Lotus Elan

Help - Indentifying my Plus 2

PostPost by: lee_romain » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:02 pm

Hi there,
Hi I?m currently restoring my Lotus Elan +2 and as doing so have more questions than answers.

Sorry to trouble people with yet another identity crisis,
I have a bit of a dilemma; this may take some explaining, so please bear with me.
I have read the info mentioned on the forums and taken note to help me identify my Elan +2

Well according to my chassis plate I have a 1969 Plus 2S (50/1319), but my problem is this.
I have a later body identified by the larger flange & support blocks around the windscreen area on the body; also under the Headlining I have a body number 1347 "L" (and two names of the people who built it I think).
From what I have read the later body came in production on the chassis numbers 7001010001N, which were introduced in the 1970 on, This car has all the 701M engine & 5 spd gearbox / electrics / failsafe headlamps everything, that a S 130/5 would have. I know the chassis frame has been replaced in the past. I'm wondering if my Elan is a hybrid of two elans, but what should the chassis number be? Does the body determine it? (Then this would make my car later that 1969 if it has a later body number 1347?) I'm confused. Any help or advise with be greatly appreciated.
Also as upon removing the paint I have discovered a metal flake roof at the bottom.
Sorry again to trouble you guy's with identity issues.

Cheers

Lee
Regards

Lee

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:18 pm

Lee,

Welcome to the club, but you don't say where you're located.

Questions and answers are the lifeline of this forum.

I know little about the +2 apart from the mechanicals being generally common with the Elan.

However, on the face of it, it does seem possible that you have a 69 body on a 73 chassis. To confirm this you need to answer a couple of easy questions:
1. Does it have a big-valve engine?
2. Is the gearbox a Lotus 5 speed?

If yes to both questions, then it would seem likely that you do have a 73 chassis.

The body VIN plate is the controlling factor, and if you live in the UK it is beneficial to have a 69 tax free car. Again if in the UK the vehicle registration documents will identify the VIN and engine number.

Regarding the body I'm sure one of the +2 specialists on the form will help, but it would not be that surprising for a 1969 car to have 1970 released updates.
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PostPost by: johns » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:24 pm

My 1970 +2S (Registered 1st may 1970 and confirmed by the factory) has a chassis number 50/0080L and I believe it is the "L" that denotes it be a +2S rather than simply a +2. There were relatively few 1969 +2Ss built as it was only launched in the autumn of that year so I suspect you either have a +2 that has been "upgraded" by one or more POs to create the car you have today or given the "body number" you quote then a later car that has been given an older chassis to make it tax exempt. Early +2Ss did not have the failsafe lights or metalflake roofs. As the other poster has stated ultimately it is the chassis number that dictates the "age" of the car and hence there is a trade in V5 forms and chassis plates on eBay as people seek to make their cars tax exempt or give authenticity to a car they have built from parts drawn from a variety of sources.

One route would be to contact the factory with both chassis numbers 50/1319 and 50/1347L and see what information they can give you on the two cars. Striping the body will probably have given you some idea of the original colour and this may match up with the information you can get from the factory.

Other helpful identification information can be found here http://www.elanregistry.org/guide.php

Hope this helps

John
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:20 pm

Lee

As John has suggested, it's worth contacting the factory (there are contact details elsewhere on this forum).

The chassis number written on the body, windscreen features, engine and gearbox all sound as if they've come from a '73 plus 2 (indeed the chassis number you mention is only 15 digits away from my own '73 +2). I would suspect that the original chassis number for the body is either 73041347L or 73051347L. As mentioned before, it sounds like someone has done a mix and match...

Another thing you could do is to contact the DVLA to check on the car's history - well worth the cost (?5?) as it can give you all of the changes in owner. However, the chassis number should normally relate to the body (not the chassis/subframe) and the combinations sound odd. So you may want to do some more research before contacting the authorities.

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PostPost by: lee_romain » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:29 pm

Many thanks for the advise,

The engine is a Big Block and a lotus 5 spd gearbox.
V5 says engine Number is M18187 (can't find this ref on the engine, am i looking in the correct place?)
The only numbers i can see on the engine is 701M6015EA 2L15 on the exhaust side.

Cheers

Lee
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:39 pm

In the parts manual it indicates the "L" for "Elan +2S type Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Mine is N since it's North America and the grease pencil on the roof under headliner matches the windscreen and door ID plates (engine compartment plate was missing). For sure the grease pencil is correct and I also found it inside the doors. I wrote the factory with my numbers and they confirmed only that car went to North America. Certainly your silver metalflake roof is a tell--don't think anybody has suggested they were randomly using that technique before the 130's. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:23 pm

Lee

The engine number you've quoted is the Ford casting number and is consistent with a +2S130 (according to Robinshaw and Ross' book Authentic Lotus Elan and +2) early +2s had casting numbers 3020-6015, then 681F-6015 (as did +2Ss) followed by the S130 numbers. The engine identity number itself is stamped on the block (off the cuff I can't remember where) - if I get 5 mins tomorrow I'll have a look and find it (unless someone else tells you where before me). Unfortunately I don't know the numbering scheme for engines (mine is P followed by 5 digits and I know it is the original engine). Asking Lotus what they know about the chassis number from your body may tell you if the engine matches with the body.

Incidentally, the chassis number on your chassis plate is consistent with a car build between December 1968 and March 1969 (December '68 as 50/1280, March '69 was 50/1592 according to the same source as above).

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:39 pm

The engine number is located on the horizontal pad above the RH engine mount fixings.
This is the best picture I could find as an illustration.
Engine Number Location.jpg and

It is often difficult to read.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:34 am

Greetings Lee,

The Columbo in me is wondering if you have driving lamps with body notched for them below your front bumper.

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PostPost by: lee_romain » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:53 pm

bcmc33 wrote:The engine number is located on the horizontal pad above the RH engine mount fixings.
This is the best picture I could find as an illustration.
Engine Number Location.jpg

It is often difficult to read.
Cheers Guy's

The drivings lamp recess in the body don't seem to be notched out, they are complete as intended. I did try and attach an image but i haven't had much success. Seem to be having problems with uploading images to a online server.

i will have a look tonight to see if i can spot my engine number.

Thanks again

Lee
Regards

Lee

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PostPost by: andyelan » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:34 pm

Hi Lee

To me this looks suspiciously like a late Plus2S 130/5 which has been given the identity of an early car in order to avoid payment of road tax. If this is the case I would tread carefully, somtimes it's best not to know too much.

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