Lotus Elan

Need help filling in a VIN

PostPost by: rwiii » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:54 am

Am looking at a +2 and the only VIN plate is the one on the dash facing the windshield. It is 50/2431. I know 50 is the type and understand the 2431 are the last four characters of the full VIN. Is there a way to recover the rest of the VIN? Can I at least get the year from these four numbers?
There's nothing on the chassis I can find and the car does not have a motor.
The car is largely disassembled so not sure how many clues there are to the year otherwise.
Thanks in advance.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:58 am

How about a photo of the VIN plate?

Off hand, you may be telling me that the car was built in late 1969 and the numbers you've given are the full VIN.

Does this car have any other pre-1970 features? Is it an "S"?

There should still be numbers stamped into the top of the frame near the RH motor mount. The numbers at that location are about 1/2 in tall, so should be visible. Is the frame original?

Roger
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'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
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PostPost by: rwiii » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:39 am

I have no idea the year and I don't recognize any features as it's disassembled. I appreciate your help. Here's you pic.
Attachments
vin.jpg and
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:06 am

If it is a pre 1970 that is the vin

it probably is, check the vin date list around somewhere and if it is 12/69 you have the vin
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PostPost by: rwiii » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:36 am

Ok, after numerous google searches it looks like the 2431 I'm looking at is between 2342--a '70 +2 and 2452--a '70 +2S. At least that's what the owners recorded.
So, pretty good confidence I'm looking at a '70? Any way to tell if it's an S or not? What makes an S?
Thanks again.
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PostPost by: rwiii » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:49 am

Wait, 2431 also between '69's 2360 and 2481. So confused.
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PostPost by: RichC » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:39 am

That is the whole VIN number . You have it!
it will be an S
Also take a look at the top left edge of the bulkhead / engine bay ( if you are at front looking back) where the bonnet closes down and you may see the original body number as well (under the paint ) / body panels will have the same number handwriiten on their inside somewhere I guess it will be a hundred or so above 2431 as more bodies were made than used (quality control issues)
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:57 am

rwiii wrote: Any way to tell if it's an S or not? What makes an S?
Thanks again.


The easiest & most obvious external difference to see between the std +2 & the 'S' is the front fog lights, the non 'S' doesn't have them, all other models do & they have recesses in the lower nose for them to sit in.
Here's a couple of pic's I quickly grabbed from ggogle
2-nose.jpg and
Pre 'S' +2


2s.jpg and
+2 S


Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:28 pm

Other tells.... An early +2 (pre S) has the following.....
Doors don't have a lock separate to the handle.
Boot lid may have a hole for a lock handle.
Dash has 2 large dials and 4 small. Switches are circular holes not rectangles.
Silencer sits sideways under the boot.

As has been said, you may find the vin number, or close to it, written in marker pen on the roof, back of dash and glovebox. Possibly inside doors.
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:05 pm

wotsisname wrote:Other tells.... An early +2 (pre S) has the following.....
Doors don't have a lock separate to the handle.
Boot lid may have a hole for a lock handle.
Dash has 2 large dials and 4 small. Switches are circular holes not rectangles.
Silencer sits sideways under the boot.

As has been said, you may find the vin number, or close to it, written in marker pen on the roof, back of dash and glovebox. Possibly inside doors.



this is not accurate

all Federal cars have the internal boot release, integrated door handle and straight silencer.

the extra 2 gauges are the tell, although non S dashes were hard to find so some were changed.
the padded console is also a main difference

and the body number, not the VIN, ever, is written on the body parts. It is possible somewhere that a car has a matching body and vin numbers, but that would be happenstance
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PostPost by: rwiii » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:09 am

Thanks to you guys pointing me in a few directions. Here's what I got that points to a '69 +2--non "S"
1. My VIN is 2431 and Sparrow says federal +2S's start at 2447.
2. No fog lamps under the front bumper, indentions or recesses for fog lamps.
3. Four small gages on the dash.
I know very little about these but based on what you have collectively told me this is not an "S". If I'm mistaken please let me know.
Thanks in advance.
Attachments
4-gages.jpg and
no-fog.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:35 am

I don't have access to my S right now, which is about 100 numbers prior to the one in question here, BUT, I don't remember a VIN tag in the wind screen and that makes me wonder if this isn't a later car than Dec 69-Jan 1970.

Does the car have a Lucas alternator? What carbs are on it? Are the seats high-back safety type? Are there reverse lamps fitted?

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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PostPost by: rwiii » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:43 am

Thanks Roger,
The car does not have a motor or interior at present. It is at a lotus shop with a good body, chassis, transmission, differential and other components. The shop has everything to restore it but those other components it would not original to the car.
Sparrow points out that the VIN numbers just ahead of this car marks the beginning of Federal +2's's so makes me wonder if there are early VIN/S's (like yours) were UK S's or other. If yours is Federal that logic is obviously flawed.
Don't know about the lights you reference.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:07 am

This car was invoiced at Hethel in August 1970, coloured silver (an unusual colour used by Lotus on a small number of +2 Elans, mostly Federals during 1970 and with no known Lotus colour code), fitted with the I type engine, which was the Standard Federal Stromberg version. This would indicate that the car was a +2.

When looking at introduction of changes by Unit No it behoves us to look at the date for that Unit, since the cars were not made in sequential order. In the case of the introduction of the Federal +2S at Unit No 2447, that car was invoiced in December 1969. The Parts List indicates November 1969 as the introduction date, probably reflecting the date of production, as opposed to invoice. That particular car was fitted with the F type engine, which was the SE Weber version for both Domestic and Export markets, the first example of which appeared in July 1969.

We do know that the +2 was made alongside the +2S for a short while at the factory in 1970, clearly something of a transitional year for the model.

Tim
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:24 pm

I should mention that my S is not a federal model, but a RHD home market model. Lotus archives says it was made Dec 31 1969, so probably to be sold as a 1970 model.

I bought it in 1984 from a UK citizen living in eastern PA. The PO thought it was a 130 S because of the big valve cam cover, but the build date and no silver flake roof convinced him it was not, and after a rebuild, it was proved it was not. The car in 1984 had been sitting for about 8 years w/ no oil and the engine had rusted up. I enjoyed it for a couple of years, but other projects pushed it down the list and its been sitting for a longer time again. When I get to it, I will convert it to LHD.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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