Lotus Elan

hopeful of buying Elan +2 but sill damage

PostPost by: Marc13 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:44 am

Well I've deffinitely decided against this particular +2. I'll have a look at what Paul Matty has om offer at the minute. And I think I will make the long trip down to Kent to see the nice looking yellow one that UK Sports Cars have available....plus there will be 5 or 6 others to lool at there.

I think I'll stick with the +2 rather than the 2 seater...I just love the look of it.

Putting aside the sill on the blue one in this thread...and obviously any that are not kept to a good standard - are they generally reliable cars....or am i looking at very regular large repair/maintenance costs?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:36 am

I consider a part of owning a classic Lotus is tinkering on it.
They are no worse than other classic cars
just remember the preventitive maintenance.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:39 am

are they generally reliable cars....or am i looking at very regular large repair/maintenance costs?

The only ‘secrets’ are:

1) Buy the right car to start with. Chassis in particular. Be aware there’s a very large number of “bitsa” cars out there. That means a bit of this model, a bit of that etc. Do try to get a fairly original example with as much history as possible. Paying a premium for that will be worth it!
2) Get your spanners out, and expect to reasonably frequently carry out preventative maintenance.
3) Change the oil regularly.
4) Drive it regularly.

Yes, these cars have a reputation. I’m sure you’ve heard it. LOTUS = Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious. But at the end of the day, they’re just Ford Cortina/Triumph Herald (etc) underneath. Very simple mechanicals, that have just been assembled in an innovative way. A way that makes them drive like race cars. To such an extent that the designer of the McLaren F1 said even he couldn’t better the Elan’s steering! That’s a million pound car!!! :shock:

You’ll find parts on these cars that are also on Aston Martin DB5s and E Types. Plus our dash is much much cooler! :D

Once you buy ANY classic car. You will never again be able to say “I’ve got nothing to do!” But boy is it cheap motoring! No road tax. No MOT required. (but have a qualified mechanic check over the car annually!) Plus cheap insurance of around £150 pa.

As I say. Learn as much about these beautiful cars as you can before taking the plunge. There is bags of helpful advice here before or after purchase.

Good luck!
Last edited by EPC 394J on Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:55 am, edited 4 times in total.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:47 am

Marc13 wrote:<Snip>
Putting aside the sill on the blue one in this thread...and obviously any that are not kept to a good standard - are they generally reliable cars....or am i looking at very regular large repair/maintenance costs?


They say that "Lotus" means "Lots of trouble, usually serious" but once you have given them a good check-up, they are very reliable.

I have had my 1970 Plus 2S for 34 years. I'm not sure what the total mileage is, speedos have been changed, I've rebuilt engines, but over a 20 year period we have driven around 55,000 miles in Europe, as far north as Kristiansund, Norway, east to Budapest, south to Rome, and west to Lisbon, including nearly all of the high Alpine passes, and always driven home! That doesn't include 34 years of regular driving in Ireland and the UK.

Parts are very available and reasonably priced. It helps to be able to do your own work.

And you have lotuselan.net !

So I'd highly recommend.

:)
Last edited by Foxie on Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: MrBonus » Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:58 pm

My Lotus has some fiberglass damage behind/inside one sill, no doubt from a garage lazily lifting it at some point and not realizing they were not lifting at the correct point. However, I use my QuickJack to lift at the sills frequently as they are structurally sound. That sort of damage to one of the key structural elements (especially for maintenance/jacking) of the vehicle would give me pause and would want to ensure it was repaired properly prior to purchase.

Oil leaks shmoil leaks. It's par for the course. Just drive it and make sure operating temperatures don't turn it into a flowing river.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:50 am

If you are after a well sorted Plus 2, send a PM to vincereynard who has a beautiful +2 S130/5 for sale (and for much less than that dealer is asking). The car is well known round these parts.

viewtopic.php?t=42723&p=302205

A slightly gushing review I wrote of it (as compared to my car, which had problems at the time). The sheer amount of work Vince has done (as documented here) to correct issues that the previous "restoration" left is somewhat breathtaking. And the moral of this particular tale is that you cannot trust any car that claimed to be restored, especially by a dealer. As the engineers say: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
Last edited by JonB on Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:51 am

I think you will find Marc, that most dealer stock is on sale or return, specially +2 s, as they are far harder to sell than Elans, and I doubt dealers would want their money tied up for months / YEARS in hard to shift stock. And what do you get for paying a dealer several thousand pounds commission? A 3 month warranty. BIG DEAL. What are the chances that your new purchase will go seriously wrong in that timeframe? Not much, I suggest.

Bide your time, be patient, do your research, and buy privately. After all, dealler stock has come from private people. You will be able to strike a much better deal and save thousands of pounds. Should there be the odd niggle, the money you have saved will correct any problems. Buying from a dealer does not guarantee you buy a great car. Plenty of examples of shoddy workmanship on cars bought from dealers on here, including the one mentioned in the above post.

Good luck,

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PostPost by: JJ66 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:14 pm

Hi Marc,

You are in the position I was about a year ago. I work some of the time in Sheffield and my Daughter is at Uni there, and so when I saw this car come up (with the same dealer and same price) I jumped at the chance to go and look at it. However, it had just been sold. I did see it and do remember all the history, but I also recall being wary as regardless of the amount spent, there were a number of details that weren't quite right and something just seemed 'off' about it for what I was looking for i.e. originality and provenance. They said it had gone to a regular customer who bought lots of cars from them and then brought them back after a year or so for re-sale, and that seems to be what has happened here.

I see that you have pulled back and are thinking of other options, which is good. Taking your time to view a few is the right way forward. I saw about 5 cars and in the end went for a 130/5 (M reg) for £15k which has a tired paint job and bad chrome on the rear bumper, but it has 100% perfect provenance (matching numbers) and a history file going back to 1976 and the second owner had it 42 years. I am very pleased with my purchase and happy I hung back, even though it took about 8 months to find!

The yellow car you have been steered towards sounds great, and in terms of dealers, UK sports cars have a few and the one there that stands out for me is a white car that they describe as a 'survivor' - originality always does it for me, but it depends what you're after.

Good luck, and I hope you find the right car soon. As others have said, this forum is fantastic for info and advice.

best wishes, Jonathan
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PostPost by: clivetonge » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:18 pm

Marc, just in the process of writing an ad for my Plus 2 if you are interested: 1972 S 130/5 mechanically/chassis excellent, loads of history, loads spent. Circa £15k. Useable now, would benefit from cosmetics/interior fettling. I'm in Warwickshire.
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PostPost by: gibbon » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:59 am

Good Afternoon,

I also have a plus 2 for sale, an early model, which to me has 'cleaner' lines.

I looked at very many when i bought mine, they vary hugely. Mine is no where the prices of the dealer car and is a very genuine matching numbers and period correct car, not a bitsa. It also drives exactly as it should.

Mail me if you are still in the market.
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PostPost by: Marc13 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:35 pm

Hi,

Was hoping to get some thoughts on this....
Half the +2s I see have the lower sill the same colour as the body, where others have it a more black colour.

Is there any significance to this - and would it generally be to hide something?

The picture shows one thats black rather than body coloured...

Thanks
Marc
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PostPost by: Marc13 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:41 pm

JJ66 wrote:Hi Marc,

You are in the position I was about a year ago. I work some of the time in Sheffield and my Daughter is at Uni there, and so when I saw this car come up (with the same dealer and same price) I jumped at the chance to go and look at it. However, it had just been sold. I did see it and do remember all the history, but I also recall being wary as regardless of the amount spent, there were a number of details that weren't quite right and something just seemed 'off' about it for what I was looking for i.e. originality and provenance. They said it had gone to a regular customer who bought lots of cars from them and then brought them back after a year or so for re-sale, and that seems to be what has happened here.

I see that you have pulled back and are thinking of other options, which is good. Taking your time to view a few is the right way forward. I saw about 5 cars and in the end went for a 130/5 (M reg) for £15k which has a tired paint job and bad chrome on the rear bumper, but it has 100% perfect provenance (matching numbers) and a history file going back to 1976 and the second owner had it 42 years. I am very pleased with my purchase and happy I hung back, even though it took about 8 months to find!

The yellow car you have been steered towards sounds great, and in terms of dealers, UK sports cars have a few and the one there that stands out for me is a white car that they describe as a 'survivor' - originality always does it for me, but it depends what you're after.

Good luck, and I hope you find the right car soon. As others have said, this forum is fantastic for info and advice.

best wishes, Jonathan


Thanks for the message Jonathan. Yes the dealer told me about the owner of the blue one - quite a famous guy with loads of money...so just pops back to the dealership everytime he fancies a change. You're right a lovely looking car and it drove well.....but just doesn't stack up. So not for me at that price!
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PostPost by: Marc13 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:45 pm

512BB wrote:I think you will find Marc, that most dealer stock is on sale or return, specially +2 s, as they are far harder to sell than Elans, and I doubt dealers would want their money tied up for months / YEARS in hard to shift stock. And what do you get for paying a dealer several thousand pounds commission? A 3 month warranty. BIG DEAL. What are the chances that your new purchase will go seriously wrong in that timeframe? Not much, I suggest.

Bide your time, be patient, do your research, and buy privately. After all, dealler stock has come from private people. You will be able to strike a much better deal and save thousands of pounds. Should there be the odd niggle, the money you have saved will correct any problems. Buying from a dealer does not guarantee you buy a great car. Plenty of examples of shoddy workmanship on cars bought from dealers on here, including the one mentioned in the above post.

Good luck,

Leslie


Thanks for the message - went to see one from a dealer today (mainly just to get a bit more experience of them and what they drive like)...looked great in the photos, it was a real shocker. Literally couldn't keep it in a straight line. I would say it wasn't safe.
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PostPost by: draenog » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:10 pm

Marc13 wrote:Hi,

Was hoping to get some thoughts on this....
Half the +2s I see have the lower sill the same colour as the body, where others have it a more black colour.

Is there any significance to this - and would it generally be to hide something?
Marc

From the factory it was black, but after a respray often not...
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:59 pm

What you are looking at is only fibreglass. Though it is bolted through with the sill member as an internal sandwich. Which is why you can see the bolt heads.

As for colour, that just comes down to personal preference I guess? I think it’s a fairly unattractive part of the body. So I prefer it black as it came from the manufacturer, so it melts away from your eyesight. I just think it appears to give the body a better shape??

Plus it may not stay body coloured for long. With anything other than pedestrian use, it will take a fair bit of stick from road debris.

Just my 10p!
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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