Lotus Elan

Thinking of buying one

PostPost by: Tournesol » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:28 pm

Good afternoon all,

I hope I am doing things right as I am a newbie here. I seen one Elan+2 advertized and thinking of going to see the car soon but was wondering if anyone here could give me comments on the car itself or more if it happens the car is known to members. I know it's not easy to judge from pictures only and nothing is better than seeing the car for real but some comments would be helpful. I don't know much about cars/mechanic so would eventually much appreciate if someone could also help when seing the car. Happy to help with transport etc and might even throw a good bottle of wine into the bargain!
Here's the link to the add I am looking at.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Elan-2- ... 4897.l4275

Thank you all for any feedback/info/help you can provide.
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PostPost by: vlc584g » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:10 pm

Hiya mate,
As you know im also new to the forum!
You will have to view them, speaking from experience - the camera lies!
Also do as much reading up (books and forum) as you can - knowledge is power - but in the end i still think its a gamble - like stocks 'n' shares.
Hope you find what you're after .
Cheers
Andrew.
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Salut

'fraid I live in France so I can't inspect the car with you. Might be worth looking at but I would suggest no more than that if you don't go with someone knowledgable.

The car has a replacement Spyder chassis, which is a good thing. The body looks nice in the photos but would need to be looked at in the flesh - a proper respray is very expensive. The history and condition of the engine (rebuilds, etc.) would need to be determined, too. To be checked as well are the engine and chassis numbers - better if they match those on the V5.

Some comments from the photos:

- 'S' type body and rear badge but early seats/interior and no fog/spots - has the car received a donor body shell ? 1969 was the crossover year from the early type to 'S'-type, so that might explain the mismatch. However the car has a Stromberg bonnet - somebody else can tell you if that agrees with the year
- some strange vacuum plumbing and air filter pipe missing
- electric fan - good - not sure tha radiator is original
- non-original steering wheel but not a big problem at this price
- 'minor tlc' - what does that mean ? Body work, engine work and interior retrimming are all expensive (plus the centre console is impossible to find)

So, work has been done on it but it all depends how much is left to do. If it's just to have fun and you're not too concerned about the looks it might be worth considering if all the mechanics are good - which brings us to your knowledge and mechanical skills - all old cars, and maybe Lotus more than others, need regular mechanical tlc - be it repairs or preventive; so you either need to be prepared to learn or have someone to do it for you.

?10,000 is the lower end of the +2 market so there are going to be some quite big compromises somewhere. My advice would be to see as many cars as you can, make sure you get a drive in a good example, and then decide how much you want to invest. It's usually more economical to buy a car that has been restored well rather than a car that needs restoring.

carandclassic have some tidier looking cars at ?12500:

- http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C494434
- http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C498040#

You did the right thing by asking, and I hope I haven't put you offf - they are lovely machines to drive.

@+

Vernon
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:58 pm

Hi Vernon,
Thanks for the advices. I hope you are enjoying my home country. I saw the 2 adverts you posted and the first is now very proudly owned by another new member on here. The second is aparently from the Czech Republic and might be difficult to see.
I take note of your questions regarding the one I posted and wil make sure to enquire with the vendor.
Many thanks again!!
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PostPost by: Plus 2 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:20 am

Hi,

Totally agree with Vernon's comments/observations on the car and it looks in need of more than minor TLC. However bodywork condition can only be assessed by a visual inspection as the osmosis blisters and crazing just don't show up on pictures and are expensive to correct. After that a test drive ensuring no vibrations, wandering from steering or brake judders or drift when braking will confirm a lot. Next is engine oil pressure and general signs of oil leaks

I have no experience on the Spyder chassis and how they are lasting in service but for sure the early non galvanised ones suffered around the front strut box section so either Spyder or replacement galvanised Lotus chassis certainly recommended.

Mileage is questionable could be 100k round the clock or at some point new speedo or zeroed after engine rebuild so the detail is all looking at the documentation.

To me if the dealer is prepared to give you the name contact of the PO and not claim stupid privacy laws and you can make contact with them well worth a try. I always have a concern when I see a classic car passing through the hands of a non marque brand dealership or one just specialising in classic cars.

As regards the bonnet bulge..............that was always Lotus utilising stock availability. You will see this also on the wiper motors when some UK cars will be parked like mine and the one here on the right drivers side and other UK cars will have fitted the US/Euro one that parked on the left side.

Despite differences in opinions I would not want the the rain on the passenger side being washed over first to the drivers side so consider the right parking correct on RHD cars. Others view it as better vision for the driver so consider opposite.

That aside my car as you can see from pics came with the same bonnet bulge and webers from day one.

I shall be returning to UK Coventry area myself to change my company car and if the Lotus is still available and you are still interested I would be happy to look over the car. I do have a lot of old work colleagues that also live around the Nuneaton area who are well experienced automotive guys if you really want an urgent second opinion I could contact one of them.

The price of classics are definitely increasing at the moment so hope you find something soon.

Regards

Steve
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The one and only genuine registered PLU5 2 Image
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:38 am

Hi

From the pics it looks like an early Spyder frame with oval rear arms. The driveshafts look to be silver in colour so may be CV shafts but I can't see from the pics. Front trim is missing which is a proper pain to source.

The early frame would suggest the car had body off work in the 1980's so it may need work again now? I would be interested in the "lots of history". You should go through it looking at the dates of the work done.

Mine is a 1968 so this is a similar year car. Mine has no recesses in the front for front fogs I don't think this is correct for this car. I would take a close look at the front as this with the lack of grill trim could mean there is some accident damage there? It may be completely innocent but you need to check.

It has Webers which is good and I see a Kenlowe thermostat control for a cooling fan which is also good and nice original rear bumper.

Original steering wheel is missing and the battery cut out is not in the best place.

The price looks about right but you really need to take someone with you to look at it.

Jason
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:50 am

Hello again everyone!
Wow I didn't expect to get so much replies so soon. Thank you!!
Steve I sent you an email.
Look is not massively important to me, I am much more inclined in getting an example that is mechanically/electrically/chassis sound; saying that I don't want a shabby one either. Reason I have been looking at Lotus and Elans in particular is the driving experience they provide (never driven one though but you could describe me as a true afficionado of cars giving a driving thrill and by this I don't mean thrashing them but "feeling" how the car handles. That means a lot to me so Lotus makes perfect sense I believe!). The look of the +2 is my favourite design from Lotus. I never have been a fan of convertibles or open top (apart for barquettes which is a totally different thing alltogether, previous neighbour had a replica porsche 718 rsk and that was pretty special being just a passenger!!). Further more as the car will be sitting outside (yes i will get a very good cover for it) I don't think convertibles will be a good option anyway.
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:44 pm

Well, Am I glad I asked for help!!

Someone very kindly offered to have a friend of his who live close by to have a look at the car on my behalf and just received the pictures taken during that visit. Wow!!! Don't know if the photos on the original advert were "photoshoped" or not but incredible how they made that car look that good compare to the actual state of it.
I am no expert but wouldn't have spent a penny on that car. THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME A TRIP, you know who you are! If anyone has been concidering to see that car, get in touch with me, I am more than happy to send you the real photos and save you the journey too!!
The search carries on....
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:55 pm

hoping I've managed to load some of the picts properly and that they show fine.
Attachments
lotus 5.jpg and
lotus 16.jpg and
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:02 am

Car Registration is WUU317G, advertized for just under 10K.
Attachments
lotus 12.jpg and
lotus 9.jpg and
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PostPost by: JANUARYCRUISER » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:37 pm

Hi
I will be selling my own Plus 2 130/5 which I have owned since about 1989. It has been kept pure Lotus and is finished in black with beige interior. Engine was rebuilt last year but car has not been on the road for a few years.
I have now lost my garage so will need to sell. Car is on a sworn and I have a very extensive file of history.
Vehicle is based in SW London and can be viewed by arrangement. Photos available if interested.
Malcolm
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