Lotus Elan

Top tip?

PostPost by: GHill » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:57 pm

Hi All

The time has finally arrived where I can now start to look at purchasing a plus 2 - fell in love with these about 4 years ago and have been looking at them ever since! I can't wait to be an 'owner' of a plus 2 however I don't want to be the owner of a lemon, so...

What's your number 1 tip when viewing a plus 2?!

Any other hints and tips welcomed.

Cheers
Gareth
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:08 pm

Hi Gareth,
Do NOT buy your car sight unseen!
I actually did this only because I had bought an Excel and an Esprit from the seller many years before but if I had seen the basket case plus2 I bought, I may just have passed.
Good luck,
Kev.
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:46 pm

What Kev wrote. Every knucklehead (seller) has a different opinion of what is "in good condition". I too got spanked on one of mine, and I thought I had done/asked all the right questions and talked to the right people.
Look for:
frame rust or heavy pitting to include suspension bits
look down each side of the car to see any major waving in the body
good and even door gaps (as good as a Lotus can be)
always have the engine started cold (put your hand on the engine to see if the person warmed it up before you showed) as it is easier to hear piston slap. I always ask them in advance not to warm the engine.
the list goes on but you get the idea.

You are on the right track Gareth. I've owned a boat load of hobby cars and the +2 is my fav.
mike
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Gareth, I suppose the question has to be asked - what are you looking for? Any advice will be relevant to what state of car you're after. I was looking for a doer-upper and that's exactly what I got! That means I am looking at a total rebuild costing many thousands. Now I could have spent much more to begin with and 'tidied up' a car, but I wanted a challenge and that's what I've got. My only advice for either route would be to get as complete- a -car as possible and read read read this great forum first. I didn't and wish I had.
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PostPost by: gus » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:34 pm

Original chassis in good shape


hahahahaha


ran when parked


ho ho ho ho
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:02 am

Cheers Chaps,

To clarify what it is I am after - it's as follows:

I'm looking for a car I can get in and use for up to 3-5 years without too much trouble whilst at the same time slowly replacing/reconditioning as many bits as I can during its maintenance. Doesn't need to be show condition (although that's the ultimate aim) as I want to live with and enjoy the car before I get really serious with it (new paint etc)!

Oh and it can't be red - got a thing against red - don't know why?!

Have been reading through this forum as much as I can and can see that's it is and will be a valuable resource for info and advice! Some cracking cars to drool over too in the images section!

Cheers Guys
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:15 am

I've seen the two which interest me:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELAN-pl ... 27ead305a4

And one in Paul Matty's...

http://www.paulmattysportscars.co.uk/sh ... px?id=3474

Have tried to arrange the first but the chap was unavailable this weekend and will hopefully go and see the Paul Matty one this week some time!

What do you think I should expect to find when viewing these based on your experience?

Cheers, Gareth
To get something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done!
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:52 am

Salut

I bought my +2 from Paul Matty and my experience is that they were very honest about the condition - they also serviced the car which included sending the gearbox off for a synchro they thought weak (and which I hadn't noticed) and a the head for a loose valva guide - again which I hadn't noticed. They have a reputation to keep so I don't think they'd send you off with a duff car. Of course you pay for this peace of mind. The PM car was the only car I saw that was better than the photos and description had led me to believe.

The grey eBay looks nice (an original colour?) but you'd have to see it. Seems the seller is expecting a lot more than the starting price, though. It isn't 'show' condition, but if the paint and interior is good/complete, that with the galvanised chassis and recent engine rebuild make this car interesting. Even at this price you'll have plenty of things to keep you occupied in the garage :)

@+

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:59 am

It's unusual to see a car that has very good bodywork and very good interior that has poor mechanicals.

Mechanicals are expensive to rebuild, especially the engine, but the body and interior can cost more to put right if they are in poor condition. So at the very worst make sure you pick a car with nice paint and seats and hopefully the previous owner spent money and effort on the Engine, gearbox and running gear as well. A knowledgeable friend is invaluable to take with you to view cars. Hopefully he will be immune to the excitement of wanting to buy and own a particular car because it's the right colour or model combination and will check important things like oil pressure and history and proof of money been spent.

Good luck and enjoy your car when you get it.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:55 am

Thanks,

I'm drawing up a checklist to try to remove the heart from the head! I'm sure that I will definitely find issues with most cars I go to see so the priority of what needs to be right will be important I guess! The answers you've all provided me so far has given me an excellent starting point - I'm just looking forward to starting my lotus journey!

Cheers
Gareth
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PostPost by: gus » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:11 pm

At the end of the day, buy the best car you can afford, which is not always the most expensive.

for every single suggestion someone can find an argument against.

Expecting a 40 year old Lotus to be reliable transportation for several years without some input of cash is probably unrealistic.
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PostPost by: TonyJ » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:23 pm

Hello,

Taking a car knowledgable friend with you to view a potential car is a MUST. Or even better - find a Lotus Elan owner near you and ask if they could come with you to view any potential car. Too easy to let your heart win over your head! Maybe offer a thank you pint as an incentive :D .

If you let us know where abouts you are in the UK then I'm sure there would be someone willing to help. When I was rebuilding my +2 (before forums existed) I ask Club Lotus for contact details of owners close to me and they asked owners to ring me - they did and were a great help.

Tony
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PostPost by: GHill » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Thanks for the advice Gus & Tony

I'm in Crawley, West Sussex so if there is anyone around that area who has a plus 2 and would like to show it off to me there will definitely be a pint in it for you ;-) - can't say I've seen any though!

Likewise when/if I get times and dates to go view the cars I will pop on a note to the forum to see if there is anyone kind enough to accompany me - again the rewards of beer (or a bottle of wine to pacify the wife) would be a small price to pay!

Regards
Gareth
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi Gareth - I'm in edenbridge - not a million miles away - but I know more about Elans than +2s. Drop me a pm if you want - I'm always happy to look at cars !
Richard
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PostPost by: Plus 2 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:16 am

.
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