Lotus Elan

Plus 2 of interest

PostPost by: andyhay » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:10 am

Hi All

I'm new here and hope you don't mind me drawing on your expertise. I am interested in a car down here in the antipodes and have seen how much forensic information you lot can glean from a few photos. The car was apparently refurbished inside and out 10 years ago and has not been used since. It has a new chassis but the mechanicals were not overhauled. It certainly looks better than most that I have seen for sale down here.

The seller has realistic expectations and is not pushing it as pristine.

I would be really interested in your comments based on the photos. No engine bay photos unfortunately.
446630158.jpg and

446630630.jpg and

446631308.jpg and

446635421.jpg and

446635678.jpg and

446635773.jpg and


Thanks

Andy
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:28 pm

Hi Andy,
From the photos, I personally think the car looks nice. It's obviously an early Plus 2 (exhaust to right side, dash, interior trim and boot handle are giveaways). The wheels are from the later 'S' and the chrome sill strips and front grill surround are missing, but no big deal breaker. The steering wheel is modern, but overall, it looks nice. Club Lotus badge, so probably loved by someone at some stage.
You would need to see the engine bay and chassis and have a drive to make your mind up though!
Love the registration plates :)
Good luck,
Kev.
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:46 pm

Hi Andy.
Welcome to the Forum.

Please note Lotus were well know for changes to parts fitted, dependant on what stock they had.
This could reflect on my comments.

Looking at the photos, Please don?t take this the wrong way, as it?s easier for me to make comments on items that appear incorrect or missing, as the car looks very similar to mine. i.e. 1968.

My car had no front fog lights, the door locks are combined with the door handles, dash has fewer switches (no fog lights etc), boot lock (not remote). All these items are correct on your car.

Missing items.
Chrome / Stainless body side strips that run from the wheel arches beneath the door.
Chrome strips that run around the front radiator grille.
Both the above parts are difficult to obtain.

An ?ELAN +2? badge on the rear between the number plate and rear lights, drivers side. This is the same as the ones on the front wing sides.

Other comments.

The rear lights are the later type that has reversing lights. Mine do not and are referred to as ?Carello? type.
The radio aerial is on the passenger side, mine is on the drivers side (relative to your steering wheel.
The steering wheel is different.
The rear bumper may not be original, as the photo seems to show it not fitting correctly as it wraps around the rear wing. The original has a ?lip? along the bottom of the bumper.
The RPM gauge states that its negative, not a problem if the battery ground is also negative and the car has been correctly converted. Mine is still as original and is positive earth.
Front windscreen seal and in fill strips are different, this suggests that it has been replaced. Mine is chrome in fill that also has a small cover that fits at the top at a central position and 2 corner covers that fit at each lower corner.
The front carpets have been changed.

All the rest of the car seems to be original and in very good condition, which is a good sign.


Body paint work is very important as it?s very costly to correct.
Also the condition of the chassis and all mechanical items, engine, gearbox, differential etc etc need to be carefully checked.

I will try to add photos later today, but I may not have the time as I will, from tomorrow be away until Tuesday.

But as you probably already know, this is a great forum and you will get answers and support to anything you ask. :D :D

Wishing you all the best.
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:13 pm

1968-elan-2.jpg and
Not my car. Taken at a Club Lotus event at Stoneliegh 2007. England
Shows Carello rear lights, ELAN+2 badge, radio aerial and lower lip on rear bumper

Elan +2 Body Parts.pdf
Windscreen Infill, items 16,17,18 and 19.
Photo to follow on my return
(726.52 KiB) Downloaded 270 times
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PostPost by: andyhay » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:47 pm

Thank You so much for the detailed information. No deal breakers from the issues raised so far. I'm not too concerned with authenticity, but good to know. I'll try and get a photo of the engine bay.
The car is located a very long way from me so I have not had the opportunity to drive it.

A few more questions regarding plus 2's in general

- I've never had the opportunity to drive a plus 2 but have owned 71 Alfa GTV , 72 Fiat 124cc and fiat 850 coupe. How would the plus 2 compare in terms of refinement and cabin noise.? I love small cars that are full of energy but just want to check its not another level of intensity.

- Is there much of a step up in refinement from early cars to later cars?

- If the car has been standing for 10 years and hardly driven, what would the recommended re-commissioning work be?

Your help is greatly appreciated

Andy
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:42 am

andyhay wrote:
- I've never had the opportunity to drive a plus 2 but have owned 71 Alfa GTV , 72 Fiat 124cc and fiat 850 coupe. How would the plus 2 compare in terms of refinement and cabin noise.? I love small cars that are full of energy but just want to check its not another level of intensity.

- Is there much of a step up in refinement from early cars to later cars?


The Plus 2 run is often divided in to early, mid, and late. Check out the parts catalog on http://www.rdent.com to see a few of the differences. Another source on the model differences is here:

http://lotuselan-plus2.be/trevorsparrow ... npages.htm

The car you are considering is early, mine is mid. The differences are largely subtle. The late cars changed the interior to make it more plush. The big material change late in the run was a five speed transmission. Engine power, carbs, etc changed, but really not a lot of difference in the basic performance, and often rebuild engines reflect the strongest spec.

I used to daily drive a '74 Alfa Berlina back in the day. The Plus 2 was often compared to the GTV in road tests. The cars are very different. Even with my aftermarket five speed the Plus 2 is quite loud inside. The car you are considering will be revving at about 4,000 to 4,500 rpm at cruise (diff ratio may be either 3.78 or 3.54). I expect this is similar to your Fiat 124. The fibreglass shell uses a lot of sound mats, but still can be loud. The upside is the handling is way sharper. The ride over bumps is very smooth with lots of travel on the rear, maybe even better than the Alfa. Body lean at fast road speed is similar to the Alfa, it is really pronounced on a track. The brakes are terrific; check the car still has the booster or is correctly converted to non-power assisted.

Don't get me wrong, I have taken my Plus 2 on several long trips of over 2,000 kms and it is wonderful, but I sometimes wear ear plugs. :D They make a remarkable vintage classic.

That car looks very nice in the photo's. Recommissioning would primarily involve changing all the fluids and making sure brakes are good.

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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:25 pm

Re the rear bumper, looks like someone went to the trouble of making one from two Elf bumpers only they joined them in the middle rather than each side as Lotus did? Shame that as it can be done to get a proper looking bumper with the "lip" but this method has made the number plate lights too far apart?
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:06 pm

stugilmour wrote:The car you are considering will be revving at about 4,000 to 4,500 rpm at cruise (diff ratio may be either 3.78 or 3.54). I expect this is similar to your Fiat 124.


Not similar to a 4-speed Elan. Pretty much every 124 Sport or Sports Coupe that made it to the U.S. had a five-speed and would be 1,000 RPM lower at highway speeds. The Fiat is a lot quieter.

I spoke of my 124 as "a reliable British sportscar. :) " Good (for a live axle) but not superlative handling as in the Lotus, much lower power to weight ratio, better fuel economy. With the Lotus, you won't need a timing belt every 20,000 miles, but you'll probably need a water pump and head work at double that interval.

The 850 was an econobox that forced you to engage with it to make it move and to survive traffic. No real comparison there.

No Alfa experience.

Overall, except for noise the Lotus is a more sophisticated machine. And all of them will leave an oil puddle in your garage.
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PostPost by: andyhay » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:37 pm

Thanks all for your help

I've decided not to proceed with this one. Too many unknowns and it is located too far away - New Zealand and I am in Australia

The search continues.

Thanks Again

Andy
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PostPost by: andyhay » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:04 am

For those that are interested the car sold for $20,350 NZD which is ?9,385.

A good buy I think for whoever the lucky bidder was.

Thanks again for your input

Andy
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