Lotus Elan

How rare?

PostPost by: Lotus 50 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:31 am

I read Hemmings Muscle Cars and it’s said of a car that it’s one of XXX with this configuration.

My Plus 2 is a LHD non Federal Weber head car? How many of those would have been made? 50/0887. Registered as a 1969 but probably a left over 1968?
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:55 pm

I think those posts are intended to drive up a buyer's inclination to jump and don't have too much real basis. My favorites are ones that effectively say "This color is so incredibly ugly that only a few color-blind fools bought one." Or something to the same effect.

None of the period Loti were made in quantities that make them anything but very rare to start with, but that certainly doesn't (at least yet) affect pricing much. I have a (maybe 300 made, you can count them in the SCW database if you have it by their restarted engine numbers) Type 54 Federal 1565cc Europa S2 in driver condition with bad paint that is numbers-matching, but I doubt it would bring half of what a 1971 VW bus with a rusty bottom is currently going for on BAT. There is an enormous difference in the relative production numbers. So whim has a lot more to do with value than rarity when all is said and done.

Your car was, I believe, shipped to LHD European and Canadian markets as the smog cars were only required in the U.S. and certainly looked down upon there, so I don't think it's particularly rare per-se as Plus 2's go. The Weber head makes it more valuable in general if less economical and less green, and if it lacks a hood bulge maybe a bit more still.

The largest single market was the U.S., but I don't know that there are any definitive resources outside factory archives to identify RHD vs LHD and country breakdowns.

If it's Roman Purple or Pistachio, then see above (although both colors have grown on me.)
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:24 pm

Your car would have come off the production line in mid 1968.

My current calculations for numbers made are:

1592 +2
943 +2S
1909 Domestic U.K. L type
380 Export RoW M type
315 Federal N type
5139 total production

Almost impossible to designate numbers of Federal cars made before Jan 70.

Rare cars really only seem to count for the super car makers. Look at Minis, early Escorts etc and they can make bigger money than our small production run cars.

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PostPost by: Lotus 50 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:37 am

I don’t know how rare it was new but in 36 years of ownership I have only seen 1 or 2 non Federal Weber head Plus 2s. I don’t plan on bragging about its rarity. But I am curious
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:00 am

Lotus 50 wrote:I don’t know how rare it was new but in 36 years of ownership I have only seen 1 or 2 non Federal Weber head Plus 2s. I don’t plan on bragging about its rarity. But I am curious

I believe they are quite rare in the US. Feds insisted on smog equipment in '68, particularly California.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:48 am

I am sure I read in a book, will take a look sometime.
A few +2's were sent as demonstrators, before market cars.
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