Lotus Elan

New here and new to elan’s, got a 1965 s2

PostPost by: Scrap2cash » Thu Dec 14, 2023 12:18 am

I recently came across a deal for a 1965 lotus elan s2 from an older guy who had it sitting in his basement / garage. He told me he bought it and took it apart to restore it in 1986 and it has been sitting in storage ever since. Everything is in really good condition, don’t think I seen any rust on any of the parts (I still have to look through it closer) and all of the parts are labeled and stored quite neatly in bins.
I was told everything was there from when he took it apart, It is however missing a few pieces, so far I know that it is missing the seats and gas tank so I’m not sure how hard those would be to find or if I could just buy some aftermarket ones. I already bought it just it seems like it’s going to be a big project to put it back together so I am debating if I should give it a try.
Would it be a good idea to put it together as it is or to get everything properly fixed and painted before re putting it back together?
In the past I bought some old Svo parts from the same guy and he called me back asking if I was interested in more Svo parts as well as the lotus elan so I couldn’t turn it down and bought everything he had left.
I also have a quick video showing the car on my YouTube channel but I am not sure if I am allowed to post that here on this forum but I will try to add a couple pictures here and see if it works.
Any more information would be appreciated.
4EFB266F-B4B5-4AED-9AE1-7527F9A3B5FA.jpeg and
C9F9597F-212A-4DC2-B28C-AF5A5F96017A.jpeg and
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:07 am

You certainly have a project on your hands if you put it all back together.
There will be a few owners along soon (on your side of the pond) to advise on local parts suppliers.
If most of the parts are there and in reasonable condition you should be OK
Main big expenditure is if chassis needs replacing, engine needs a full rebuild or bodywork needs doing.
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Dec 14, 2023 12:48 pm

I rather like the “burned sand” or “sand glow” colour you have. Reminds me of my first car (1971 Triumph Spitfire Mk III) which was in sand glow. However, looking at your pictures a bit closer, I see a strip of French blue along the rear deck, behind the seats. Guessing it’s had a blow over like my S4 had. I chose to keep mine in the original L01 BRG colour but seeing yours I’m beginning to wonder! You will need a respray from the looks of if - what colour will you choose?

Anyway, welcome to our forum!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Dec 14, 2023 9:33 pm

Welcome! Can't wait to see your progress!
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Jan 09, 2024 2:47 am

Greetings from Calgary. Sorry for the late reply. Must have missed your post over Christmas. Welcome to the forum and to Lotus.

Looks like a project for sure.

Specifically for seats, I installed a pair of Performance World Super Street 2 recliners in my Plus 2. They are available in several different material and stitching colours.Not sure of specific fit in your car, but they are OK budget seats. They were available in stock at our local hot rod shop, but I see the company (based in Langley BC) offers free shipping to Ontario on orders over $250. Getting original Lotus S2 seats in Canada is going to be very difficult and the shipping & handling will be horrendous. They would probably require recovering with new vinyl kits from the UK.

http://www.performance-world.com/SuperS ... 281220.htm

0C34DE1D-5D35-44E1-B58F-4B98EA14E437.jpeg and
Performance World Super Street 2 reclining seats. Sold as a pair in different materials and thread colours.

A2A38FA4-116B-4FE4-B84C-0F6D1C9E6633.jpeg and
Super Street 2 dimensions.

I purchased a new aluminum gas tank from Axminster in the UK. Excellent quality and fit great. Consider if you want anything custom specified, such as provision for an in tank fuel pump. Again, finding a replacement gas tank in Canada will be difficult.

https://axminsterspecialistpanels.com/f ... otus-elan/

To evaluate what you have or may be missing you can initially use the online parts books here in the Wiki or on Ray’s site:



Besides evaluating the completeness of what you have, the big cost drivers on a restoration are (1) the body & paint (think 100 to 200 hours for a top notch job) (2) frame condition (say $5K or more for a replacement subframe landed in Canada if it is bent or corroded inside the towers), and engine (obviously depends on what you have).

Most folks separate the subframe and body to restore an Elan. This allows full inspection for corrosion and provides easier access to the drivetrain and suspension. Kind of handy if sending the body out for paint while building up the chassis. The cool thing is very little welding is required; I think we only needed to modify a transmission mount and get the exhaust welded.

We generally select from three primary Lotus parts suppliers in North America; they all ship to Canada and if you get the packages properly marked there is no duty, just GST & PST. There is also a chap in Richmond BC that brings in batches of parts from one of the California suppliers, but that is probably of less interest to you in Ontario. As many Elan parts cross over to other more common British cars the supplier pricing and availability is pretty good.

Whether you decide to take it on or sell the project, consider joining a Lotus club. We have an active club in BC with several members on the prairies, and there is an Ontario based club. Both clubs have a good blend of enthusiasts with both vintage and modern Lotus cars. I am also a member of the US national club, which is a great group. If nothing else the various Newsletters would be a good place for an ad or to reach out to other members close by that could help you identify stuff.




All the best with the project. The S2 is a very cool little car.

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Tue Jan 09, 2024 3:45 am


Very nice project! It looks like a great place to start.

I am restoring a ‘65 built, ‘66 US model year Elan that is starting from a much worse place. Given the time the restoration, the parts you’re missing may very well pop-up either on here, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or wherever. Just be patient.

These really are simple cars and if you have the skill to do most of the work yourself, the cost of restoration can be contained. Some of the specialized work can get expensive though.

Can you share the Lotus Unit number for the general interest?

Good luck, and do reach out to the forum members, there is a huge amount of knowledge collectively.

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Jan 09, 2024 8:34 am

Welcome to the forum!

you won't find a better place for technical advice or tips of all sorts as needed along your journey. As said above, fuel tank is easy but genuine seats (specific to the car) will require some patience if you want an authentic restoration, which your project could entertain as it has the potential of a low mileage, not overly abused basis. Take your time while you make up your mind on the route you choose (as for the original color, you may want to lightly sand an hidden section to check for eventual previous layers underneath).
It is easier to do proper undercarriage repairs with the body off but your car may not require that (only small dings?) in which case a reassembly and road trial may be a first objective to assess your project goal rapidly... then

keep it on the road
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