Lotus Elan

re; plus 2 perspective buyer questions

PostPost by: gibbon » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:58 pm

Hi,

I am considering purchasing a plus 2, and saw my first one this weekend.

I have owned several classics before but am not really familiar with Lotus. Could anyone provide me with common areas of concern or issue that I should check when looking at these cars?

How would people price these now for various conditions? Prices seem to be all over the place and some fairly optimistic.

Have we hit the point where numbers matching original cars carry a premium over nut and bolt restorations and bitsa cars?

Many thanks for you input, I very much appreciate it as am keen to purchase but am struggling with making the leap with my current knowledge of the marque/model.


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PostPost by: jimj » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:20 pm

Everyone loves giving advice so brace yourself. Firstly, don`t be in a hurry, the reason prices are all over the place is because condition is too. I doubt you`ll find a matching numbers, totally original +2. Until recently, values have been very low which discourages expenditure by owners so there maybe some nightmares out there. As ever, the cheapest car to own will be the best you can afford. There`s no need....yet !! to spend ?20k plus, you should find a really nice one for mid teens but I would recommend you ask someone who lives near you with +2 experience, maybe from this forum, to inspect any potential purchase. The biggest potential expense is paintwork, mechanical costs are pretty manageable but check the chassis front towers for corrosion and choose a car that shows obvious signs of having been loved. That`s it.
Good luck,
Jim
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:16 pm

Hi and Welcome to the Forum.

IMHO its a car that needs to go on a ramp and a good look at the Chassis (all the front box section is prone to corrosion)

Inner sills will often be corroded too (if they haven't been replaced they may will need replacing as the Seat belts bolt to them)

Have a good look at the Rubber doughnuts on the drive shafts, they are not as scary as people make out but you do need to keep an eye on them for cracks in the rubber also have a good look for damaged caused by a Doughnut failure (check rear brake calliper lugs and Diff mounting arms carefully for cracks and badly repaired damage) If it has CV type joints make sure they don't lock up with no weight on the rear suspension and they have the appropriate diff reinforcing (Rubber Joints act like a shock damper and because the Lotus castings are quite light weight when you fit CV joints you put more Shock load on the Diff lugs and things like that so not uncommon for them to be cracked or welded up)

Don't be put off too much if you find quite a bit of oil about from leaks, there a bit renound for it and some would say its Built in Corrosion protection :)

Hand brake......... This is a Biggie, its possible to get the hand brake working well but 70% out there won't be. Its a daft design and most Elan owners become experts at adjusting it every MOT, if you find one that some one has gone to the trouble to make work properly and can lock the rear wheels when rolling slowly that is a big Plus.

As for the Body, assuming the Paint looks of with no Bubbles or Crazing check all the chrome and trim is there (There are some rare bits that are hard to get hold of and there usually bits of trim) If it was me the first place i would go when i pulled up to see it the car would be to check the Bottom of the doors and if there good check the condition of the original door seals (there not available any more and the replacements tend to make the doors stick out quite badly at the bottom).

Check all the electrics work and at the correct speed (being GRP the grounds can be an Issue)
Last edited by Grizzly on Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: frogeyesimon » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:34 am

Quote:-
<<
Bottom of the doors and if there good the condition of the original door seals (there not available any more and the replacements tend to make the doors stick out quite badly at the bottom).
>>

I'm new to my +2 and I blindly bought a set of door seals from SJ Sportscars. They seem to fit very well and I don't have sticky-out door bottoms. Perhaps I'm lucky....

Simon
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:05 pm

I agree that some seals are better than others, i went through four different seals before finding one thats not bad and then trimming my doors to fit. My 2 seater Elan on the other hand is not so lucky, that's a country mile off to the degree i don't think cutting the door will fix it and the annoying thing is i checked the seal before repainting the car only to roll it up and store away then when i came to pull it out of storage i found the rubber had come away from the metal griper so it was unusable.
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PostPost by: gibbon » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:44 pm

Many thanks for the advice thus far, and the welcome, its appreciated.

If any London based forum members would fancy a gander around a local car, please let me know.

So are we in agreement that around mid teens for a cared for but none concourse car is around about the market? And ?20k is the realms of pristine newly finished rebuilds by a reputable person/company?
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:39 pm

Its hard to say tbh, there are cars like this lotuselan-for-sale-f2/lotus-elan-plus-1970-000-miles-t32530.html which frankly if all things are equal should be a high teens car commanding less than a 3 year old fully restored car that was imho Average condition (wanted ?22k for that)

All that said i looked at three towards the end of last year for a friend that where sub 10k, 2 of them where good (with very little work they could have been very nice) and one needed a repaint and some transmission work. So i'd say the market is very inconsistent for +2's just at the minute, i think there have been a few nice ones sold for big money and so the value has risen (try your luck sort of thing)

From what i've seen upto 6 or 7k for one that needs a rebuild (with engine), 8-15k for nice runners and 15k- for original Minters (Numbers matching), 20k up for Concourse rebuilds.
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PostPost by: JANUARYCRUISER » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:41 am

Hi

I will be selling my +2 later this year so if you want to have a quick look now you are most welcome. I am SW London based. Let me know if you want full details.

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PostPost by: Tournesol » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:40 am

Hi Gibbon,

I don't know if you have seen this one on ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1972-Lotus-El ... 4897.l4275

I am in no way connected to it and pretty sure it will keep on going higher until the end of the auction.

Mine is back from Miles Wilkins if you fancy a look one day. I am in South East London.

Good luck with the search!

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:09 pm

Tournesol wrote:Hi Gibbon,

I don't know if you have seen this one on ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1972-Lotus-El ... 4897.l4275

I am in no way connected to it and pretty sure it will keep on going higher until the end of the auction.

Mine is back from Miles Wilkins if you fancy a look one day. I am in South East London.

Good luck with the search!

Tournesol

Not a fan of that one, Its a dealer selling it and he's making a big thing about the History when its not got the Original Chassis under it, Some one has changed the colour (not very well looking at all the Satin black on the door jams and sills), Original rear Bumper gone, No Nose Chromes, Windscreen chrome gone.

Madness anyone would repaint a Lagoon Blue with Flake roof +2S130 Red :roll:

I'd want a GOOD look at that car close up.
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PostPost by: gibbon » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:25 pm

Tournesol wrote:Hi Gibbon,

I don't know if you have seen this one on ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1972-Lotus-El ... 4897.l4275

I am in no way connected to it and pretty sure it will keep on going higher until the end of the auction.

Mine is back from Miles Wilkins if you fancy a look one day. I am in South East London.

Good luck with the search!

Tournesol


Hi, I have 'seen' this one, and am watching it with interest, I was actually thinking it looked interesting until the comments below, so any other views would be welcome.

I do understand the down side of a non original chassis (which most seem to have) and the non original colour.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:19 pm

Hi Gibbon,
I agree, this car needs to have a close look at. Someone has asked why it hasn't got the correct big valve cam cover and his reply is a bit loose.
I would also ask why it has two old identity plates fitted (the one over the master cylinders probably hides an access hole) but odd to have two plates!
There seems to be a lot of info with this car but I think any of us could write a book about our cars.
Good luck with the search. I'm sure a good one will come along.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:35 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:I would also ask why it has two old identity plates fitted (the one over the master cylinders probably hides an access hole) but odd to have two plates!

Whats odd is there is a Plate already Pop Riveted on the top of the Pedal box then the extra ID plate is fixed to that??

For me the one that really lets it down is the Windscreen rubber not overlapping the Red so you can see the Silver of the roof above the rear view mirror (Thats just the sign of a cheap repaint, i don't know anyone that would do a colour change and mask rather than remove) i'm sure it had the original screen and chrome at the time of the repaint but now its been changed it looks poor. But hey as a professional painter my eye always goes to masking edges and prep work rather then if its Shiny.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:44 pm

Grizzly wrote:Whats odd is there is a Plate already Pop Riveted on the top of the Pedal box then the extra ID plate is fixed to that??

Chris, The 'correct' plate is fitted where it should be over the left wheel arch. The 'extra plate' is the one over the master cylinders. There was someone on here recently who had this same thing but without the original plate on the wheel arch. Oh well :?
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:48 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:
Grizzly wrote:Whats odd is there is a Plate already Pop Riveted on the top of the Pedal box then the extra ID plate is fixed to that??

Chris, The 'correct' plate is fitted where it should be over the left wheel arch. The 'extra plate' is the one over the master cylinders. There was someone on here recently who had this same thing but without the original plate on the wheel arch. Oh well :?
Kev.

Yes i know i own a +2 (with one plate), It makes no sense why that second plate is there. I know what your saying that they have cut a hole to get the Master cylinder out but if you look at the picture there is a plate pop riveted on then the second ID plate is fixed to that plate?? (Not Original)

I did think it maybe one of those Oil recommendation plates but its quite clear in the picture to be an ID plate..........

The other thing is the Original plate is upside down on the inner wing.

The reason he's Vague about the car when you ask is he's a Dealer (Knows enough about the car to make him sound knowledgeable but doesn't hold under close scrutiny), the more i look at this car the more it looks like a car that has been recommissioned and well valeted just to sell, i am always sceptical about buying Red cars that have been shined up because there dazzling when just done but six months later it will go pink and need doing again.
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