Lotus Elan

Why is the Plus 2 so undervalued?

PostPost by: nebogipfel » Fri May 11, 2012 4:30 pm

UAB807F wrote:........."you know, when I had your Europa on the back I kept getting cars coming past & slowing for a look......


Have you ever noticed how people always slow down to have a look when there's a horrendous pile-up on the motorway?

Anything hideous or horrific always attracts attention. They were probably saying "What the h*ll is that thing?" :wink:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 11, 2012 4:36 pm

I?m starting to wonder now if they are undervalued, or is it just that a small handful of classic cars have taken off in price?

Just as a sample, looking mainly at the Brit classics, for sub-?10k you can get a decent / very good:

MGB
Gilbern
Jaguar XJS
Spitfire
Midget
Dolomite Sprint
Mini 1275GT
M100 Elan
Elite / Eclat

For ?10k - ?20k (the sort of range for a Plus 2)
Esprit
TR4
MGA
Aston Martin DB7 (6)
Sierra Cosworth 3 door
TVR Griffith 500
Ginetta G4
Lotus Cortina Mk 2
Mini Cooper
Ferrari 308 Dino
Caterham 7
Datsun 240Z
Morgan Plus 4

For ?20k to ?30k
Lotus Elan 26 / 36 / 45
Aston Martin DB7 (12)
E Type 2+2
TR5 /6
Mini Cooper ?S?
BMW 2002 Turbo
Jensen Interceptor
Mk 2 Jaguar
MGA TwinCam
Morgan Plus 8
Escort Mexico / RS2000


Obviously mint / just restored cars are more, and projects much less?.just like the Plus 2.

Outside the exotics, there aren?t many Brit cars normally in the over ?30k category, although two with the Lotus Twincam engine make it?the Twincam Escort at ?35k ish and the Lotus Cortina Mk 1 at ?40k ish. The RS 1600 and 1800 with their BDA engines come in around the same as the Mk 1 Lotus Cortinas, proving that it's not the engine that pulls down the value of the Plus 2! Then there?s the Healey and the two seater E Types, Lotus Elites, then the older Astons, pre-war Bentleys etc.

So, putting it very roughly in context, I recon that the Plus 2 has good competition in its price class, and holds its own well with them?.maybe it?s priced well!

Mark
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Fri May 11, 2012 4:55 pm

nebogipfel wrote: They were probably saying "What the h*ll is that thing?" :wink:


nah, that'll be what you lot say when a Europa flashes past and you're spinning around like the Road Runner cartoons........

(ok, I give in, this is an Elan forum after all)

Back on topic, I can never figure out why some classics make it and others don't. The M100 is a little cracker and they go for about the same price as an MGB, GT6 or Midget with their cart springs and 1950s engines, why ? The +2 is the same, a cracking little car with allegedly better roadholding than the Elan, better trim inside and yet half the price. Just one of those weird things I guess.
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PostPost by: SAKO » Fri May 11, 2012 5:00 pm

So, putting it very roughly in context, I recon that the Plus 2 has good competition in its price class, and holds its own well with them?.maybe it?s priced well!

Mark


I agree with you Mark, although it should be noted that if this had been discussed 4+ years ago, when I bought mine, it wasn't common to see a +2 in the ?10,000 bracket. A regular glance at Pistonheads shows plenty in the ?10,000 range now, and a good few of them seem to sell.

Whether the quality and therefore the price of those for sale has gotten better in the last few years, or prices are rising by a fair rate of knots, I'm unable to say as it's not something I keep a regular eye on.

One thing is for sure, it's easier to explain to the wife the big holes that keep appearing in our bank account are justifiable as 'investments'. :oops:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri May 11, 2012 5:13 pm

I think that the condition / quality of the car is a very good point, and one that really does affect the Plus 2. If you go back to pre-boom 1989, the condition of most Elans was pretty grim...they were used as fun cars that were thrashed and trashed. The 2 seaters started to get restored in the 90s, but less so the Plus 2 cars. If you go to a Lotus show now, have a look at the cars in the car park. Very few if any tatty 2 seaters, but always a few Plus 2 cars that have more than a little patina. Maybe that means that the cars are run by guys who still enjoy thashing and trashing?!

If all you see for sale in the 2 seaters is mint or very good condition cars, then you're going to think that they're all expensive. On the other hand, if most of the Plus 2s that come for sale are home restorations or needing a bit of work, then they're all going to seem pretty cheap. Maybe we're not comparing like with like.

The closest like for like that I can think of is the Plus 2 bought by Chris Evans from Paul Matty for ?28k, compared to an S4 convertible bought by a chum a year earlier for ?29k. They were both just about perfect, and indeed, came from the same seller. When the cars are the same condition, maybe there's not a huge difference in the price.

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PostPost by: SAKO » Fri May 11, 2012 5:43 pm

?28-29k :shock: :shock: :shock:

That's 308 / Merak / DBS money.

Although when they break it will make the current economic crisis look lame. :roll:
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri May 11, 2012 7:25 pm

This is probably one of the best topics that has been posted up for some time. We have had some very good natured banter tempered by excellent discussion content, I have genuinely laughed out loud a couple of times and nodded sagely in agreement with Mark's comparisons and price banding. A few of the less prolific posters have been coaxed out of lurking as well.

If anyone stumbles across this topic via a google search, they will be impressed with the site and the community within it.

Let's have more stuff like this 8)

Alan
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Fri May 11, 2012 7:53 pm

I bought my plus 2 for just over ?1000 from my brother in law - it is a bit of a basket case and only had a block where the engine should be, really needs a new chassis (it'll be silly not to fit one) but it had a V5, gearbox and diff, suspension, wheels interior, and all the rest of the parts (some still attached, some in the car....); a classic basket case. But its a nice project, plenty of scope for improvement and ebay/autojumble hunting and a medium term (2-3 year project) - as such I think its a bargin and you just don't see a baby elan project for that sort of money.
So in my experience the Plus 2 has a much lower starting price than a baby Elan, and the finished article is still lagging behind pricewise - unless its a conkers job, in which case a completely different set of pricing rules seem to apply :roll: :roll:

The headline question is was 'is the Plus 2 undervalued?' - but maybe we should be asking 'is the baby elan overvalued?' I dunno - all I know is that the prices are different :D
(and I prefer the looks of the Plus 2 anyway)
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1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
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PostPost by: SAKO » Fri May 11, 2012 8:23 pm

(and I prefer the looks of the Plus 2 anyway)


Touch?.

The baby Elan is a neat and pleasant looking car, and yet is so much a victim of its own success, unless painted in Sprint colours no longer jumps out from the traffic queue and at a glance could be mistaken for one of its clones.

The Europa is...functional, but does stand out even if it's just for a young lad to point and say; "look mummy, somebody squashed that poor man's van".

The +2 is a damned fine looking vehicle and stands out regardless of colour, and regardless of company. Had it been built in Italy and styled by Pinifarina, it wouldn't look much different, even with pockets deep enough not to have to raid other's parts bins. It is a beauty of its age, and an epitome of its era, just as the wedge would be the shape of the seventies.
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PostPost by: jono » Fri May 11, 2012 8:53 pm

I agree Sako, IMHO the +2 is the most attractive shape ever produced by Lotus, after the Elite of course.

The Elan is nice in a dinky sort of way, I was personally never into the wedges and the Europa - well I lusted after a JPS Europa as a boy and thought they were beyond cool but now they just look 'wrong' to me - the door frame outline is especially jarring.

I also think the +2 shape has aged particularly well. Let's not forget also it was the first Lotus, in S guise, to be offered as a factory built car - a bit of a milestone for Lotus.
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PostPost by: SAKO » Fri May 11, 2012 9:11 pm

You're right Jono, the original Elite was very pretty from every angle, although, even with a lottery win, I couldn't ever envisage wanting to part with ?50,000 to own one.

And not straying too much from the subject I hope, does anybody remember the Lotus advert from circa 1982 showing a stunning Esprit Essex in the dark blue and striped livery with its door ajar, showing the very red soft leather interior, and the tagline was if i recall 'keep the wolf from the door'.

The best looking Lotus ever? Perhaps. The ultimate wedge? Certainly. :twisted:

Now there's an idea, a +2 in the Essex colours.

mmmmmm. :?
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PostPost by: gribouil » Sat May 12, 2012 4:50 pm

barefoot wrote:It always amazed me but even worse at the moment is the Excel I have just bought a 91 Celebration for ?4500 the Excel has to be the bargain of all Lotus models it is another 4 seater and just like 4 seater Ferraris etc they always end up the cheapest of the ilk.

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My Elan plus 2 was a great car I put a new Spyder chassis on it fully restored it and the engine was a top spec QED rebuild but I struggled to sell it on for decent money I realise it was pretty orange and not everyones cup of tea but I spent a small fortune on the restoration!

Image

Image

Image

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Hi barefoot!
Your +2 looks fantastic!!! :wink:
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PostPost by: simonknee » Sun May 13, 2012 8:51 am

Elanintheforest wrote:For ?20k to ?30k
Lotus Elan 26 / 36 / 45


And this is for "excellent" rather than "concours"? Really?
Worried am I undervaluing my S3 at ?16000 for insurance?

The "problem" with the +2 is that is doesn't look as good in photos as the Elan.
Something about the thin front wings and odd shape pop-ups doesn't work as well in photos.
Often there is a curiously coloured roof and the later interiors are heading into 70's ruched disaster.
You have to see a +2 in the flesh to appreciate it actually is very good looking.
The Elan photographs very well.
So when I was pouring over classic car mags in the 1990's it was always the Elan that I wanted.
However price led me to the +2.

The +2 is a brilliant car and the poster earlier in the list either knows it or drinks too much VB.
Please keep quiet about it as I want another in the future.
Simon
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'69 +2 50/1370 (stolen '00)
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PostPost by: SAKO » Sun May 13, 2012 10:13 am

It always amazed me but even worse at the moment is the Excel I have just bought a 91 Celebration for ?4500 the Excel has to be the bargain of all Lotus models it is another 4 seater and just like 4 seater Ferraris etc they always end up the cheapest of the ilk.




I wonder whether there is a Ferrari forum running a similar thread for Dino 308 GT4 owners? They have fared even worse than +2's when it comes to under-valued, under-appreciated cars of the era.

Striking Bertone bodywork (if you like wedges), one of the neatest 70's Ferrari interiors, glorious mid-mounted V8, serious performance and yes, 2+2 seats. They were built side by side in the same factory, later models were actually badged as Ferraris when the Dino monicker was dropped, and many rate the GT4 as the better driving car.

But a decent, useable one can be had for ?15,000 whereas its 2 seat 308 GTB sibling costs ?30,000. That makes the Elan / +2 differential look rather lame. :roll:

Shame the worry of repair costs would keep you awake at night, or I could be tempted. :wink:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun May 13, 2012 1:21 pm

Simon, Elans in 'factory / showroom' condition are ?30k to ?40k at Paul Mattys and other retailers. I've never seen a concourse Elan....not sure Elan owners do that sort of thing! The difference between showroom (as per original specification and finish) and concourse (polished chassis / suspension...etc. etc. ) is often around double the price...i.e., concourse double an original spec car. A chum has recently bought a Mk 1 Lotus Cortina, a genuinely concourse car, for ?80k. Normal perfect cars sell for around ?45k !

The S3 E Type difference, between the 2+2 and the convertible, is quite striking. The 2+2 sells for around ?20k, and the convertible for ?55k....just because one has a roof!

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