Lotus Elan

My Plus 2's history

PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:52 pm

When I bought the car, the previous (3rd) owner forwarded me some email exchanges with the 2nd owner. I've communicated with him too now and then over the almost four years that I've had the car, but just last week I finally remembered to ask him what he knew about the first owner and the car's time with him. What came back was a little more interesting than I expected:

"He lives in Florida in the late 60's and wants a kickass sports car, like the Jag E-type and Lotus Elans.
He gets obsessed with the Elan +2 back in the late 60's and collects magazines and articles about them.
He orders from the factory directly.
He goes over to England when the car is completed to take delivery.
He stays in England for 3 months driving the car around to make sure the bugs are worked out.
He brings the car back to the USA and enjoys it in Florida for many years.
After 10ish years and 80,000ish miles, he determines that the engine needs to come apart for some unknown reason.
At the same time, his life falls apart - he loses his job, gets divorced, etc. etc.
He keeps the car through all of this, packs it all into boxes, and tows it around the country to wherever he lives.
Eventually, he ends up in Eden, Utah, still having towed the car and its boxes all over.
He wants a fancy new car, but his current wife states he must sell the Elan +2 before buying a new one.
He lists it for sale and my dad sees it in the paper, then tells me (2004-ish, I think?).
We both go look at the car, agree to buy it ($2,300 I think?), and haul it to my home in Farmington, Utah.
I review the manuals and buy whatever else is necessary to get the car back together.
Surprisingly, every screw is accounted for and I get the car back together and drive-able (minus the crazy headlight vacuum system) after several months.
After a thousand miles or so, the car drops a valve while on the freeway and damages the engine.
I rebuild the engine using new parts from Dave Bean Engineering, bringing it to be as good as new.
I go through my own divorce and such, forcing me to sell it and my other Lotuses.
I cry a bit.
I eventually have an opportunity to get my 1991 Elan back for several years, but sold it a couple of years ago to a local fellow.
I am now Lotus-less and have changed hobbies a bit, but still have a soft spot for Lotus cars."

I enjoyed reading all those details, and the articles and magazines me mentioned are still in the box of manuals and documents that came with the car.

And this month is the 50th anniversary of the build date on the plate in the doorjamb, so I'm definitely excited to get it closer to back on the road.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:01 pm

Great story.

If the guy is still in Utah he should get a kick out of at least dropping in to LOG next year.

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