Lotus Elan

Where is the extra width in the Plus 2 (vs the 2 seat Elan)?

PostPost by: 4regt4 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:39 pm

Newbie question....

I see the Plus 2 is some 7" (correct?) wider, but where is the extra width evident? Wider seats? Wider center section/console? Wider sills? Some combination of the above?

Is the center section of the frame wider?

The "Y" at either end of the frame must be wider to spread the suspension mounting points. Does this make repairs and servicing of the engine a bit easier?

I see a bit of discussion here and there about the sills on the Plus 2, in particular the possibility of rust, etc. Are they appreciably different than the standard Elan in design?

Thanks,
Hans.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:46 pm

I notice it from the drivers seat.
I have wide shoulders (lots of swimming, weights and hay bailing as a kid), when the door is closed. My shoulders hit in the elan, the +2 offers a perfect fit!
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PostPost by: 4regt4 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:30 pm

Is the seat itself wider, or just more shoulder room?

I very curious about the frame differences - width-wise. Just at the ends, or center also?

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PostPost by: GLB » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:29 pm

Just out looking at my type 26 elan and +2s. Sills are both 4.5 inches wide but construction is totally different with Elan having lattice and +2 having a steel box sill. Width of seat area is 19 inches in Elan and 22 inches in +2. Chassis units are the same every where except length of center box section and width of upper rear turrets that hold lotocones. Longer A arms give the extra width and widened rear turrets give proper rear caster. I spliced +2 front chassis to rear Elan segment to make one good unit for my car. I believe shop manuals give dimensions that verify this. Gary
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PostPost by: 4regt4 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:05 pm

If there is 3" difference in the seats, that basically accounts for the 7" width increase....

Is there any extra room in the engine compartment? Sounds like probably not....

Thanks much for the info.

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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:50 pm

4regt4 wrote:If there is 3" difference in the seats, that basically accounts for the 7" width increase....

Is there any extra room in the engine compartment? Sounds like probably not....

Thanks much for the info.


The body must be wider to accommodate the extra seat-width. From some discussions here I have gathered that the engine compartment is slightly more generous in the periphery up over the wheel-wells but have yet to compare side-by-side.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:59 pm

The plus 2 subframe or chassis centre section is longer than the Elan’s but is the same width. The front of the Plus 2’s chassis is very close to if not identical to the Elan, with longer front wishbones making up the increase in track. At the rear the lower ‘wishbone’ is longer, again to provide the wider track and the chassis rear cross member is wider to mover the logo ones which locate the top of the struts.
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PostPost by: 4regt4 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:27 pm

Thanks guys.

I'm sort of itching to get an Elan, but trying to decide 2 seat versus Plus 2. I'm kind of leaning in the Plus 2 direction, as my stupid driving days are mostly over and I'll probably not notice the extra weight that much. And I might fit better (6' 2", and, well, we won't go into girth...). Also, I'm growing to like the looks of the Plus 2 better.

What is scaring me most at this point is I don't want a project car. Nor do I have a place to do any sort of substantial repairs. Just a very narrow, small garage, which it would have to share with a Quattroporte - which is the size of a school bus. So a (reasonably..) rust free, well sorted driver is what I'd need. I am quite handy with electricals, carbs, etc. I did most of the work on a 308GT4 that I had for some 15 years, including carb rebuild, distributor work, etc. However, I never had to remove any of the major assemblies. I can do minor routine repairs. The odd switch or relay, electrical motors. That sort of thing. But a car with frame cracks, rusted sills, or significant body problems would be out of the question. Nor do I have a way to remove an engine.

Been surfing this site for hours and hours over the last couple of weeks. I am getting the impression that many/most of these cars likely will need some major items addressed, and often a routine pre-purchase inspection will probably not reveal significant problems unless done by someone who knows these cars very well. I'm in Southern Oregon. Decent mechanics are few and far between. I'd likely have to let someone in Portland (if it ever stops burning) look a car over if I find something of interest.

Oh well. Meanwhile, I'll keep reading.

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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:41 pm

One factor to considering the US is availability. Elan are simply more common and easily available here. So normally have better availability with wider range of cars. Meaning its easier to find a suitable car.

I think something like 500 total +2 in the US, who know how many still exist. There normally only a very small number available for sale. So your very limited in your options and kind of have to buy what is available. But a decent +2 will cost you about half of an Elan.

The good thing about both are they are very easy to work on and nothing too complicate for anyone who prepared to pick the tools up and have a go. I'd suspect providing you get a decent running/looking car everything will be in your skill set to sort out.
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