Lotus Elan

Plus 2 or Plus 2S

PostPost by: Diggo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:02 pm

Hello everyone

I am new to Lotus cars and to this forum and would appreciate your opinion on the differences between the Plus 2 and Plus 2S. I aim to purchase a Plus 2 and have been looking for a little while at potential cars. I have seen this on ebay and according to the description it was manufactured in October 1969 which to my mind would make it a Plus 2S. Was there any overlap of Plus 2 and Plus 2S in 1969 because the pics seem to me to show a Plus 2 dashboard and no fog lights. Any advice would be very welcome.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232125719828? ... EBIDX%3AIT
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:52 pm

My car was manufactured almost a year before this car and is a crossover from Plus 2 to 'S'.
I cannot see how this car was made a year later and not be an 'S'. But who knows? No doubt someone will have an answer, but it does seem strange.
I beleive the Unit number to be 50/2173 but Lotus archives describe it as a Plus 2 :?:
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:17 pm

If I'm seeing the factory certificate in one picture properly, it looks like number 2137. I have 2036, which is a non-S with a date of October '69 on the plate in the doorjamb and titled as a MY '70.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:16 pm

It looks like a refreshed car. M prefix engines were SE Stromberg, Domestic market for Plus 2S between Apr 68-Jan 71. It may have started off as a 50 and then left Hethel as a 50S.

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PostPost by: jono » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:25 pm

That looks like a Plus 2 which I actually prefer to the Plus 2S (despite owning one). They seem more pure somehow.

I may be wrong but I think that the Plus and Plus 2S models overlapped for a while so this one may be a very late model Plus 2.

The steering wheel may be wrong (or at least the centre) but it looks a nice car on the face of it.
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PostPost by: gus » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:35 pm

2400 was supposed to be the last non S

this is not an S, as it has plastic console and is short 2 gauges

there is no practical difference and little value difference, other than later S130/5 etc
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:10 pm

I don't know that much about +2's but i've never seen one that late with toggle switches and early glove box but later door handles and boot pull? Again +2's are not my strong point but i thought all +2's that didn't have front Spot/fog lights where just +2 ?
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PostPost by: theelanman » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:36 pm

This car looks more like a standard plus 2 however there are a couple of differences which make it stand out possibly to be a plus 2s the door handles are the ones with the separate lock rather than the combined and also the boot seems to have the remote release rather than the handle. other than that the whole car looks like a standard early + 2......1970 was the transition between the plus 2 and plus 2s..... I had a 1970 plus 2 which was similar to this but labelled as a plus 2s
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PostPost by: Wickey » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:04 am

Looks like it has had a lot of restoration but I thought the Plus2S had the more luxury interior trim with much more padded seats and centre console too which this has not. Hard to think then it could possibly be an S model. Even the early S models had Lucas LR8 spots fitted in the front which 'searanch' once explained to me were cobbled into the the early body with a cutout and black vac form moulding behind them prior to having the moulds modified.

I have seen H registered Plus2S' and J registered Plus2S130's so there is definitely some mixed up integration of all 3 models from late 69 to early 70's before the 130S/5 speed.

Does anyone else actually have a J registered basic +2? Sometimes unregistered 'engineering test cars' got sold off at the end of the test work so point of registration I know is not always a good guide.

Shame it has a silver painted rear bumper and some other areas need a bit of TLC but under bonnet detail looks excellent apart from the wrong servo model. However I would definitely want to understand more history on the car.
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PostPost by: Diggo » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:29 am

Thanks to all who have posted replies. It is great to find such a helpful forum.
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PostPost by: AdrianSi » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 am

The cut off for the Plus 2 non S is 2400'ish. Mine is 2416 and is a factory non 'S' Plus. There are a few dotted around up until the VIN change over:
http://lotuselan-plus2.be/register_type50.htm

The one on ebay looks to be about correct except for a few items, as can be expected of a 46 year old car. Wouldnt take much to 'put right'.

The non 'S' retains more of the baby Elan 60's styling features such as the more delicate seats lucat toggle switches on the dashboard rather than the black plastic switches of the 'S' model.
1970 Elan +2
Factory Federal RHD
B42 Midnight Blue (Esprit S4)
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:28 am

So...from the dates and unit numbers discussed, I think we can assume that the 'S' changes were gradually introduced over some time, possibly 12 months. The cut off point of 50/2400 is a long way from my car 50/1153 Nov '68 so 'S' body changes were introduced much earlier. Mine has remote boot lock, straight exhaust, and later door locks / handles. (No front fogs though). Typical Lotus mix and match - use whataever's available :D
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:41 am

I don't know if you chaps saw Tim's article in the Club Lotus magazine this month. That describes how many cars that had been sitting around at the factory unsold for a few months could be taken back into the factory and 'updated' with later features, or converted from federal to UK specification. Especially true with the last S4 Elans, converted into Sprints.

Combine this with transition models where cars had features of a couple of variants, it's not rare to find a Plus 2 that straddles the early and the 'S' models.

This one looks very nice indeed, and I do agree with Jon that the early cars somehow look so clean and uncluttered, even if they do have the later doors and remote boot pull,

I would definitely have a closer look at this car if I was buying.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:03 am

Elanintheforest wrote:I don't know if you chaps saw Tim's article in the Club Lotus magazine this month. That describes how many cars that had been sitting around at the factory unsold for a few months could be taken back into the factory and 'updated' with later features, or converted from federal to UK specification. Especially true with the last S4 Elans, converted into Sprints.


I haven't read it (but i will) it's interesting as i own a S4 Sprint and an +2s that was factory retrofitted to be a S130.

I had chat with some one that knows +2's better than me (which isn't hard), he was under the impression there where two different versions of the +2, the original run finished as the +2s came into being (external Boot lock etc) then when the +2s was coming to the end of production a batch of +2 cars where finished and sold with quite a number of later +2s components used (Some parts where no longer available). Sound feasible knowing Lotus had a habit of using up parts from older generations and small valve engines etc.
Last edited by Grizzly on Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:15 am

That sounds about right.

The federal version of the 'original' Elan also had the later doors and the remote boot opener as 'safety' items much earlier than the 'S' model being produced. So the 'S' just incorporated the door and boot mods as standard across the range, and added a couple of extra instruments, fog lights, reclining seats and a re-trim to complete the transition.

So thinking about it, this Plus 2 for sale could well have been a LHD car with the safety doors and boot lid stuff, converted to RHD at the factory. We'll never know, but it adds a bit of interest to this car I think!
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