Lotus Elan

New 69 Elan Plus 2 owner.

PostPost by: Glenn M » Thu Jul 14, 2022 11:48 pm

After looking for years I just purchased the 1969 Lotus Elan Plus 2 on Bring A Trailer.
Contemplating driving it back from Pompano Beach Florida to Maryland.
Engine rebuilt in 99, water pump doesn't leak according to the owner.
Wouldn't travel more than 400 miles a day.

Water pump/cooling and brake/clutch hydraulics are my a biggest concerns.
Sounds like the car has maybe 6k miles since rebuild but that was over 20 years ago.

Have been working on my own cars for over 40 years.
Any suggestions for a shop in the Ft Lauderdale area to go over the car?

Maybe I'm crazy.

Details to follow.

Cheers,
Glenn
69 Lotus Elan Plus 2
74 Alfa Romeo GTV
71 Triumph Stag
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jul 15, 2022 12:29 am

Congrats, I think you got a decent buy there.

I don't think it's crazy. I've put 1k on mine in little over 48 hours.

I'd refresh the fluids, espicially brake and clutch. Have a very careful look the doughnuts for cracks etc. Also have very careful look at carb fuel line for leaks and breaking down, can be an issue with modern fuels with ethanol. How old are the tires? Might be wise to putt new ones on.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Glenn M » Fri Jul 15, 2022 1:21 am

Owner said the tires are good. He replaced the donuts and half shafts about 5 years ago.
Had a nice chat, sounds like the car is well sorted.
I feel better but it is a 53 year old car!

Cheers,
Glenn
69 Lotus Elan Plus 2
74 Alfa Romeo GTV
71 Triumph Stag
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jul 15, 2022 2:43 am

Glenn M wrote:He replaced the donuts and half shafts about 5 years ago.


I'd still check them, there has been some quality issues with them over the last few years. So being recent doesn't mean they are ok.

I've had to repair the damage of failed one properly after one had failed and been badly repaired by previous owner. They can do a lot of damage if they go.

They are old cars but not much that can't be repaired on the road reasonably easily.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Fri Jul 15, 2022 7:13 am

mbell wrote:Congrats, I think you got a decent buy there.

I don't think it's crazy. I've put 1k on mine in little over 48 hours.

I'd refresh the fluids, espicially brake and clutch. Have a very careful look the doughnuts for cracks etc. Also have very careful look at carb fuel line for leaks and breaking down, can be an issue with modern fuels with ethanol. How old are the tires? Might be wise to putt new ones on.

+1. I have had the fuel pump to carb fuel pipe fail after less than 10 years. You can't tell what is going on because of the braiding, but underneath the rubber pipe had perished and was leaking. With the dizzy under the carbs, many an Elan has joined the parking lot in the sky because of fuel leaks.

Buy yourself a decent fire extinguisher and mount it where you can get to it easily.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (being restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: baileyman » Fri Jul 15, 2022 11:19 am

Take the Lotus Ltd. membership roster with you. Personally, I'd feel lucky to complete the trip in an old car new to me. I did a similar drive in my old Plus 2 at ten years after restoration, and Dad did a terrific job at that. But three years later cruising through southern Virginia an exhaust valve broke. I couldn't believe it. But there it was. John
Last edited by baileyman on Fri Jul 15, 2022 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Jul 15, 2022 3:33 pm

Go for it, but drive it gentle. As people we are getting too soft/cautious. Adventure awaits.
Rob Walker
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1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Owning a Lotus will get you off the couch
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PostPost by: Glenn M » Fri Jul 15, 2022 9:13 pm

Decided to take the Auto train from Orlando FL to Northern VA.
1300 mile shakedown cruise had me a little worried.
Not like a local auto parts store stocks Lotus parts!

Any preference with spark plugs?

Cheers,
Glenn
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71 Triumph Stag
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Jul 15, 2022 10:25 pm

That Plus 2 from BaT is a beauty and probably in good nick from all the photos and comments I saw. Of course each of us has a greater or lesser tolerance for taking risk though I see this as a small one.I may be too late to the party as it seems your mind is already made up to take the Auto train but if you are still open to another suggestion, here it is:
1. As Rob Walker says, drive it gently and I would add on two lane roads, staying off the Interstate as much as possible, and you will be surprised at the memory you will create and the bond you will have as you get to know your new car.
2. Follow the advice of John, Andy and Mark to have the Lotus Ltd Roster and check the car over. There is always some help nearby as I have found in my long travels in my old Lotus cars. And even if there is a problem, there is always a solution and those are what makes an adventure memorable.
3. Disregard any advice from me because I have no reluctance to drive a car I have never seen home from 2,000 miles away as I have done numerous times.
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PostPost by: Fourducs » Sat Jul 16, 2022 10:24 pm

Glenn, I understand why you are hesitant to drive her home. I was wrestling with the same question as I seriously considered bidding on #1940 and driving her home to NC. It would be quite "inconvenient" if she failed in route. I "think" I would have risked it, but probably would not have slept worrying about all that could go wrong on the long ride back. BTW, I am have become convinced Glacier Blue is the perfect color for these cars. She is a beauty. Enjoy.-Craig
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:54 pm

Congrats Glenn, got fingers crossed for much enjoyment with the car. Oh and show us some pics!
Last edited by The Veg on Mon Jul 18, 2022 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Sun Jul 17, 2022 4:44 pm

Hi Glenn- I think you are wise to do the auto train bit-probably best to get to know your new classic with shorter trips and sorting out the inevitable issues-minor and major- prior to an extended journey. Unlike Ross, I am a total coward when it comes to longer journeys-I am stressing with the idea of driving to Log from Northern Virginia in my 69 Elan S4 DHC even though it is pretty solid overall. Your car looks great and Glacier Blue looks most bravo on the Plus 2. I like NGK BP6ES plugs for my Elan although non resistor ones are tough to find. I use an .032 gap but I have electronic ignition. Enjoy your car and congrats.

Cheers, Mark
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PostPost by: Glenn M » Sun Jul 17, 2022 6:57 pm

Mark,
I'm in Southern Maryland, are there many Elan owners in the DMV?

Cheers,
Glenn
69 Lotus Elan Plus 2
74 Alfa Romeo GTV
71 Triumph Stag
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PostPost by: Glenn M » Sun Jul 17, 2022 7:12 pm

Wish I was here for the LOG in September. Will be away in Europe with the triumph Club participating in the 10 Country Run.

Maybe driving the Lotus to the Triumph 6-Pack GTG in Kentucky end of September.

Cheers,
Glenn
69 Lotus Elan Plus 2
74 Alfa Romeo GTV
71 Triumph Stag
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Sun Jul 17, 2022 8:55 pm

Glenn- I am a member of NOVA Lotus, a sister club to the MD-DC chapter of Lotus, LTD, the founding club for the national Lotus Ltd organization. There are only a couple of Elans in NoVa that I am aware of although the DC/MD club has a few, including a Plus2 or two. Our NoVa club primarily consists of Elise and Evora owners with a few fringe models. There is a guy in Annapolis on this site with an Elan S4- first name Dan, last name I think is Wise but not sure. I recommend joining Lotus LTD- DC club leader is Phil Mitchell, a great guy, very helpful. The club is a great overall resource. As far as local mechanical advice/assistance, fairly lean on the ground with Don Butler at Union Jacks Exotics near Havre de Grace and maybe Vintage Restorations in Union Bridge, MD.

Cheers, Mark
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