Lotus Elan

New and clueless!

PostPost by: Rolexroz » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Today I bought, but have yet to pick up a Lotus Elan +2, which is F registered making it either a 1968 or perhaps 1969 model. I have yet to see the V5 to confirm the exact date of registration.

It is a beautiful shade of green, photos of which will be attached as soon as I get her.

I bought it from the current owner who has owned it for about 25 years, again need to check the V5, it has been kept in a heated and particularly dry garage during this time. He assured me that it had never seen rain and had certainly never been subjected to any winter conditions. Apparently the exhaust is the same one as was in place when he bought the car. It seems that it has not been used on the public roads for more than 13 years.

He had bought it from a John Cooper ( I asked if it was THE John Cooper, but he did not know.) and since then has driven less than 5000 miles. I could hardly believe this until he showed me his other cars, a new Mercedes ML, a Lotus Elise which he has owned from new in 2002 and which has done only a few thousand miles, a new Fiesta and an old van which is used as a daily runaround. He then showed me documentation to prove that during the time he has had the Elan he also owned various TVR's, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and a string of classic sports cars.

He went on to show me that the Elan had been sent back to Lotus for a new chassis and that it had been resprayed green at the same time. It had apparently been black prior to this.

It is not without it's imperfections as it lacks a drivers side ashtray, the headlining is looking a little tired and the windscreen washers are as good as useless (I have no idea how it will do in an MOT test without them!!!!!) and the handbrake is a joke. (MOT again, aaaarrrggghhh!)

However for me the crowning glory is that it has a bit of, unofficial, history with it.......

The car is located in the Scottish Borders and was tended to by none other than the mechanics to the "Border Reiver's." In other words, the same team of mechanics who assisted Jim Clark in his early racing and rallying in the Mk1 Lotus-Ford Cortina in the early to mid sixties. Even better the steering wheel has the horn push from Jim Clarks rallying Cortina which he destroyed whilst trying harder than was perhaps prudent.

Whist I realise that vendors try hard to push their products and invent stories to help them on their way, I believe that this seller is 100% genuine.

I found this car tucked away in a garage when the doors were left ajar as other vehicles were being removed. The owner was not inclined to sell initially and it has taken me a considerable time to get him to part with the Elan on the proviso that I will use her and not allow her to become a museum piece.

I have since seen his private "Museum" which is a room approximately 15m x 5M and is packed with Photographs, paintings, race suits, autographs, letters and articles from many Grand Prix stars, including Clark, Senna, Mansell, Coulthard, Schumacher, Vettel etc etc.

In short I genuinely believe that I have got an Elan which has an honest and interesting history and which will give me many years of exciting motoring.

I cannot wait to get her out on the road and use her as Colin Chapman intended, competing in a motorsport event.

It has Dunlop knock on wheels, are these the correct wheels for that period and if not then what type of wheels should it have?

Thanks for reading thus far.....................now the begging part, has anyone got an ashtray for a Lotus Elan or a Ford Corsair, as I think they are the same. I could also use a back bumper if it is in perfect condition too, thanks.


Rod
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:07 pm

Welcome...

The jets of the washers seem to clog up when the car is in storage.
use one strand from a multistrand copper electric cable to clear it or preferably a bit of stainless wire of that sort of diameter.Such wire is used as binding wire for securing brake bolts.

We discussed how to best setup the handbrakes on the forum recently do a search.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:37 am

Congratulations - look forward to seeing the pics.

Sounds like quite a find, but be cautious of cars that have had minimal use - rubber items & hydraulic systems still degrade even when the car is not used on the road. In other words, don't be surprised if things start cropping up once you start using it regularly.

Welcome to the forum !!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:06 pm

That sounds like an interesting car, Rod, and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun restoring her back to former glory.

I like the story of the hornpush. Jim Clark crashed his Lotus Cortina, NVW241C, at Loch Achray so the location is right. I have some picturess of the car before and after the crash in this section:

http://www.lotuscortinainfo.com/?page_id=1361

subsection 'Mk 1 Rally Cars'.

There are rumours that the car wasn't scrapped but lives in a garage in Hertfordshire, still in its crashed state. If true and he ever gets around to restoring it, he'll be after your / his hornpush!

Totally agree with Richard's comments about rubber bits and especially the hydraulics. I've had a couple of brake failures recently, as have a couple of mates, all down to master cylinders failing just when you don't want them to!
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:51 pm

Salut Rod

Sounds like a great find and welcome to the forum.

As the others have said find out about the attention it has received - and if in doubt get the braking system checked if you're not confident to do it yourself - that's got to be the number one priority. Number two would be the rubber rotoflexes and then all things rubber which can be changed for longer-lasting polyurethane. You'll know if the hydraulic clutch needs seeing to :)

Don't forget to show us some photos.

Have fun!

@+

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