Lotus Elan

Stepping into a mine field

PostPost by: Tommo » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:32 pm

Hi everyone , I’m new on here and looking for some advice . Ive always loved +2 and finally decided to bite the bullet . I’m looking at around £20,000 . And I’m just looking for some points when buying .
I understand to look for paint and bodywork damage , and cassis . But any other major look outs . Thanks again for any help . Paul
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:17 pm

It would be really helpful to you to use the search function on the forum. This is a huge subject.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:46 pm

Welcome Tommo!

Quite a bit to read indeed, but you'll get the gist of it easily. And don't be afraid to ask if there's somebody nearby who can help you as an 'expert witness' when you go look at a car.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:41 pm

Don’t know details sorry but pretty sure there’s a healthy local club in your area. I’d suggest you make contact and pick the brains of tge locals.
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PostPost by: Tommo » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:22 am

Hi guys . Thanks for the ideas , I spent a good few hours yesterday browsing the pit falls ( can’t be any worse than my old gtv) and I was hooding to go along to a few meets this year to pick some brains but they’ve been few and fair between .
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:46 am

The main thing you need to check is the provenance / history of the car really. It's 50 years old, and anything that hasn't been restored in fairly recent times will fail fairly soon. So look for evidence of a proper and thorough restoration, including photos and invoices.

The three expensive areas to sort are, in order, the paint / bodywork, the engine and the chassis.

A good paint job will be around £10k. This will involve stripping all the old paint off the car, repairing any fibreglass damage properly and re-painting. If the paint looks perfect, and it's just been re-sprayed with no invoice for the work or it's had a £3000 paint job, leave it well alone.

An engine can be rebuilt for £3000, but if it needs a lot of work to the head and covers, you can double that and more. Look for invoices on work done to the engine, and the invoices should include details like shim sizes fitted to achieve the right valve gaps to demonstrate that a professional job has been done.

A new chassis is about £2500, and the same again to fit it. However, most folks will take the opportunity to re-fresh the suspension, steering and brakes when the chassis is being replaced, so there really should be evidence of that work having been done.

There are a huge number of sub-assemblies besides those 3 things, so again, look for evidence that they have all been done sometime since the car was first built! If the car was fully restored 20 years ago then the chances are it will be fundamentally very good, but the engine, the hydraulics and all the rubber bits will need to be refreshed / rebuilt sooner rather than later.

So it's not just about the car that you're looking at, but the history of work that's been done to the car, and of course, how it's been used and stored since.

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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:40 am

I have a chum who is unwell and has a superbly restored Plus 2 for sale. If you are interested PM me and I will pass it on. Car is in Somerset.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:22 pm

TBG wrote:I have a chum who is unwell and has a superbly restored Plus 2 for sale. If you are interested PM me and I will pass it on. Car is in Somerset.


Indeed. As Jay Leno suggests, the time to get involved with the most local club is before, not after you buy a car. You will find that getting to know the owners of these odd beasts often means that you also get to know the beast that is best for you through these people. Cars for sale on popular sites are sometimes sold by list members, but most sales happen from enthusiast to enthusiast because that is less expensive and I believe you will get a more honest car that way. That's how I bought mine (I dare to say, sight unseen from the other side of the country) and I'm happy to say my trust in the list member was not unfounded. I got a good, not perfect car for a fair enough price. Your mileage may vary when doing something as risky as this, I must say.

My car (an earlier S2 Europa, Type 54 Federal) is a good example of what has been said above. To be perfect, it needs paint. More so than when I bought it, but it needed it then too. Paint will cost about what the car is worth now, a bit more (although I believe its value may have increased since I purchased it more than 10 years ago.) The Renault engine is still a cheaper fix than the Twincam and I have all of the parts (too many, in fact) when the day comes, but the cost still is in the thousands and there are things you need to know to avoid what happened to my spare engine in the hands of a previous owner. My chassis is original and solid as my car was California/Washington all of its pre-Massachusetts life.

Get out and socialize with the locals! They won't mind your showing up in a Toyota for now. Most of them need a reliable car to shop and get to work too. :) (Although seriously, my Europa has had few problems in my ownership, far fewer than the nicknames suggest.)
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PostPost by: Tommo » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:32 pm

Haha , I normally go up to brooklands and drool over the lotus section , but this Year it’s not to be , are there any meets still happening in the Berkshire , Hampshire areas so I can be a pain and badger all the enthusiasts ? . I’d rather buy from some here as ‘ hopefully ‘ they’d be more honest ( I understand that work will be on going but fore warned and all that ) . An d as the winter months kick in It’ll be perfect to do a bit of tinkering
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:45 pm

Welcome to the forum :-)
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:44 pm

Jeff Cocking wrote an "Elan Buyer's Picky Inspection Checklist"... it must be posted on this site somewhere. It's Elan specific, but the vast majority of it would also apply to the Elan +2. Search for that, and download a copy.

Jeff,
Is your file on-site? Where?

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PostPost by: Tommo » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:45 pm

Cheers for that , I’ll look and do that
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:52 pm

A quick search brought up this...
https://lotuselan.net/wiki/Lotus_Elan_B ... _Checklist

It appears to be a page/ post rather than a downloadable file. If you need a hard copy, you can always copy-paste.

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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:47 pm

Tommo
I am in fleet, hants and have a couple of plus 2s in various states of disarray. You are welcome to visit and see them and pick my brains. I’ve done most jobs on the pair so can give some pointers of what to look for. Pm me from the board....
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1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
Visit me on matthewvale.com
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PostPost by: Tommo » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:57 pm

Cheers , I’ll copy and paste that tomorrow and Matt , really appreciate your offer and I’ll ping you a pm .
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