Lotus Elan

Decisions need to be made!

PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:01 pm

Having just spent 6 months dealing with some lower primates maskerading as builders, I am now in the happy positon of actually being able to buy / store / use a +2 .

It was unwise before as the clowns / skilled tradesman would have had to pass close with all manner of heavy and damaging equipment.

Sadly I have already missed a couple of likely candidates due to the interminably delays.

So it is back to square one. Which to concentrate on? My heart tends towards an early +2 as the purer, and it was the one that sparked my interest in the first place. Plus, as the non BV has not had a chunk cut of the head depth, would make it more able to be skimmed in the future?

Something like - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391388454174
Negative bits ? the chassis was replaced with a plastic coated one in '89! Hardly recent. Apart from occasional tootle and MoT has not been used much since. So I should budget for a full rubber and pipe replacement?

Or a bit different -
http://www.ah-classic-cars.co.uk/home/B ... an_+2_1969

My head suggests a BV as it has lots of small but useful upgrades. Electrics, comfy seats, fail safe lights! However if I go for the later it seems only sensible to have a 5 speed. I'm told by those that should know that the ?5? is no match for the 2000E box. I did not notice any issues with the box with the only one I have driven, so it must have been OK. Sounds to me like perceived wisdom. ?Everyone knows the 5 speed was rubbish etc?

So, logically, a early 70s S may tick more boxes. Full on comfy interior, some upgrades but standard SV engine.

Fact is, anything could change, I may find that I do not actually like it! So one cannot get away from the price issue. The first and last are worth more. And I have noticed many cars for sale for a long time. Some dealer prices are fanciful.

Thoughts / offers would be appreciated!

Vince
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PostPost by: RichC » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:47 pm

follow yr heart not your head . forget the small differences in specifications ( minutiae) & just get out there and sit & drive in one. You'll know when it's right ( or wrong ) once you've been in a few ....
the most expensive thing to get right is the paintwork , so any car with faults in that area will be marked down .
Try and get an honest one with matching numbers which has been well looked after .
for instance , i note the door fit on the early +2 is not good & looks like it may have had accident damage and a new front with the later foglight recessed front grafted on. this should be reflected in price if it's not been done well . The wheels don't look right with that paint job . Might they be the later wheels with chrome rims which have been tidied up with hammerite?. knock him down if so .....
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:07 pm

Hi Vince, good to hear you're free from the lower primates :lol:
As Rich says - go with your heart, not your head. I think you're right not to limit your search to a particular series or year and as I'm sure you already know - you'll know when the right one comes along.
It's a shame they did'nt mention the newer nose on the early car. It makes you doubt their clarity, and yes, those wheels :?
You probably saw the complete resto project just sold for over 7K so values at the lower end seem to be rising.
Just remember the old saying - Buy in haste, repent at leisure! - and I've been repenting for over 3 years now :mrgreen:
Good luck with your on-going search.
Kev.
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:02 pm

I like the look of the first one....
as for crash damage as it has spotlights......not sure about that as Lotus did the spotlight bowls for the body so it could be aftermarket....or get your dealer to do it........
wheels are neither here or there.....they should be all silver paint but someone has decided to paint the centres black.....it looks like they've tried to keep up with the later revisions........black centres with chrome rim (not a push in chrome ring).......

you wont know until you've got to it.....looked at it....felt it....breathed it.......driven it.......
im afraid you'll now be at the stage of lots of leg work........enjoy it tho'......
get your eye in.....and when you find it....you will know

:mrgreen:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:54 pm

Thanks for the thought chaps.

Firstly I should apologise to any lower primates that may be reading this. Comparisons with the inept, clueless, bodge it and scarper d*ck wits I have become accustomed to is both unfair and undeserved.

I have my doubts about it having had a replacement nose. The spots look to me to be a bit DIY.
They seem in a slightly higher position than "normal" and set further back. And the lights themselves have square ends. I had not noticed the door fit, were they particularly bad? That would be something that would constantly annoy!

I shall hopefully beetle off later this week to see the early+2 then probably travel on to Matty and sample their
offerings. Although not the ?35K + ones.

Vince
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:04 pm

Very minor point, but I wonder why it has two extra bolts in the middle of the front bumper.
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PostPost by: draenog » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:09 pm

BTW, the closeup of the early +2 wheel shows the tyres to be over 8 years old, so due for replacement soon (if not already). There's always room for another tyre thread :lol:
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PostPost by: draenog » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:13 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:Very minor point, but I wonder why it has two extra bolts in the middle of the front bumper.

The rear bumper also looks to be a replacement stainless steel one (no lip on the bottom).
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:49 pm

it's just the driver's door that has uneven gaps ... could be that the window frame needs to be adjusted / brought down a little in order for the door to front wing gap to be reduced .
also what about the gap between the left hand front tyre and the valance ? Is it an illusion or does it seem smaller than the other side ?
all in all I'd say the '68 is 'good in print' ... you need to lift a few carpets & boot boards & have a closer look!
You'd expect the sill members to have been replaced for a start...
Have a look to see if it is still on rotoflexes on driveshafts . Would strongly recommend replacing with more modern permanent solution solid driveshafts .
I suggest when you visit them you gently grab hold of the repro rear bumper from behind and lift it up to see how much flexion there is in the boot floor... there really shouldn't be any . Often in past times rotoflexes break and flailing driveshafts make shredded wheat of the boot floor . Poor repairs then lead to loss of rigidity which can be masked with sealant/ blackstuff . the two bolts at the front of the boot floor in the middle are the main attachment to the chassis , so flexion/ cracks will be most noticeable just behind these . As well as causing structural weakness, any defect in boot floor will allow ingress of exhaust fumes and a poor driving experience .
If you're able to handle fibreglass matting & resin , then this is a DIY repair which can provide a great deal of satisfaction for v little spend .

Likewise, worth picking up the front bumper in your hands to see if there is any flexion between the front panel and chassis . Again, if there is much flexion there will be issues with the fibreglass valance .
Happy Hunting !
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:25 pm

To clarify or reinforce Rich's comment on the front end . . .

The first (red) car is stated to be a 1968 and by the interior pix, does show itself to be an "early" car, ie, not an S model. Therefore, the front end/lower front valance should have no accommodation for the fog/driving lights of the S model. Clearly the front valance (or more likely the front clip from wheel wells forward, as this is how the parts are available) has been replaced or someone has literally cut holes and fiberglassed pots in to accomodate the lights.

I would suggest the most probable assumption is that the car was in a front end accident and needed new glass part put in. Look in the wheel wells and in the engine bay for signs of the grafting/seams.

My S car had the front right corner replaced, and not done well. But it was certainly recoverable and now the gaps and alignments and pivot points have been rectified (during a total body-off body re-do) :)

Just sayin' . . . :mrgreen:

Happy hunting

Randy
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:27 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:Very minor point, but I wonder why it has two extra bolts in the middle of the front bumper.


Strange indeed! I had not noticed. I doubt the seller knows either.

Thank for all the suggestions chaps. I shall certainly give the bumpers a subtle tug to check for flex. Hopefully I won't be left holding either as a separate bit.

Whilst I am no stranger to GRP I do not have much desire for further extensive experience. I spend a couple of sticky and smelly years rebuilding a Rochdale Olympic Phase 2. (A fibreglass monocoque along Type 14 lines.)
So - only if i have to!

I'll report back on what I find!

No one mentioned the cheapo steering wheel or "groovy" cassette deck.

Cheers
Vince
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PostPost by: vxah » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:28 pm

Looks to me that someone has just cut holes in the front to fit the lamps and used the bumper bolt to hold the lamps on? The holes don't look the correct size and i can't see any colour behind the lamps, could be wrong though?
I didn't think the door shuts looked all that bad, I notice they pretty much all sick out at the lower trailing edge on the drivers side? Things could probably be improved with a bit of fettling but i would be looking at that top hose first!
No good looking for Porsche panel gaps on a 70's plastic Lotus... :o
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:06 pm

The bumper bolt does hold the lamp on. Or rather, holds the bracket for the lamp. The other end of the bracket is pop riveted to the fiberglass at the front opening of the headlamp bowl.

It's the two inner bumper bolts - toward the midline of the bumper which are not stock. And I don't know what they'd be connected to, because there's precious little fiberglass behind there. :shock: :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: vxah » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:14 pm

Yes i can see the extra two... Strange.
On my S130 the bumper bolts hold only the bumper, the lamp fixing bolt goes through a reinforced hole with a washer and nut.. No bracket.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:15 pm

Although I raised the question, I might be able to answer it.
I bought a replacement front bumper for my +2 and it had two extra holes, but a little further apart. I think the bumper was probably on an Anglia that had spot/fog lights fitted (very seventies :D )
I have filled the holes by welding before re-chroming rather than stick in two extra bolts :roll:
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