Lotus Elan

newbie wants to buy a car...

PostPost by: hansaxl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:27 pm

Dear folks,

I am a bloody newbie, this is my first thread. My background has been more into motorcycles for a long time, but now at last I decided to buy a car, an elan +2, i.e., my dream car.

I've been looking around, mostly in the UK, and will go for one of the intermediately priced ones (say, 7-9 k). I am not dependent on a car in my work life, so a good runner will do..

I have laid my eye on a nice +2 ('68), which has largely been restored and is just within the price range (8 k +, and the colour is nice, too.. :o) ). But the recent restoration sort of excluded the gearbox (4-speed) and lower part/crank of the engine, which apparently were considered to be good enough by a previous, but unknown owner. So, in the worst case, they have never been re-done. The car is said to be running very well though, with no odd noises, good oil pressure, pulling and shifting gear well etc. Mileage is not really known, but the speedo shows something around 30,000.

Here's my question(s): Are there 4-speed gearboxes and (lower) engines around still running, never having been restored? Are they really as reliable as many people say? How significant is, by the way, a good oil pressure in order to determine the crank's state?

Thanks in advance for any input regarding those questions, which are admittedly a little bit hard to make definite statements about...

Cheers,

Hansa
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:14 pm

Hi Hansa

Ebay is a good place to start looking. Also see the back pages of the Club Lotus mag and:

http://www.pistonheads.com/SALES/list.asp?s=10

and

http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/

I have a 1968 +2 which has had 1 engine re-build and a chassis change and I am pretty sure the 4 speed box has not been touched; the car ran fine until I decided to take it apart. :(

I don't think the 4 speed gearboxes are anything to worry about, if it breaks the 4 speed boxes are cheaply bought on Ebay. The expensive or labour intensive areas are the body, chassis and the engine.

Brakes are easily repaired/ overhauled. Suspension and steering parts are available new. Electrics can be a problem. Diff is repairable.

I would and did go for a scuffy bodied car which ran well and had original parts. Most parts can be sourced if you start with a decent car.
If you post a pic of the car you have in mine it is likely that somebody here will know of it and can advise you if it is a good buy.

Hope this helps.

Jason
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PostPost by: terryp » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:21 pm

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT

Be quick.....?5K and 5 hours to go

No connection etc but it looks quite a nice car

Terry
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PostPost by: hansaxl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:06 pm

Hi Terry and Jason,

thanks for your quick replies.

Terry, the +2 on ebay is surely nice, but I wouldn't want to drive it home without a working heater.. :o)

Errm, at first instance, I felt it might be a little indecent to give definite info about the +2 I have in mind. But well, then: It is yellow, lacks a horn switch, has been dealt with here several times, and belongs, as I understood, to a forum member named yandy.

Look here:

elan-for-sale-f2/exceedingly-yellow-1968-big-valve-head-improvements-t18833.html

and here:

elan-plus-f13/why-some-cars-take-ages-sell-t19685.html

It has been up for sale since July or so. That might be exclusively due to the paintwork flaws (which do not bother me...). But someone not involved might know somewhat better about the car?

Thanks again in advance,

Hansa
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PostPost by: terryp » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:18 pm

Andy's car is really nice. I beleive its mainly only the bonnet with the problem
see elan-plus-f13/why-some-cars-take-ages-sell-t19685.html

Go for it!

I went out in mind today with my eldest daughter, younger daughter wanted to stay with Mummy, well we had a good blat!

Terry
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PostPost by: gerrym » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:32 pm

Hansa, get yourself a copy of Graham Lunds Book (usually for sale on ebay). His advice and wisdom just as applicable now as when it was written (just costs have risen).

Enjoy your Lotus (when it comes)

Gerry
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PostPost by: hansaxl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:53 pm

Gerry,

for sure I'll get all appropriate literature. Have already ordered the book and I am keen to get it.

Cheers,
H.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:30 pm

Hansa...the guy who restored Yandy's yellow car knows his stuff and has put it together properly. It's a nice early car and it's the right colour, and if I was buying I'd certainly go have a look.

Mark
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PostPost by: memini55 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:42 pm

Hansa,

I have looked at the one posted on Ebay and if it where my money a would take a hard look at it. It is a very late example and with the five speed provides better high speed motoring. I wish I was locted on your side of the pond as I would give it a go.

You had asked earlier about motor lower end and gearboxes, I have rebuilt both in my sons +2. I would not be too concerned about either one as they are built well. If the gearbox shifts up and down thru the gears well with no grinding should be fine. I would pull the drain plug and put in fresh oil and gearoil in both. Look very closely at both oils and see if any trash or metal in either. The Ford lower end of the motor is very strong and if a later car it would have the strongest block.

Pick your best one and go for it as they will provide years of enjoyment and maybe some frustration as well. Anyway have fun and enjoy! Good luck.

Mark
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PostPost by: hansaxl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:11 pm

Mark & Mark & everybody,

thanks! It sure is great to receive that much feedback within such a short time. Highly appreciated!!

Good to be reassured concerning the lower engine and gearbox. Think I will go and have a good look at yandy's car soon.

As for the one posted on ebay: I do think this one has been and also will be a good runner, and probably wil turn out to be a bargain. But.. I'd rather have a look at a car, or anything else costing that much, before I buy it. This one has seen good use in the past years, so it will probably consume a good deal of maintenance on the long run. But well, any Elan will, of course. That's agreed.

Cheers,

H.
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:05 pm

Hi

This is interesting; 2 cars sold recently, one in boxes and the other complete, both very nice cars.

Both made good money (which they deserved) but, until recently a car in boxes at this time of year would have only made the price of the engine. Are prices finally coming up and the +2 will make the money it deserves? Maybe the +2 is getting rarer due to all the ones broken on Ebay recently, buy them all quick. :D

Jason
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:51 am

It's a bit off topic, but I'm mystified.
What is the title of "Graham Lunds" book ?

Ralph.
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PostPost by: andyelan » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:28 am

Hi Everyone

I think you mean "Gordon Lund" don't you

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: hansaxl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:41 am

Lotus Elan: A Restoration Guide by Gordon Lund. (Brooklands)

The two cars on ebay really made a fortune. Well, good for the sellers...

H.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks, 'tis now clear.
Plenty of them on abebooks.

Ralph.
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