Lotus Elan

New Plus 2

PostPost by: jono » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:36 pm

Well, I'm back with another Plus 2 just over a year after selling my previous one to Dave on this Forum :)

This time it's an early car which I have always hankered after and it seems to be very original. It's a project car for a full rebuild which I promised myself I would never do again but I realised that I enjoy the process and am never happy with a car until I know every nook and cranny. I'm really enthused by this car and plan to restore to original spec (no mods this time, well perhaps CV driveshafts, some headwork, colour change and hotter cams :) )

BWC 35F is a '68 Plus 2 and was owned by the PO since 1977 and sadly came from a deceased estate. For the last 29 years like all good Loti it's been laid up. It has all the correct features like the simpler dash and interior, the transverse exhaust, external boot catch and the flat back servo. The only things missing are the bumpers but I am on my way to securing some. Oh, also missing is the original steering wheel but the one that is fitted is clearly an old period item and I like the feel of it so will probably keep it - part of it's 'story' as I see it.

From what I can tell it is on its original chassis and I think there is a very good chance it will go again with appropriate refurbishment. It also on it's original first paint and there are no 'layers' underneath - odometer says 33,840 and I have no reason to think that's wrong (certainly it has not been around the clock). Interior is very good - the passenger seat, only, needs a new side panel where the frame has worn through but otherwise it's excellent and tends to support my view of the mileage probably being correct. Possibly needs a new headlining and the courtesy lenses have, as ever, turned to dust!

I should add that I have a real aversion to red cars and I will change the colour. - purists look away! Whilst I would like to go Medici or French Blue this time my wife never liked Wedgwood (the only person who didn't, except for my mother - perhaps that tells a story!) and I have pretty much decided it will be silver - possibly a nice light pewter shade, perhaps an AM or Jag colour. SWMBO approves.

Here are a couple of pics - I've already pulled the pedal box as it's badly rusted and needs repair or replacement - blasting it this weekend to see what might be possible. Once I've changed the sills I will get it on the lift and start the strip down.

One thing I have noticed about this car is that the panel gaps are really very good indeed - so much better than all of the later Plus 2's I have seen and no corrections will be required. Hardly any damage or crazing too and no blistering so I am thinking the painting might be less painful than I've become used to and a further bonus is that the doors have no 'drop'. The fibreglass is lovely and thick on these early cars which for me is an added bonus. I have also noted that the (Ford?) steering column on thos model provides a much more rigid feel to the steering

Will update as I go along - quite excited by this!

Jon
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PostPost by: alanr » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:18 pm

I like the look of it...It looks a very good basis for restoration...Nice and original!....You need to keep the colour red though!
It should keep you out of trouble this winter along with spending plenty of your pocketmoney! :lol:

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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:51 pm

Congratulation Jono, great find and it looks like it's going to be a fun project and a spectacular car once you've worked some loving magic on it!

I agree with changing the colour- the superb lines of all those fabulous shapes and contours tend to get 'lost in redness' and lighter metallic colours seem to be the best look on these cars (along with yellow but I'm a bit biased about that! :lol: )
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:16 pm

I didn't think it would take you long to get the craving for another restoration Jon! The car looks to be very original and should be great fun to sort out.

I definitely have my mojo back for restoring now, and this week has probably been one of the best I've had over the last couple of years. And that has me glancing quietly at ebay and car & classic adverts looking for another project. :shock:

Have fun and keep us posted.

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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:12 pm

It’ll be interesting to see how you progress with this, mine is a few months older, November 67, so very similar. When I got mine it was about 10 years old and had been fitted with a big valve engine. It has the wide radiator which I don’t know if it was the original or was fitted when the engine was changed. Other than that it looks pretty similar under the bonnet apart from the vin plate being in a different position, mine is on the bulkhead under where the wiper linkage goes through the bulkhead. I needed a new pedal box and couldn’t locate an old type so ended up fitting the later narrower one with an adaptor plate, but if I find an early one it’s an easy swop to fit it in.
I agree that on these early cars the panel fit seems pretty good, I’ve not needed to do anything, but my door hinges are shot so that’s my next major job, I’ve got the new hinges but am thinking of turning up some bronze or brass bushes in place of the plastic ones that come with the new hinges.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:00 am

I also have an early elan +2. Very similar.
I have grown to like red in the elan and +2, over the years
Seems with gold or yellow catches my eyes
Also, I prefer a lighter shade for the elan. Darker for the +2
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PostPost by: SENC » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:12 am

"Welcome back", Jon, and congratulations!
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:42 pm

Thanks for all the good wishes chaps :)

I've been itching to get started on something. My pedal box is completely shot and after trying to find a decent second hand early one I decided to repair the existing. Luckily I have a friend with a shot blaster so I paid a visit on Saturday to use his cabinet - it cost me one hot steak pie, bargain!

I also know a very good welder (several in fact) and so I did the cutting and shutting myself and tacked everything up with the Mig then my pal will seam weld everything next weekend. Then I need to bush the pedals, fit some of the missing studs, drill the drain holes, fit a reinforcing plate for the spindle and give everything a final blast then it will be wrinkle finished, at least the box will be - interestingly this appears to have been the factory finish along with the servo bracket - anyway I like wrinkle paint so even if it's not original I don't think it will look out of place.

I will also create an access cover in to the top of the box to assist in access to the clevis pins etc. - another departure from standard but not uncommon.

Last picture is the starting point!
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PostPost by: DJW » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:26 pm

Nutter ;)

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PostPost by: jono » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:48 am

....it's a better starting point than VRH Dave :)
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PostPost by: innesw » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:58 am

Fantastic to have you back with another project Jono!

Elanintheforest wrote:I didn't think it would take you long to get the craving for another restoration Jon! The car looks to be very original and should be great fun to sort out.

I definitely have my mojo back for restoring now, and this week has probably been one of the best I've had over the last couple of years. And that has me glancing quietly at ebay and car & classic adverts looking for another project. :shock:
Mark


Shhh! I have serious restoration project itch, maybe I need some rehab.

Now where did I put that snagging list for the JPS... :wink:

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PostPost by: Wattie » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:53 pm

Nice project car, I’m going to enjoy following this and already I am in awe of your work seeing that pedal box.
Can you explain what you mean about a lid for access please?
After 31 years of procrastination and hiding it in a garage I’m about to Slowly start on my own +2 boxes of bits so I will follow yours eagerly.
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:30 pm

Hi Wattie,

It just means cutting a hole in the top of the pedal box and then having a cover plate on it secured with screws - this makes it so much easier to insert clevis pins etc when fitting the master cylinders or perhaps adjusting travel if you have adjustable push rods.

Cheers

Jon
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PostPost by: Wattie » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:41 pm

Ah that makes sense, got it now,
Thank you,
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