still think I`m not miles out. All good Healey`s (except maybe100/6) are fetching around ?40K, 10 years ago maybe ?20K, 20 years ago....? Silverstone Auctions sold a Sprint, admittedly a one owner and very nice, this year for ?41K+ and have this one; http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1973 ... head-coupe
in July. Wouldn`t they have been ?20K 10 years ago, ?10k 20 years ago, ?5K 30 years ago?
I don`t think TR6s are selling, selling ! for more than ?20K and I really don`t think "our" market is driven by investors. It`s much more that there are just so many opportunities, events, to use classic cars these days and that`s not going to change. People are, even now, retiring earlier, living longer, are fitter, and better off than they expected to be and looking for something they`ve always wanted to do, and, not insignificantly, classic car events are increasingly sociable things you can do with your wife.
So, my prognosis is rosy.
Jim
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:57 pm

An interesting way of getting some confidence in your theory would be to look at Classic Car magazines with their value lists from 10, 20 and 30 years ago, and then you would have some hard evidence.

There are some huge anomalies that I know of. The Triumph Stag was probably worth more 20 years ago than it is now, and a Twincam Escort / RS1600 that was ?5k 20 years back is now ?50k.

And I sold my Healey 3000 Mk 3 nearly 20 years back for ?34k....I don't think that would be around ?138k now!

I think that you're right that Elan prices are a lot more stable than most classics, but they have gone up a fair bit in the past 4 or 5 years, especially the project and the top-end cars.

It's still complex!

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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:48 pm

Hi,
I think I can comment on this as I a trying to sell a really really well restored, (to the point of obsession), S4 FHC.

Its all about perception and what the buyer wants. I would say 99.99% of Elan buyers want a Sprint, preferably DHC, preferably Lagoon Blue/White or Red/White, preferably in immaculate condition, with KO wheels. Why, because apart from the 26R's et al, they are the most sought after and desirable versions, and have the "aura" of being the best.... thus attract the best prices

Now if you take the car I'm selling, which is an S4 FHC, thats on Strombergs, is BRG and has bolt on wheels. This might not appeal to some, but in every other aspect it is a proper Elan, with a rebuild cost, probably in parts alone, that would be in excess of buying a mid priced, good condition DHC Sprint. I know which what I would buy ? for ?, but then I'm biased :)

Its just down to perception and aura... for instance I would love a 246 Dino GT, just stunning, but as a drivers car, not so..... its just aura.

Mark
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An immaculate 69 BRG FHC S4 :?
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I
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:04 pm

mark030358 wrote:. I would say 99.99% of Elan buyers want a Sprint, preferably DHC, preferably Lagoon Blue/White or Red/White, preferably in immaculate condition, with KO wheels. Why, because apart from the 26R's et al, they are the most sought after and desirable versions, and have the "aura" of being the best.... thus attract the best prices
I


Hmmmm, have you been overdosing on Tim's website? I fully understand the enthusiasm, but my understanding is that 99.4% of Elan OWNERS really prefer the S3, in yellow or red, due to the pure body styling, the pre-compromise switch gear and non-Leyland parts bin door handles, not to mention the single colour at no extra cost.

And have you tried a Dino? It's a car I dismissed for 30 plus years as I figured that at 6ft 5 inches then I shouldn't even bother trying to fit into one .I tried one last year, and I fit. They are just fabulous to drive, and the soundtrack is just sublime!

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PostPost by: silverlink » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:11 pm

Shouldn't an S4 FHC on Stombergs be on knock-on wheels?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:32 pm

Some non- S/E S4's left the factory with bolt ons.
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PostPost by: adigra » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:55 pm

I tend to agree with the idea that most buyers new to the Elan world want a Sprint purely because of the perception that it's the best because it was the last/ultimate, and a DHC because of the British obsession with the least practical cars for the weather, hence the values of Sprints, logical or not, being higher.

I had the option of buying a Sprint DHC (monocolour yellow) that my father in law restored (which now belongs to his brother), but I really wanted a coupe, and the S3 wheel arches and the switchgear appealed a lot more than S4/Sprint. I had no real consideration for the investment/value potential, just what I liked. Although, I wish I could've bought them both as that Sprint is a great car.
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PostPost by: groucho » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:33 am

mark030358 wrote:Its just down to perception and aura... for instance I would love a 246 Dino GT, just stunning, but as a drivers car, not so..... its just aura.

It's funny you say that, as I bought my S2 from someone who also owned a pair of 246GTs. You may not be very surprised that the Elan was his favorite car. :)

The Dinos were stunning, though. He and I got to be close friends (long before I bought the Elan - which he ended up replacing with another S2) and one time I finally talked him into letting me drive one of the Dinos... and that is a proper experience. It's really something, and was a far better experience than a 308GTB that I later drove a few times.
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PostPost by: silverlink » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:20 am

If its true that most people want DHC 'Sprint models then I can only think that more owners will convert their FHC's by chopping the tops off!!!.
I have just been looking on the interweb at 'How many left' and it seems that lots of you have been doing just that. Now before anyone jumps in and tells me its not accurate I think it does give us a good idea of the percentage of cars there are out there.
The latest figures show
DHC Taxed 126 FHC Taxed 49
DHC SORN 57 FHC SORN 31
If this is a true representation then all I can say is keep on chopping and that way I'll end up with one of only a very few FHC's around.
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:55 pm

You can chop of the roof of a DHC but that will still never make it into a Type 45, it will always be a modified 36. People used to not care much about that, but as the values have climbed, people have started paying more attention.
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