Lotus Elan

restoration costs

PostPost by: plazif » Wed Jul 13, 2022 2:14 pm

Hi All,

I've never really delved into the potential abyss that is car restoration!

A client of mine has a 1969/1970 plus 2 which has been parked in a garden for the better part of a decade. He is looking to sell it now and I'm trying to gauge the rough costs in restoring the vehicle.

As you can expect, being parked outdoor under a cover, it'll be a rough state. Bodywork is cracked but no holes etc from what i could see. interior seems to be in decent condition bar the headlining & some minor cracks to seat piping

i couldn't see underneath the car as its currently buried under bushes and can only assume that under the skin everything needs replacing. i am hoping the engine can be restored but am thinking worst case scenario it'd need a replacement.

I wouldn't be doing the work myself so if anyone could give a ball park costs in restoring it & also point me in the direction of a good restoration company that would be great. I have come across spyder cars who look decent from their website. Main thing is that I want to bring the car back to life, not consign it rotting away!

Thanks in advance
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PostPost by: NTG999 » Wed Jul 13, 2022 7:37 pm

Unfortunately, I you aren't doing the work yourself it would be a non-starter IMO. Up to £10k paint, up to £7k engine/gearbox/diff. New chassis and everything found as you go along another £15k. Better to buy a known quantity from someone who has done the spending.....sorry!
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Thu Jul 14, 2022 4:42 am

You might find a boat repair place that can do a okay job on paint. I drive my cars, and could give a rats arse what people think.
Mechanically it will need much, but you could probably get it running and driving for under £5k. Of course, chassis. It does NOT look like it has been parked on a dry floor.
Nice they covered it, but that only exacerbates the moisture and wont let it escape.

So, future. If your storing anything, dry roof and floor.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:03 am

NTG999 wrote:Unfortunately, I you aren't doing the work yourself it would be a non-starter IMO. Up to £10k paint, up to £7k engine/gearbox/diff. New chassis and everything found as you go along another £15k. Better to buy a known quantity from someone who has done the spending.....sorry!

I am afraid I have to agree. I have just started a restoration, and the costs listed above are realistic. A high quality 'chequebook' restoration at one of the well regarded firms could cost more. The body looks particularly bad. Glass fibre is very labour intensive to fix properly, and decent labour is expensive. Most on here restore their cars for enjoyment, its not a commercially attractive proposition.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Jul 14, 2022 7:56 am

There’s a black project car on eBay that I think needs an engine. A much better prospect Than this one I’d say. Even if it was gifted to you that’s got to be a £30/35k restoration. It’s not economically viable.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Jul 14, 2022 3:33 pm

All the above does not mean however that it can't be sold. There's a punter out there somewhere who'd love it as a long-term project.
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PostPost by: plazif » Thu Jul 14, 2022 4:27 pm

Hi Everyone,

firstly, many thanks for all of your input. Lots to think about there!

Although i totally appreciate the fact that it would be far more cost effective to have it a long term project to restore myself, i have neither skills, tools or space to even start on it! i've got a small garage i can store it on and thats about it lol

Just to clarify as some of you have said it doesnt make economical sense, i would be looking to keep the car long term not to restore & sell on
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Jul 14, 2022 4:46 pm

Hello

I would not disagree on the costs cited above although it would appear that this project has the merit of being "complete". There are two components that have not been mentioned that are perhaps really obvious:

- it is rare to restore an affordable car and expect to make money: it is rather a case of passion in the subject matter. It is essential to "do a little bit often" to keep faith. I try to do something every single day, even if it is just to take notes (I have 75 pages of Word...and hundreds of photos) or contact a parts vendor.
- leading on from the first point, finding parts and restoring parts oneself is very much part of the fun

There is an Elan source book that I do not have a copy of which can probably help (the reviews are positive). It is also possible to adapt parts from other cars but this can involve anorak knowledge that usually comes from greater familiarity of other cars of the same vintage. This is a way to save money.

My advice would be to work out whether this idea is for you. My next Lotus will be a +2 but I need to finish the S2 first (if the owner simply wishes to clear his garden...send me a PM!).
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