Lotus Elan

New member looking for advice

PostPost by: GuyC » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:09 pm

Hello all, new member here and looking for advice!

I currently own a 2001 Lotus Elise, however I'm considering swapping it for a Lotus Elan +2. The Elise is a thrilling and very capable car, but I've always loved classics and want to have another. I've been looking at the usual suspects such as MGBs and Triumph GT6s but to me it seems the Elan +2 is the logical choice for my budget of ?15,000. Not only because I love Lotus' but I can't find any other model from the 60s or 70s which would provide the performance, styling or fun of an Elan +2 for that price!

Now, I know that ?15,000 won't buy that much Elan +2 with the way prices are going, however there do seem to be a few examples for sale and wondered what your collective opinion is on purchasing one at this price bracket and what specific Elan +2 things to look out for (over and above the usual classic car things..!).

An example of one in this price bracket:
http://www.autotrader.co.uk/used-cars/lotus/elan/used-lotus-elan-sheffield-fpa-201512149444249?logcode=p

Also, if anyone is looking to sell theirs or would be interested in an Elise let me know :)

Thanks for your help,

Guy
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:03 pm

Welcome to the board. There's lots of expertise here, and lots of opinions as well.
The main thing is to take your time and try a test drive or two before making up your mind. I'd have a rummage on the board, and feel free to ask questions. There are some good books on the Elan in print and plenty of road tests and buying guides as well. Good luck....
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1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:35 pm

Hello and welcome Guy.
Yes, you will find lots of invaluable advice on here and most will agree that to see as many cars as you can is best. If you have no real preference for a particular model - +2 +2S +2S130 or 5 Speed, then you have much more choice.
The car you ask about seems a bit of a mixture of +2 and S. With its serial number 50/1070 it would have been built in late 1968 and therefore be a +2 (like mine) and although mine is a crossover to a +2S there are a lot of features on that car that are incorrect. It is also an import :?:
Keep looking and asking on here for advice.
Best of luck with your search for a great Lotus model.
Kev.
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PostPost by: roblotus79 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:32 am

Welcome! Of course I think you are making a great choice. But seriously, I think the Plus 2 is a lot of car for the money.

There are far smarter people than me on this forum but specifics to the Plus 2 I can think of are:

1) Make sure the steel beams in the sills are not rotted. They can be replaced, but are PITA.

2) The gas tank vents through two hoses that are routed up and over the rear screen in the headliner and exit in the forward part of the rear wheel arch. If rotted out the car smells of gas. It is a cheap fix but painful. Many modify the tank so that it is no longer required. Many of us also put wine corks in the outlets so our garages don't smell.

3) Just about everything else are the same points as the Elan. Check the chassis for rust especially at the front turrets and front box section.

4) Check the donuts.

Good Luck
50/2180 1969 Elan Plus 2
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1986 Carrera 3.2
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1970 Europa S2 - SOLD
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PostPost by: elansprint » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:13 am

Guy welcome to the forum the +2 is a lovely car and with help from people on here I am sure you will find a nice car. The car you mention has been for sale for some time and is obviously not original as for your budget with patience you will find a nice car I think you tend to find most of the cars in the 15 - 20K price range hang around for a long while as someone sees an immaculate car sell for 20K and others jump on the price band wagon with a mediocre car. They are only worth what someone will pay
Ian
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PostPost by: GuyC » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:40 am

Hello all and thanks for the advice.

With regards to particular models I don't think I'm that fussy to be honest, I would rather buy on condition. Apart from engine and transmission changes, was there anything else particularly different between them? I'm guessing the +2S130 5 Speed are the most desirable?

Kev, I've looked over the car I linked again and cannot see what's not correct or original about the car (apart from maybe the missing fog lights?), what do you see? Also, how can you tell it's an import? Seems like I've got a lot to learn!

Rob, the sill beams do seem like a PITA to replace! http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-chassis-f36/plus-sill-replacement-t22031-15.html I guess you can only check the ends through the wheel arches when inspecting?

Any particulars with bodywork? Values do seem to depend a lot on bodywork, if the paintwork is crazing is that just aesthetics or is it signs of something more serious like fibre glass stress / fatigue that need to be addressed?

Cheers, Guy
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:35 am

Hi Guy, Welcome to the Forum. Just following this thread and don't want to steal Kev's thunder but as a starter the interior has been messed with I think - horrible non original steering wheel but ok, easily changed although correct wheels are beginning to demand high prices. Worth pointing out that the car has the wrong dashboard - looks very like a late S130 dash to me (fuse box in the dash, 6 aux instruments and rocker switches).

Of course, only you can decide what you want but I would leave this one alone - there are plenty more out there. If you are handy with the spanners then that will help pricewise. I think that bodywork condition should be high on your list of check points - I have just had my '72 S130 body restored and repainted by one of the top bodyshops - not much change from ?9.

Goodluck and keep in touch with us; I'm sure that if there is a Forum member close to you then they would be more than happy to help you if wanted.

Martin B
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PostPost by: PeterK » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:40 am

To me it looks like a bitsa restoration - early +2 seats, etc but very late dash (fuse box in dash). Not necessarily a bad thing - unless you're doing a numbers matching and fully original restoration, why not use the latest and greatest when you rebuild (I put a Zetec, fully adjustable suspension and custom wiring in mine, so I'm biased :lol: ). The VIN plate looks home stamped, and poorly done and looking at the overall very clean impression of the under bonnet area, that detail surprised me.

What do you want from the car - if it's a fun car to be driven, then overall condition and reliability are tops, rather than worry about whether all the components are right for the age.

On paint crazing, you need to distinguish between poor adhesion, or poor preparation leading to poor surface condition, or genuine star crack type crazing. With the former you just need to rub down to a good base and respray. With the latter, you need to remove the top layers of gelcoat and even some fibreglass to below the cracking, then repair and tissue over, smooth and then repaint.
Star cracks are the result of stress somewhere . Typical hi-stress areas are by the door handles where people have slammed the door closed rather than clicking it shut (if repairing here, then a layer or two of glass mat, say 150mm or more square, inside the door and behind the handle is useful to add strength). Similarly, around the boot (trunk) hinges and the bonnet (hood) catches. I've also seen them around the pedal box (looking from inside the bonnet).
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PostPost by: GuyC » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:27 am

I'm just after a useable and reliable example for driving and enjoying really. Given my budget I don't think I can afford to be that picky about things like whether the dash is correct for the car, if the rest of the car is good. Agree about the steering wheel though, that could be replaced for something much nicer!

Martin, I bet your car looks great now though! It does seem that bodywork is very expensive to sort on these and I guess that's why it's such a big pricing factor; but if a car had some minor cosmetic paint issues (but structurally OK) currently I won't feel too put off. I'm guessing paintwork on fibreglass cars can be postponed longer in comparison to metal bodied cars where once the paint goes and rust starts to set in, it needs to be sorted regardless of whether you mind or not.

Any members around the Essex area? It would be good to come and have a look at one!

Cheers, Guy
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:33 am

Hi Guy....Yes agree with all comments.
Being build number 50/1070 the car is definately a 1968 Plus 2. No cars of that time had front fog lamps so I would assume that the car has a new nose :?
I know it's an import, not because I'm so well informed or anything, it's because it says so at the bottom of the description :lol:
I'm sure for the money you want to spend, you'll find a nice car soon.
Best regards,
Kev.

Ps.
martinbrowning wrote: I have just had my '72 S130 body restored and repainted by one of the top bodyshops - not much change from ?9.


Hey Martin....please supply the details of that company!!! :lol:
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PostPost by: GuyC » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:57 am

Haha oh dear:
This is an imported vehicle


Lesson 1: Read the advert description! :lol:

May steer clear of it though if it has had a new front end, could be a can of worms that!
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PostPost by: adigra » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:11 am

I am going to assume the price is a typo (?3900), but it might be worth investigating even if there is a 1 missing at the front.

http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/lotus/elan-pre-76/1974-lotus-elan-2s-1305/5563863?v=b
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:01 am

Guy,
Take your time and look at every one that you can get to. If you rush into it before you have learnt enough you will have plenty of time in the future to regret it.
Look at the ones above your budget also, to learn how well things can be done.
There are some good cars out there , you just have to find them.
I looked at eight cars all over the country before buying one and even then have had quite a few surprises with it since.
It took me a year to look and learn, and I am still pleased with my decision.
Join a club, read the books and learn, learn, learn.
Keep us informed and good luck,
Eric in Burnley
S3SE DHC ( did 660 miles last week down to Essex and back and running well. I am pleased, but why am I surprised as well )
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PostPost by: Europatc » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:13 am

Welcome Guy. I was at one point considering an Elise but opted for an Elan and a Europa. As you can see there are plenty of people with pointers. Good luck and let us know when you make a purchase
good hunting
Stuart
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:19 am

KevJ+2 wrote:Hey Martin....please supply the details of that company!!!


Hi Kev,
Yep, I was so pleased that I gave them a tenner and told them to keep the change :D

Typo on my part - should read ?9K. (Option One)

Cheers

Martin B
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