Lotus Elan

Car registration statistics

PostPost by: sng » Thu May 23, 2024 7:43 am

I read an advert on ebay stating that there were 162 Elan S4's on the road in the UK so decided to investigate. According to the website howmanyleft.co.uk there are 162, I assume this is where that figure came from.


What is interesting is that the number of Elan S4's on the road increased from 115 in Q4 2009 to 162 in Q4 2023. At the same time the number of cars SORN'ed increased from 54 to 64. Obviously before the introduction of SORN cars would disappear but does anybody have a theory to why the on the road numbers have increased so dramatically?

Were there that many cars 'resting' in peoples garages or are we reimporting cars previously sold to Japan ?

What is good news is that the Lotus Elan community is growing :D
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Thu May 23, 2024 12:04 pm

I think Covid helped as people had time to work on them, also their was a noticeable change of mindset with people deciding to live life more.
Low interest rates help. I know a few people not getting much interest on money invested, so decided to put it into a classic car instead.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu May 23, 2024 12:47 pm

Generally speaking Elans have survived, so far, pretty well. Less so, I suspect, for the Plus 2, since too many were stripped for parts when they were not worth very much, rarely the case these days, I'm glad to say.

I maintain detailed records of all Elans and Plus 2s. The most detailed I have are for the Sprint. of the 1409 Sprints produced by Lotus, I have notes on 725 of them, which is 51%, meaning 48%, around 684 cars, have blank entries in my notes on them. More relevant to this discussion, though, is that 581 Sprints are what I term active, that is, they are either in use, off the road but known about, being restored or are in long term storage, in barns or otherwise, That is some 41%

If you accept that the Sprint has probably survived better than other series, we might guestimate that around say 38% of all Elans are still active.

As a side note, I find the howmanyleft website is not the most accurate data provider. Some of the cars are simply recorded as Elans, rather than more specific series. And of course, it is UK only so does not reflect the worldwide view.

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PostPost by: Billelan » Thu May 23, 2024 7:59 pm

I have an S4 that’s been off the road in my garage since 1986! As this was before SORN it wouldn’t have appeared on the DVLA list. I’m sure this is a common occurrence.
Hopefully it will be back on the road next year.
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