Lotus Elan

Looking at buying a +2

PostPost by: brunshenri » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:01 pm

Hi all,
excuse my ignorance about the model compared to most of you.
I have spotted a LHD (compulsory for me) advertised as a +2S 130 (in Holland).
I have some doubts about the car.
Chassis number 500101M
"red head", no engine number provided, nor gearbox
two webers (so should be a car sold new in Europe somewhere)
silver metal color, black seats
dashboard with two large gauges, six small ones, three hazard lights
I assume this is an early +2 nothing else, am I correct?

Add says small engine compartment fire, lots of trouble to expect??? (advertised at more than 15k Euros).

Thanks for sharing some lights, regards, Serge
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:58 am

Serge, welcome. The following webpage will be helpful in understanding the model features, changes, developments. Beyond that, would be good to find an enthusiast/owner in Holland who could inspect the vehicle for you and offer unbiased but informed opinions (which opinions you will better understand once you've studied the webpages below, and other stuff . . . :mrgreen: )

http://lotuselan-plus2.be/trevorsparrow ... npages.htm

Regards,

Randy
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:37 am

Thanks Randy
will study carefully
and then hopefully make some progress
Regards
Serge
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:39 pm

brunshenri wrote:Chassis number 500101M


Serge, the chassis number seems consistent with the description you provided. This chassis number syntax was adopted on 1 January 1970 and the "M" suffix indicates an export +2S, export meaning markets other than Great Britain, Northern Ireland and North America. I suspect it was manufactured in 1970 or 1971 and therefore mid-production rather than an early +2. The body paint color is probably not original. You could PM Andy Graham, "LotusArchives" on this website. Andy is the archivist at Lotus and might be able to tell you the actual manufacturing date and the to whom this +2S was originally sold.
Last edited by CBUEB1771 on Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:54 pm

Russ many thanks for valuable information, regards, Serge
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PostPost by: Bart Jan van der Ceelen » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:42 pm

Hi Serge and welcome to the forum.

I used to own this car, It was declared a total loss in 2015 after an engine bay fire. I expect a fuel hose leak was the cause, but it was never officially determined.

I looked at the option of collecting the insurance money and use that to pay for part of the restoration of the car. Since it was not clear if- and how much the engine had suffered from the fire, this additional potential cost made it unattractive for me to go for this option.

If you decide to buy the car please be careful when restoring. I was made aware by a forum member that a fibreglass fire results in acids and toxins and the restoration can be potentially dangerous to one's health.

I do not have the car's complete history, but I think it has always been on a Dutch license plate since 1971: go to https://ovi.rdw.nl/ and look for 27ND86. The original colour was brown, but it was silver when I bought it (I think in 2008).

The engine is from a 1965 elan S3 (not a big valve) but was running fine before the fire.

If you need more details please contact me via PM.

Bart Jan
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:13 pm

Jan,
excellent information indeed, that proves the value of the forum and the spirit of its members !!!
Many thanks.
I think I will pass since it is NOT a matching numbers car even though I believe brown is one of the best colors for an Elan +2.
Too bad, but I really value authenticity etc.
Again many thanks to all, and if you happen to know of a decent LHD one (European, not US import), original, even with work, kindly let me know.
Regards, Serge
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PostPost by: SimonH » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:43 pm

I wouldn't get too hung up on matching numbers with a plus2. A lot have had engines taken for cortinas and escorts and by now a lot will have been rebuilt with replacement engines as the original was beyond repair. It's nice to find matching numbers but you can save a lot by them not. Next you'll say a Spyder chassis is a no go.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:36 pm

SimonH wrote:. . . Next you'll say a Spyder chassis is a no go.


I think that's what he's saying, Simon.

I know this is a hornet's nest to step into, but I believe one of the reasons vintage Lotus' are under-valued in the collector community is because they're under-valued by Lotus owners/enthusiasts themselves. Under-appreciated leads to under-valued which leads to reduced concern for preservation/stock condition for cars.

Obviously, I get that there are many views and each owner to his/her own, of course. I think we can all agree that one of the beauties of vintage Lotus' is just how driveable they are today, compared with many other sports cars of the era.

In any case, collecting "trailer queens" is much different from owning/maintaining/operating/enjoying a great vintage sports car. But I am encouraged when I hear of people who want to own/maintain/operate/enjoy but do it with an eye to preservation as well.

Good luck with your search, Serge. I found one; hope you do, too. :mrgreen:

Regards,

Randy
Last edited by Sea Ranch on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:48 pm

Thanks.
I can only support the latest contribution ...
Try to sell a Ferrari (expensive, even speculative should I say etc etc) if non matching or with an auto gearbox ... you'll see the difference with a matching/non auto one ....
Thanks Colin Chapman and successors there are no automatic vintage Lotus .... but non matching is/will/.should be less valuable ....
My views anyway, even if a non matching is as enjoyable as a matching one ....
Philosophical debate may be.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:03 pm

Ok, the Spyder comment was tongue in cheek really.

My point is that yes, its nice to get a matching numbers car. Of course one day they will be worth more, that's what garage queen cars are generally. Unused in case they are no longer original. I know a chap who bought a 964 911 RS and now cant use it for fear of it getting damaged.

The Spyder comment is because up until not long ago no-one batted an eyelid at one, there now seems to be a trend to looking for an original chassis. Is this because people are speculating a little that they will go up in value?

I want to preserve the basic originality but it wont be what this new wave of buyer is looking for but it will be useable.

Good luck with your search Serge, it will be a long one I feel. You may find what you want if you are lucky.
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:21 pm

Thanks.
No speculation in mind at all (I kept all vintage cars I bought since 1981 so far .... many).
All are matching, so will be the +2, am patient, may be stubborn too !!!
Any hint let me know, cheers.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:03 pm

I wasn't directing the speculation thing at you. As the prices start to rise it will attract them. Like you cant buy a 964 for less than £25-30k now. They were £12-15 not long ago.

Anyway, how about this one in Italy?
http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C769224
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PostPost by: brunshenri » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:16 pm

Thanks.
I did spot this one with Luzzago cars (highly respectable outfit) and an other one (not 5 speed) which is a US import in France (advertised by Bretagne roadster, don't really know them).
Regards, Serge
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:06 pm

I believe people in the last 20 to 30 years who truly appreciate a Lotus Elan or Plus 2 appreciated it as a car for driving not for investing in as compared to some other collectibles of the same era.

Thus the general Lotus ownership over the years has not had the same focus on originality that some other marques have had because those marques were never really drive-able in the modern world where an Elan or Plus 2 put most modern cars to shame still in terms of drive-ability.

In recent years the "numbers matching originality" focus has grown along with the investment focus rather than the driving enjoyment.

The type of car you buy depends on what your really after.

If you want to invest then the magical matching numbers low mileage show queen is the car for you ( assuming you can tell a genuine car from a fake). You will pay a premium for it but its probably a better long term investment if you put it in a museum and like a looking at it investment rather than investing in shares or bonds

If you interested in enjoying the magical performance and handling and driving pleasure combination of an Elan or Plus 2 that is still not surpassed today IMHO then its more about condition and usability and sensible modifications to overcome some of the cost cutting decisions made in the original production rather than a strict focus on originality.

cheers
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