Lotus Elan

Finding details of a barn find

PostPost by: Andiken » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:23 pm

Evening all,

I've spent the last few months chasing a barn find '73 plus 2S 130. I finally have a registration number and a body/VIN number from the V5 that the current owner has just found. Is there anyone at Lotus or in here I can contact to find the original build spec of the car?

Thanks
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:11 pm

Post them up and you'll have the info by tomorrow!
Steve

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PostPost by: Andiken » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:19 pm

Good idea!

Chassis/VIN number is 73061449L

Does this decode as 1973, June, body number 1449? No idea what the L may mean!

Or is this just too easy to be true.....
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:08 pm

Can you provide the engine no. Above exhaust side engine mount on the horizontal surface - probably P30xxx. (Bigvalve on Weber) Reg no. too? Confirm the chassis no. - that one currently proving elusive. Is there a colour code too?


The L just means a domestic market Plus 2S/S130/S1305
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PostPost by: Andiken » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:26 pm

I can confirm 73061449L is the number given by the vendor. Not sure if this is chassis or body number, I thought body numbers were 4 digits and on the vertical panel behind the master cylinders, hence my attempt to decode. Knowing this and that it's a '73 car it seemed reasonable that the 06 could be build month and the last 4 digits the body number.

Reg number is NVG956M.

Gov.uk vehicle enquiry service has it first registered in July '73 and it being Red.

I'm sure the vendor mentioned that it's on a spyder chassis.

There is no engine or gearbox with the car. I'm yet to find out why....

Is this of any help?

I'm hoping to get a photo of the V5 tomorrow.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:42 am

Post it up red acting owners name/address and the document number for safety.

I'm sure TRW will be along tomorrow with some more accurate details for you.
Steve

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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:00 am

Just to confirm what I can for you.

Lotus Elan Plus Two S130

VIN 73061449L left the production line at Hethel in June 1973, Unit No 1449, L denoting it was for the Domestic UK market

Engine No would have been P30####, the P denoting a Big Valve twin cam with Dellortos for the Domestic UK market

Reg No NVG 956M was issued at the Norwich licensing office in July 1973.

If you contact Andy Graham at Lotus he will be able to let you know the engine number, colour and whether it had a 4 or 5 speed gearbox; 5 speed being most likely at that stage of production. He should also have the supplying dealer (probably Norfolk Motor Co) and may have the name of the first customer too.

Tim
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PostPost by: Andiken » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:09 am

Wow!!

Thanks for that Tim, very much appreciated.

I have found Andy's email address and have sent him a note and am currently awaiting a reply.

Andy
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:51 am

Not many sites with this sort of rapid response or knowledge - more power to Lotuselan.net ! it shows the passion around Elans

cheers
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PostPost by: Andiken » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:38 pm

Tim,

do you have any info on CYR481H at all please? This car is a plus 2 owned by the vendor of the car I'm hoping to buy. I've passed on the information you found about the barn find and he's interested to know if you have any information on his car.

Sorry if this is now taking liberties.

Andy
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:59 pm

Hi Andy,

'Fraid I cant tell you too much about that Elan +2. This is what I can tell you:

CYR 481H was first registered on 10th of October 1969 at London Central office.

It has had 9 previous owners before the current keeper acquired it in July 2004.

It was painted brown previously (though not originally) and is blue now.

It was last on the road in 2016 but is currently SORN.

Based on cars from that quarter, the VIN would be 50/17##, 18## or 19##, with an engine number in the F19-20### range, F being the SE twin cam with Webers for the domestic and some export markets.

Tim
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PostPost by: Andiken » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:28 pm

Good afternoon all

I thought I'd just post a quick update on progress. I now have three potential restoration projects to view! I saw the first one yesterday at uk sports cars, a 95% complete '68 car and I have a viewing of the '73 barn find on the 11th August and no date booked for the third yet. The barn find is only about 85% complete.

I guess the burning question is are there any parts, no matter how small, that are simply unavailable for restoration projects such as these? I'm thinking of things like bits of chrome trim, scuttle and C post vents, corner chrome trims for windscreen seals etc.

Paul from UK sports cars kindly pointed me at another specialist for parts to add to my list of sources of supply. I'll be in touch with all of them next week but thought I'd ask here too.

Thanks

Andy
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:13 pm

Most parts are available new for the Plus 2, but there are some that are hard to find parts, and hence expensive, when you come across good, 2nd hand replacements. Some of the repro stuff isn’t very good, and an original 2nd hand part can be more desirable / expensive.

The expensive bits tend to be the chrome trim (sill strips, roof rails, ‘moustache’ around the nose air intake, rear bumper, good door frames) good dash crash pads, centre consoles, ambient temperature gauges that work (!), 5 speed gearbox parts.

Things like the front and rear lights used to be hard to find but are now available as good reproductions, albeit at £150 a corner or so.

The saving grace for the Plus 2 is that many have been broken for parts in the past 15 years and 2nd hand parts are pretty easy to find (in the UK), and except for the above, reasonably priced. Fibreglass panels are cheap, glass is freely available, re-trimming is normal sort of cost (except that the brown material is NLA). The chassis, engine, gearbox, propshaft, differential, suspension, steering and brake parts are all available new, with the exception of a few components like rear calipers which have to be bought 2nd hand.

A fairly easy car to source parts for, but don’t underestimate the cost of doing it all properly. A chequebook restoration on a Plus 2 now is around £60k, with bodywork / paint taking up a good £10k of that. But most of the work is pretty easy for the home restorer to complete, and many have been done this way. Even if doing it all yourself, you can easily spend £20k and a few years doing it.

But spread that over 3 or 4 or more years, and it’s a fairly cheap hobby! And you should then have a car that will last for many more years.

I've done a few cars over the years, and if I was doing another, I wouldn't take on a basket case again. Far better to find a car that has had the money spent on it, and maybe then has not been used for a few years and need re-commissioning. Or is good in all respects but needs the engine re-building, or the paint re-doing, or a chassis replacing. But in any case, buy a car as complete as possible and as original as possible to save yourself a bit of heartache!

Mark
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:37 pm

Andy,

Such great info and advice above from Mark. From my experience and in my humble opinion, 100% correct and helpful.

The thing is, when you look at the £20k cars that look nice, remember that the difference between that car and a tatty £10k car could be £10k in just parts alone. You can't take the £10k car and then do all the work yourself and expect to have a car that costs less but is as good as that £20k car. Such is the state of our cars' resale valve. The finished car is worth less on the resale market than the cost of the build. The £60k chequebook restoration car is perhaps only going to fetch £30-35k maximum; don't know if we've seen the advent of the £40k Plus 2 yet. Sad but true, as it seems from car prices in the UK.

Regards,

Randy
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PostPost by: Andiken » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Thanks guys, really helpful replies. I've just finished an 8 year restoration of a '56 MGA roadster to concourse condition and find myself at a loose end and in need of something to tinker with. I've always fancied a plus 2 and am looking for a long term project. Resale value Vs cost to restore isn't a major issue, it's more about enjoying the journey and the end result. I don't really want an mot'd running car, I like to buy them in boxes!

Best advice seems to be buy the most complete car, seems like sound advice, much appreciated.
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