Lotus Elan

new member wants dhc project

PostPost by: Elanconvert » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:18 pm

Hello guys
After half a lifetime messing about with cars, mostly Ginettas, I'm now looking for an Elan dhc to enjoy our summers [ :lol: !!!!!!]
Financial constraints mean I may have to go for a basket case or renovation project, so also looking for advice!
For example, there's a shell with VIN plate on ebay at the moment for £3250 ........ too much of a challenge for a an elan novice?
thanks in advance!
Fred
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PostPost by: jcocking » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:34 pm

Welcome to LotusElan.net.

It really depends on your level of restoration experience, time and patience.

jeff
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:47 pm

Welcome Fred! Ginettas are fine cars, I wouldn't mind a G4 :D They're sort of like an aerodynamic Lotus 7 :lol:

You might have better luck looking for an Elan project in the States, a lot of UK cars were exported there in the 70's and 80's, they were spared winter salt, I've re-imported three cars from the US, happy to offer advice if you need it.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:30 pm

it looks like yr budget may not be sufficient: BUT if in the contrary there´s some nice Elan alternatives
made by ginetta: they even share the same engines. ---------- quicker, lighter, less common, more expensive,
real racing material! -------------- so if i could, i´d keep my ginetta (not those new ones) sandy
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PostPost by: AHM » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:13 pm

Welcome Fred.

I'm all for basket cases but start with the right one for your circumstances.

If you happen to have a lifetime's collection of parts then a shell with an Identity may be just what you need. If not you will soon get to £10k, and may as well have bought a rough runner.

Make sure you know the value of the expensive bits - seats, door frames, rear brakes £600 including rebuild, an engine is going to cost you at least 3-4k including rebuilding it yourself.

There is an active spare parts market and everything is gettable so look for the bargains. There is also a complete range of opinions on here from get your cheque book out to it'll go again. Your experience and judgement is equally valid here.

Mechanically quite simple with a few quirks, chassis and suspension are a little 'light' so check for damage, similarly bodywork is 'light' and time consuming to repair.

You won't regret it if you buy the right one!
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:45 am

Many thanks for the welcome and the advice, guys.....much appreciated!
I would say I have 'moderate' experience [as a hobby, not a profession!] in restoration of 'steel chassis/fibreglass body' creations....G4 has a tubular chassis with f/glass tub bonded on.... G15 has ladder frame with separate body bolted on.
One thing I'm a bit confused about is the differences between Elan series 1, 2, 3 and 4. 1 and 2 cars seem to be more valuable... why? Are all parts interchangeable between the series?
Thanks
Fred
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

1970 S4 dhc big valve
1973 Ginetta G15
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1959 lotus elite type 14
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:49 pm

The difference in pricing the of the S1 / S2 from the S3 and S4/Sprint is that the earlier cars are eligible for the pre-65 racing, the others are not. An ID for an S1/S2 can sell for £5k plus, and early project cars tend to be a lot more expensive. Restored cars tend to be a similar price, all things being equal, as nobody would pull a restored S1/S2 apart to race.

The differences between the S1/S2 and the rest is mainly around the bodyshell and fittings. The rolling chassis is very similar (with some 'upgraded' but interchangable bits) as are the engines and gearboxes, with the main difference in the gearbox being a close ratio (and very tall first gear) in the early cars.

The bodyshells are quite different, with the obvious differences being the doors which have no frames for the glass in the early cars, and the boot which extends to the end of the bodywork with the later cars. The hood is a construction job with the early cars and a pull-over job with the later cars (or no hood for a Coupe, the Type 36).

The cars with the window frames have electric windows, whilst the cars without have a push-up / fall down window (the mechanism is from a London cab!)

Early cars have a bolt-on windscreen surround, whilst the later cars have the surround bonded in.

Many detail changes in the seats, dash, instruments, centre console etc. which means that there isn't too much in the way of inter-changeability there.

The detail differences would fill a book, and indeed do. Look out for 'The original 1962 - 1973 Elan' by Ross and Robinshaw....that will sort you out!

All in all, they are very different cars, yet at first glance look very similar

Mark
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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:45 pm

The main thing is; only buy a car, in whatever condition, that is complete. If there are any bits missing, they`ll be the ones you can`t get or are so rare they`re very expensive. These days, in the UK, a complete car even in hopeless condition is worth at least £7k, nearer £9k.
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Thanks Mark....i'll have a look for the book....
and I'll take your advice Jim.....My finances could change a bit for the better soon [selling a t2 vw camper] so maybe I could stretch to 'runner' ......there's one for sale at the mo for £18000.....apparently unrestored and original, which I like the sound of, even 'original chassis' ...is that good or bad?
Is there 'an elan buyer's guide' on this site somewhere or published?? or do I just pester you chaps until you get fed up with me??
thanks
Fred
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

1970 S4 dhc big valve
1973 Ginetta G15
1967 Ginetta G4 [sadly now sold]
1959 lotus elite type 14
Elanconvert
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Location: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom

PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:10 am

Hi Fred
Im new to forum too. I spent quite a while and looked at several cars and have previously owned Elans. At the moment you should be able to get a runner with a replacement chassis, probably done badly in 1980-90s for less than £18k, certainly around £14-15k. As above, non runners, failed restorations for less. Obviously big potential costs in body and engine so choose carefully. The advice about complete cars is important especially if the car is an S3/4 with missing door frames (there was one recently that I looked at) as these are rare items.

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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:20 pm

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:13 pm

But beware of Frauds, we have a thread for that on this forum. Try a search.
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:31 pm

Again, thanks for the advice, guys.
Yes I have seen the swansea 'barn find' what should it be worth? if it's done 66000, then engine would probably need rebuilding? original chassis need replacing?
Fred
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

1970 S4 dhc big valve
1973 Ginetta G15
1967 Ginetta G4 [sadly now sold]
1959 lotus elite type 14
Elanconvert
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 425
Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Location: Sunny Devon, United Kingdom

PostPost by: mbell » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:04 pm

The chassis could well be fine, just depends how it has been looked after and how dry the storage was. The only way to know is to take a look or pay someone to take a look.

I am currently stripping the old paint from my original chassis (1973 car) to give it a coat of POR 15. I haven't found anything but some surface rust. My car has been in storage for 20+ years, since it left the UK.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:14 am

mbell wrote:The chassis could well be fine, just depends how it has been looked after and how dry the storage was. The only way to know is to take a look or pay someone to take a look.

I am currently stripping the old paint from my original chassis (1973 car) to give it a coat of POR 15. I haven't found anything but some surface rust. My car has been in storage for 20+ years, since it left the UK.


Remember to test the lower part of the front turrets, they rust from the inside out, they can look perfect yet be as thin as paper.
Bill Williams

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