Lotus Elan

New Level for Value?

PostPost by: Maulden7 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:51 pm

Am I the only one who is becoming concerned at this rise in prices, especially for S1 / 2 cars?

Are we on course for the situation where Elans become very much a "very much admired static exhibit", to be driven - or trailered - to & from classic car shows .... just like many E Types etc?

Increasingly I am seeing some beautiful restorations, that are never going to be driven as Mr Chapman intended.

Works of art for sure, but Lotus cars .........?

All I can say, is that my S2 - now in 30 years of my ownership ...... & still looking reasonably respectable - will continue to attempt to fly the badge.

Runs for cover!!

Edited to add - & with matching numbers ........ but only a genuine Lotus replacement chassis!
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:57 pm

It will never get like that with Elans, there are so few that have their original chassis and Lotus have records for that it's never going to be an issue. All cars have their trailer queens (including Elans) the difference is some E-Types can have £100k spent on them in a restoration simply because the value gained will cover it (not all cars are like that)

I always wanted to see what would happen if a real numbers matching Elan with provenance would do sold by a Big auction house and i guess that is the one (doubt i'll see another for a long time) not the best example as everyone has pointed out but still an ok restoration bringing Concours money. Shame it wasn't a proper attention to detail restoration.

And now we all go back to thinking replacing all the Steel structure of the car as being a good idea :)
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:50 pm

Why would anyone put fail-safe headlamp circuit in an early Elan???? and a black nore badge?

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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:12 pm

My favorite are the UK repeaters on the front wings, never seen them on an S2 before...

Sparto's or Lucas? :oops:
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:20 pm

If you read what they wrote it's not even the correct colour so the guy that rebuilt it hasn't exactly gone for detail but at least its more original them 90% of them out there (It has its original Body,Chassis and drive train)

I find it more amusing when people spend stupid money on a pair of wing repeaters because there slightly different profile then think nothing of changing 1/3 of the car :lol:
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:50 am

Phil,ought th

I may be wrong, but I thought the wing repeaters were part of the S/E package and the first S/E models were S2.

There was some mention of original color of this car being brown, a color I don't remember until the last year or so of production.

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PostPost by: Tahoe » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:15 am

Take a deep breath! We have a nice car that isn't 100% correct and it brought good money. I have seen less accurate Sunbeam Tigers bring twice as much money. I've owned 3 Tigers and 4 Elans. They are different cars, the Tiger is more of GT, and the Elan is a true sports car. I like them both, but prefer the Elan and know the Elan is worth as much as any Tiger, any where, any time. It's all about promoting a car or marque. The only thing the Tiger has going for it besides a 165 HP 2v V-8 with Ford reliability, and really good build quality, is a connection to Shelby. In stock form the Elan out performs the Tiger easily, but the perception is that the V-8 with a Shelby connection is Cobra like. It isn't, the Tiger cost Rootes group $10,000 to have Shelby fit the V-8. They got the weight distribution 50/50 by moving the engine back, but compromised the handling by putting the steering rack forward and creating a reverse Ackerman angle. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my Tigers, but I love my Elans. I hear those that don't want them to get so expensive they end up not driven, but 60k today is not much. What did you pay for your daily driver? The Lotus marque deserves to be promoted and the values need to represent how great a car they are. Okay I'll get off my soap box now, and if it wasn't snowing right now, I'd go for a drive. FYI, last week I took it for a 120 mile drive, heater blasting, 35 degrees F, and was joined by my neighborhood with his Healy 3000, and we saw a local in his 356 Cab, plus 2 MX 5's also enjoying the clear and absolutely incredible day with snow boarders giving us a thumbs up!
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:26 am

They got the weight distribution 50/50 by moving the engine back, but compromised the handling by putting the steering rack forward and creating a reverse Ackerman angle.


Did they use the standard steering arms reversed then?

There are plenty of cars with the steering rack forward of the cross member that still retain the correct ackerman angle but the track rod ends are very close to the brake disc and the gaiters can melt or the grease extrude with the heat from heavy braking, I imagine that the Tiger must take a lot of stopping!

Is there any cure for the reverse ackerman?

I learnt about ackerman steering as very Young man, long before I started building race cars and playing with suspension and steering, I had an HB Viva with drum brakes, an earlier scrap HA Viva had disc brakes and a servo so i removed the lot including hubs and steering arms and fitted them to my HB Viva, I had not appreciated that the HA had a narrower track, the use of the wrong steering geometry meant that I had too much ackerman angle, the more steering angle that was applied the more the Inside Wheel turned sideways to an exaggerated angle producing masses of tyre scrub and a braking effect :shock:
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:17 pm

Is it right that old cars -what was once available as a hobby to anybody with the gumption- have become a rich man's game?

To say that 60K isn't much (it's more than I make in a year!) smacks of elitism. Leave the finely-curated BS to the Picassos and Ferraris.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:11 am

Did anyone notice the rear fenders have been flared and opened up? This car is far, far from original. Big price but things change. Just from the pics, here are some of the things that others and myself noticed.

Non-original dash with the radio blank missing

Black nose badge

It appears to have a new front clip as I don't see any difference between the headlights and the bumper

Flared rear wheel wells

Wrong shift knob

Wrong steering wheel

Different seat cover material

Missing ash trays in doors

Sprint muffler instead of S1/S2 muffler

Trunk floor fiberglass changed for muffler fitment

Too many lines on door armrests

Door armrests stitched together instead of one piece

It appears the vinyl is missing from the door cards

Some windshield d-lamination

Engine compartment, trunk, wheel wells etc all painted gray

Tonneau cover studs missing

Aluminum tube missing between radiator and head

Never saw the ID plate riveted before

Appears to never had a rear license plate affixed since its completion

Red valve cover

Seems to be sitting high

The side repeaters are correct for an SE but this is not an SE.

And someone brought up a good point, why don't the headlights go down.

Hmm, what am I missing?

Who knows, if the above items were rectified and it looked as good as it does in the pics, maybe it would have pulled $75K or more.

I would have liked to see some bottom pics and headliner pics.

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:09 am

.................... how can i get my chassis certified?? it's original and i'm sure it's easy to prove it!!? any ideas or can i just add some vital pictures HERE??? thanks for any assistance sandy
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PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:15 am

Since the chassis, or the 'subframe' as we like to call it in the UK for registration purposes, can be replaced with a Lotus factory part why is this any 'worse' for a car's value than replacing any other part with an 'original' factory part? Should a barn find be left as a barn find as it's 'original' or restored?

I do feel Elans compared with other 'similar' cars of the era (Renault Alpine 110s, E-Types) are still very good value. You can pay more for a Mini Cooper these days than an Elan and I know which I would rather have :D

Unfortunately classic cars are again turning into a rich many's past time, when bank interest rates are low people look at other ways to invest their money, but prices do have a habit of going down as well as up. I would suggest that for those of us who buy our cars because we actually enjoy them, whether they go up or down in value is not so important as it does not make the cars any less enjoyable to drive.

I should have sold my Elan in the early 1990's when prices were silly and bought a second hand Aston Martin if I wanted to make money ... But I don't regret that at all, much happier with my little Elan :D

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PostPost by: baileyman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:16 am

I resurrect this thread because I stumbled on this:

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/ca ... 61920.html

and then stumbled on this old thread. So the car is for sale again, without a posted price, which given the history may be understandable.

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:18 am

Thanks for posting this. Might be fun to watch. Right Wiper Arm is now missing. And with a new pic of the front end, it was definitely clipped. It's a S3 or later front clip.

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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:56 pm

All that effort to restore the car, why not put a 'proper' Lotus dashboard? I might be mistaken but is the oil/temp gauge an MG one?

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