Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan Sprint Coupe 1972

PostPost by: FunkyKen » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:18 am

I am considering joining the ranks of ownership and have always found these cars desirable. But I am very new to the Lotus Elan Sprint. Can someone be kind enough to answer a few questions for me? I am considering purchasing a car at auction and am wondering what are top issues to look for. Sorry for the open ended question. Also, what is the difference between a 72 Elan Sprint Coupe and a 72 Elan Series 4 Coupe? The car I am considering is an original low mileage example of the Sprint Coupe made for the North American Market. Any insights are appreciated including reasonable price ranges. With great appreciation.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:40 am

Excellent reading here:
http://www.lotuselansprint.com/
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PostPost by: FunkyKen » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:44 pm

Thank you for responding. I’ve scoured the site and it’s incredibly helpful. The car I’m considering is a federal 00 28J. I have a feeling it’s an S4 conversion. This site is indicating the first J series was 00 50 J. Also the car I’m considering has the bulge in the bonnet and silver wheels not black. It has a sunroof and I’m wondering if anyone can tell me if a sprint could be ordered with a sunroof or if it was an aftermarket addition? Thank you Ken
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:13 pm

Ken, IMHO the main thing to check is the frame, front section in particular as they rust out if the drain holes are blocked. An easy way to tell if there is a problem is the front section needs to be air tight for the headlights to remain down. The engine is the next area where you can spend a lot of money. The usual compression and leakdown tests are needed. The suspension, dash, interior... are all easy to get and replace. You can spend a lot of money on paint. Drive shafts with CV joints as opposed to the original rotoflex couplings are a good upgrade. I found the small radiator to be insufficient for Maryland stop and go driving. The larger S3 or an aluminum replacement from RD enterprises or Dave Bean are available. I'll leave your sunroof question to others, but I do think it depends. If you post a link to the car you are interested in, you will get some really great feedback. Good Luck, Dan
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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:26 pm

Ken

You are dealing with a rare car.

I have 0035J, my understanding is that it was built Dec 1971 as a S4 FHC, factory converted to Sprint configuration for export to the US, along with 21 others, in 1972. The Wabasto sun roof was installed by the US distributor prior to sales.

I bought mine as an abandoned partial restoration, body done and excellent finish - yellow over white - Spyder chassis and suspension with an uninstalled Zetec.

I have not yet got to the project as of yet, i have been slowly collecting the missing pieces over the years and may get to it down the road (that road gets shorter when your 80) or maybe sell it.

Good luck - Bill
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PostPost by: FunkyKen » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:46 pm

Hi Dan and Bill,

Dan, thank you for the information on condition. I will give it a good look over. This car only has 6,000 miles and was in storage for many years so i think the body is probably in pretty good shape. An engine sitting that long would be another story since the seals and rubber bits have probably dried up over time.

Bill, it looks like our cars are kindred spirits. This 0028J was probably a later factory S4 conversation shipped to to a Canadian distributor for promotional use. The Lotuselansprint web site does reference these cars. This car also has a build plate of December 1971 like yours. So I am suspecting it is an authentic “from the factory” conversion vs an after market conversion. It has the Stromberg Carbs with the hood bump out. It is the mono color white.

I am wondering if the above would add to the rarity of the car or if a factor S4 conversion is less desirable in the collector market. It is being advertised as a 1 of 25 shipped to North America. The web site indicates that there were 4 J S4 conversions for “Federal” cars. It seems there are a lot of variants for this car. I’m also wondering if the aftermarket sun roof takes away from value.

Does anyone have a good feel for current value for a good quality low mileage survivor? The paint has expected blemishes for age but is seems to be in pretty darn good condition for original paint.

Thanks for all the great info. Ken
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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:42 pm

Ken

Mine could have come into Canada as well, it does have the Stromberg bump hood and the Wabasto top insert.

I purchased the car from a local restoration shop, partially restored, about 8 years ago.Their client had skipped and abandoned the vehicle and the bill for the work (about $25k) over 20 years ago - it is only?? now a matter of the Zetec conversion / install and all the reassembly of components / trim /electrics - wish me luck at my age.

Worth / Value?? I really don't know what to advise you other than to suggest offering a reasonable price to start - not to low and then bargain from there. It is a rare, thence I figure a high value car; once the perishable / deteriorated work requirement is done.

To give you a Guide, my 1963 Elan 1600, 26/0538 (I purchased it from the factory) is appraised at $73K so they do get value if they have rarity.

For what its worth and go for it

Bill
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PostPost by: FunkyKen » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:08 pm

Sounds like you have your hands full. I have to ask, what is the Zetec conversion? Is it an engine swap?
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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:41 pm

Its an engine swap to the more modern Ford Zetec engine, rather than a very costly Lotus twin cam rebuild or performance upgrade - frowned upon by purists in some cases. I wouldn't think of it for instance in my type 26 (I have a whole spare car for parts for it)

Search "Zetec conversion" in the forums.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:17 pm

Ken,

I have sent you an email with the history of this Sprint.

Tim
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PostPost by: Bill » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:33 pm

Tim

I would appreciate a copy of your Email to Ken for my 0035/J file as well.

Bill
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PostPost by: sprintsoft » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:54 pm

Hi Ken,

Have you actually seen the car in reality yet?

Can you post us some pics? You would get some very helpful feedback on here.

Regards
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:35 am

Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:07 am

Phil Harrison
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PostPost by: FunkyKen » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:21 pm

It has been sitting for many years with little driving. I am all about driving my cars so would be concerned about driving condition including all hoses, calipers, wheel bearings and axles. Unfortunately it is not possible to do a compression or leak down of the valves. So a bit of a gamble. Any forum insights are appreciated. I'll certainly take all of Dan's suggestions into condideration. Tough to get a read on paint condition until I put eyes on it. thanks for the support. Ken
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