Lotus Elan

US Market Plus 2 VIN

PostPost by: TomMull » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:18 pm

This is a 1970 Plus 2 which has the VIN on the doorjamb and on the windshield. Problem is that they don't match. The number under the windshield lacks the model number 50. The door tag has it. The title uses the abbreviated number under the windshield 00XXN (XX is the same 2 digit number in all cases). N is the actual letter shown. Below are the tags exactly as they appear:
Windshield: VEH.IDENT.NO. 00XXN.
Door tag: VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER 50/00XX/N
Door tag also shows mfg date.
Is this normal?
Your help appreciated.
Tom
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:30 am

Yes, it is Tom. No need to worry!

The important one is the Unit No, that is the key identifier, in your case 00##N, indicating that it is a Federal market car (N) and number ## produced since the VIN system changed on 1.1.70 at Lotus. The car Type always remained 50.

Your full VIN should include year, month, batch then Unit No, per the VIN plate in the engine compartment.

Tim
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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:46 am

Thanks very much Tim. That is reassuring. Tom
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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:50 pm

Today I examined another Plus 2 and found that the series number, in this case a 36 as the car is a year older, is indeed included in both places. It would seem that my example above is at the very least inconsistent.

If there are other examples with the series id number missing from the windshield tag, I'd very muck like to know.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:02 pm

On my car, is the following:
Windshield +0315/n+
Door Pillar +0315/N+

Also on door plaque:
Year/Month of Mfg 08/72

The number is also stamped on the top rail of the chassis, just aft of where the exhaust is routed down.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
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

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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:13 pm

Rob,
Do I understand that the series number, "50" is missing from both tags?
Appreciate the info about the frame number.
Tom
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:46 pm

Tom. Hope this article, which I wrote for CL News early this year, is helpful.

Tim
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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:08 pm

Thanks. I'm sure the answer is in there but it doesn't seem to be a simple one.
Tom
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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:42 pm

And to add to the mix, my +2S, also 1970, is marked:
Windshield tag (stamped): 0053N
Door tag (stamped): Month and year of manufacture: +3/70+ and Vehicle Identification No: ++0053N++
Frame rail is stamped: 0053N
Lube plate: 7003060053N


When titled and reg'd in CA they used only the 0053N on the windshield tag.

The Lotus Type 50 is nowhere to be found.
Bud
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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:13 pm

Thanks Bud. What I've learned is that there is no consistency whatever. At least on yours they dropped the type 50 completely. Had they done that with mine, there wouldn't be an issue. Perhaps there isn't anyway. Will have to see what my state DMV does with my VIN verification form.
Tom
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:07 am

Tom, yes, there is no 50 stamped. The + sign is stamped tightly before the number and after the letter. The stamping on the chassis was nearly obliterated by some ham handed idiot, who used a cutting torch to gain more clearance between the chassis and the exhaust header. I repaired the damage back to as close to original as possible, without causing more damage to the numbers. With my Zetec conversion, my headers are now routed forward of the left side engine mount, where there is a lot more room, and the alternator is on the carburetor side.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
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

Tread softly in the grease mud, for there lurks the skid demon
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:47 pm

TomMull wrote:Today I examined another Plus 2 and found that the series number, in this case a 36 as the car is a year older, is indeed included in both places. It would seem that my example above is at the very least inconsistent.

If there are other examples with the series id number missing from the windshield tag, I'd very muck like to know.

Thanks in advance,
Tom


Type 36 is an Elan Fixed Head Coupe, not a Plus 2!
1967 Elan S3
1972 Europa Twin Cam
2005 Elise
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PostPost by: SGO 2F » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:12 pm

Here's some information that I hope will clarify the confusion US Market Plus 2 VINs. For background, I own 2 Lotus Elan +2s: a 1967 +2 (050/0164) and a 1972 +2S/130 *72010239N).

The first thing to note, is that all Lotus Elan +2s are Lotus Type 50s.

As was noted earlier, the pre-1970 Lotus Unit Numbers were composed of the type number/production number, thus my 1967 +2 is identified as the 164th Lotus Type 50.

This format was changed as of 1.01.1970 so that the VIN/Unit Number contained the year, month, batch and production number with a letter (YYMMBBXXXXL). Thus my +2S/130 was built in January 1972 and it was the 239th "N" unit produced. The batch number had been discontinued by this time. While the Type No. does not appear directly, it is coded in the suffix letter "N".

By adding the letter to the unit number, Lotus identified both the Type Number and the destination of the unit. Suffix "N" indicates that the unit is a Federal (USA) Market +2S, while a+2S with suffix "L" indicates that it built for the UK Market and an "M" suffix indicates it was for Export (to Other Territories).

So Tom, please be assured that your +2S is in fact a Lotus Type 50, as indicated by the "N" and the other numbers that are in support.

You mentioned that you looked at another +2S that had a identification number that started with "36" rather than "50". I believe what you were looking at was the lubrication plate that has Lotus Part No. 36B1135. I'll try to send a photo of my plate that shows this.

Happy Lotusing in your +2S...

RR Shetler

2-0239n.jpg and
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1972 Lotus Elan +2S/130 (0239N)
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm

The numbering syntax on my August 1971 +2S (0170N) is exactly as described by Rob, Bud and Richard on the three plates in question.
Russ Newton
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