Lotus Elan

Opinions of EBay 1971 Plus-2 ?

PostPost by: baloo » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:49 pm

Hello All,
I'm an aspiring +2 owner, but have great trepidation regarding my upcoming EBay purchase of a 1971 Plus 2.
Has anyone seen the EBay ad for this Lotus? It has been up for several months now, starting around $18K, then down to $14.9K, and then for a 7-day open bid auction no reserve.
I got it fo $12K, but still on the fence whether I should get it.

It is at this site: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1971-Lotus-Ela ... fresh=true

Or at the dealer's site (MB VIntage) at: http://www.mbvintagecars.com/descriptionpage.php?id=785

Any opinions greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:04 pm

>> I got it fo $12K, but still on the fence whether I should get it.

You won the auction, you got it!

FWIW I think $12k is a very good deal, very original interior in excellent condition, one of the better ones I have seen in the US.
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PostPost by: 1969Plus2 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:13 pm

For what it is worth, that seems like a great deal...
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PostPost by: baloo » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:23 pm

Thanks for the quick replies.
Any specific areas or issues I should check into when examining the car?

I actually have bought 12 cars on the internet, of which half were satisfactory, and the other half were great disappointments -- much less than the sellers' descriptions and pix.
So, even with EBay, I have learned that "a deal is not a deal" -- nobody expects one (except an idiot) to buy a car sight unseen (ask a dealer if they would do so!). Ebay grants exceptions, and believe it or not, no jail time, like they infer.

But your input sounds good.
While I do all my own work on my old cars myself, I would like the brakes and clutch addressed up in Cleveland so that I can drive it home (about 6-7hrs drive) -- anyone have any suggestions for a mechanic in Cleveland?
Thanks.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:29 pm

Looks to have a Spyder frame, which is probably a good thing. The engine may need some attention at 88K miles though. All in all probably not a bad deal.
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PostPost by: 1969Plus2 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:46 pm

Also, as a point, if you are the winning bid you gotta take the car home. Winning an auction isn’t a 0 cost option.
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PostPost by: baloo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:25 am

1969Plus2 wrote:Also, as a point, if you are the winning bid you gotta take the car home. Winning an auction isn’t a 0 cost option.


Yah, I know the rules -- but tell that to the 4-5 people who didn't come pick up their car from me. No help from Ebay.
OTOH, I'm pretty sold on getting this car, based on your inputs.
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PostPost by: baloo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:27 am

The Veg wrote:Looks to have a Spyder frame, which is probably a good thing. The engine may need some attention at 88K miles though. All in all probably not a bad deal.


Veg, I've got a basic learning curve to go through with the Lotus, so might as well start... What is the Spyder frame, what are the other frames, and how can you tell them apart?
Maybe the best thing is to point me to a reference?
Thanks.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:51 am

I think was decent buy for 12k. Engine and re paint can be expensive. I'd expect it to be straight forward to get it to decent driver. Clutch and brakes hydraulic are straight forward and any decent shop should be able to handle it. Should be able to get the parts from Dave bean or rdent in us, sometimes worth shopping in the UK for bigger orders.

Spyder is a company that sells replacement "aftermarket" parts based in the UK. They offer a few kinds of chassis but are most know for their space frame version rather than folded sheet metal used by the factory chassis. You'll find many threads debating the pros and cons of each.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: baloo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:57 am

mbell wrote:I think was decent buy for 12k. Engine and re paint can be expensive. I'd expect it to be straight forward to get it to decent driver. Clutch and brakes hydraulic are straight forward and any decent shop should be able to handle it. Should be able to get the parts from Dave bean or rdent in us, sometimes worth shopping in the UK for bigger orders.

Spyder is a company that sells replacement "aftermarket" parts based in the UK. They offer a few kinds of chassis but are most know for their space frame version rather than folded sheet metal used by the factory chassis. You'll find many threads debating the pros and cons of each.


Thank you MBell
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:25 am

I agree. Nicely bought. Should leave some room in the budget for a few needs.

Here are a couple of pictures to show the basic difference between the Spyder space frame and the stock Lotus folded sheet metal version. I just ripped them from the interweb to illustrate.

When you get the car home make sure you examine the rocker beams. There are easily removed sheet metal panels in each wheel well that can be removed to see the steel rails. They may have been replaced with the new frame, but check their integrity first before using the stock jacking points. These beams are a feature of the Plus 2; the Elan is a bit different.

Welcome aboard. That is a very nice project!

Stu
Attachments
e0db8b62-461f-4d23-a4d6-d7650ecc2db9.gif and
Stock style Lotus frame. They are made from folded sheet metal.
3c0755c5-037a-4511-b4e1-dd7441b11eca.jpeg and
Spyder Space Frame. Welded lattice style deal with the cylindrical front cross member
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:18 am

you place a bid to buy/win, not to have 1st crack or right of 1st refusal. This is not a game. Shame on you if you renege on following through with the purchase. It's folks like that who ruin this original and worthy internet venue for buying. Do you homework 1st before toying with sellers out there who pay $$$ for every listing, successful or not.

Now getting off my soapbox, $12K for this Plus2 is a steal. I have one in similar condition currently for sale I won't let go that cheap.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:02 am

It looks OK to me although I can't comment on value for money as it is in the US (different market to the UK, and the car is more rare). Is it legally driveable? In other words, "road worthy"?

Things I spotted:

[pedantic mode on]

  • Needs a respray (or leave as is if that doesn't bother you - it won't rust)
  • Silver roof is not original (should be metal flake paint)
  • As others noted, has a Spyder chassis. More rigid.
  • Spyder bottom front wishbone arms
  • Sliding joint half shafts at rear. There is some debate about these (joints can bind when going over bumps whilst accelerating , decelerating) but try them first, see how you like them. CV jointed arms are preferred.
  • One of the front anti sway (roll) bar bushes is not located properly. It'll rattle on the bumps.
  • The engine might be leaking a bit of oil.. ("They all do that, Sir!") but it is much better than most (mine included).
  • Some non-standard bits in the engine bay (boxes on the driver's side).
  • I see a modern radiator and fan. Probably a good thing if you are in a hot climate.
  • Original covers missing for the front spot/fog lights.
  • Window trim needs doing, obviously. Tricky.
  • Interior looks good, apart from the tears. Steering wheel not original. Two gauges have different coloured indicator needles which suggests not original, except one of them is the ambient temperature gauge (which appears to be working, hurrah!).
  • Rear bumper looks like it is a fibreglass copy. At least, it is sprayed, not chromed.
  • Front grille not original but original lower trims present (these are not easy to replace if lost).
  • Bonnet shutline looks a bit crooked (edge nearest the windscreen).
  • Boot panels, carpet and soundproofing missing. Where is the jack? It has a pin that locates in the jacking points under the sill.

[pedantic mode off]

Check the safety critical things first: Trunnions (and lubricate), brakes.
Check the sill strengtheners by looking in the jacking holes. Poke with a screwdriver - if any rust or weakness found, replace (and do not use the jack). Once you get it home, remove rear wheels and sill cover and inspect the whole length of the strengtheners for rust.
Check suspension bushes (assume they all need replacing).
Check upper ball joints and steering joints / rack for play.
Check and adjust handbrake.

Once you have made the car safe, then look to the engine, interior, etc.

(Assuming you want to perform a "rolling restoration". If you're going to do it properly - body off - then approach it in any order you like.)
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PostPost by: baloo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:25 am

stugilmour wrote:I agree. Nicely bought. Should leave some room in the budget for a few needs.

Here are a couple of pictures to show the basic difference between the Spyder space frame and the stock Lotus folded sheet metal version. I just ripped them from the interweb to illustrate.

When you get the car home make sure you examine the rocker beams. There are easily removed sheet metal panels in each wheel well that can be removed to see the steel rails. They may have been replaced with the new frame, but check their integrity first before using the stock jacking points. These beams are a feature of the Plus 2; the Elan is a bit different.

Welcome aboard. That is a very nice project!

Stu



STU,
Great info.
If I am understanding correctly, this sounds like the replacement is a common occurrence?
Have never run into something like this, where a frame is commonly replaced.
When I searched this forum, I saw a comment about water getting into the tops of struts (?? might have misread this) and thus causing the need to replace the chassis?? Something seemed very wrong with this -- or with my understanding of what was being explained.
Any idea what I was reading (or thought I read)?
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PostPost by: baloo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:39 am

JonB wrote:It looks OK to me although I can't comment on value for money as it is in the US (different market to the UK, and the car is more rare). Is it legally driveable? In other words, "road worthy"?

Things I spotted:

[pedantic mode on]

[list]

Once you have made the car safe, then look to the engine, interior, etc.

(Assuming you want to perform a "rolling restoration". If you're going to do it properly - body off - then approach it in any order you like.)


JonB,
WOW!
Incredible eye, but definitely an analysis that any buyerwould want; did not expect such thoroughness, and only from seller-chosen pix!
Yes, "rolling restoration" -- although all my projects now seems to somehow devolve into immobile, on the rack, garage-bound projects, a result of the usual "while-I-was-there" OCD tendency to correct a problem when I see it.

BTW, I'd have to say you have been a lifelong owner of Loti? .. or a Lotus mechanic? ...or written a book on L's?
???

Thank you.
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