Lotus Elan

new member wants dhc project

PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:05 am

okay......
malcolm...what do you mean by 'chassis replaced badly'?
as far as I can tell, most cars have had a replacement chassis by now.......how do I spot one
that's been 'not well done'?
thanks
fred
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

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PostPost by: AHM » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:22 am

Ok Fred so the general discussion was good, but before you part with any cash you need to know what you are buying.

The eBay ad here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELAN-SE ... 1e7e59f477 looks like a good honest car with a sensible description.

If you have done your background reading you should be able to tell us:

3 things that would identify this as an S4
3 things that would suggest it is an S/E
3 things that that are not original/correct and if each is considered advantageous or not.
2 things that are missing or incorrect - and therefore expensive/difficult to find.
2 things in the add wording that would cause a lot of discussion.
answers by tomorrow evening...
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:52 pm

AHM wrote:Ok Fred so the general discussion was good, but before you part with any cash you need to know what you are buying.

The eBay ad here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELAN-SE ... 1e7e59f477 looks like a good honest car with a sensible description.

If you have done your background reading you should be able to tell us:

3 things that would identify this as an S4
3 things that would suggest it is an S/E
3 things that that are not original/correct and if each is considered advantageous or not.
2 things that are missing or incorrect - and therefore expensive/difficult to find.
2 things in the add wording that would cause a lot of discussion.
answers by tomorrow evening...



Heh, heh... did you know all those things when you bought your car?

8)
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:30 pm

AHM wrote:Ok Fred so the general discussion was good, but before you part with any cash you need to know what you are buying.

The eBay ad here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELAN-SE ... 1e7e59f477 looks like a good honest car with a sensible description.

If you have done your background reading you should be able to tell us:

3 things that would identify this as an S4
3 things that would suggest it is an S/E
3 things that that are not original/correct and if each is considered advantageous or not.
2 things that are missing or incorrect - and therefore expensive/difficult to find.
2 things in the add wording that would cause a lot of discussion.
answers by tomorrow evening...


Oh dear... didn't know I had to pass an exam... [I think a detention is looming...]
So here goes..
It's got an SE badge on it! were only S4's SE's?
I would guess the carbs are incorrect - should be the dreaded strommies [as originally fitted to Ginetta G15]
Discussion might be about values £40 -£50k???? and black badge?
There you go, all guesses... 1 out of 10?! I'll do my revision in the holidays, I promise, sir...
Okay, I'll get my coat........
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
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:48 pm

0:10 I think :lol:

Badges are not a good indicator. Various badges can be fitted afterwards to confuse buyers and also S3s can be S/E too (special equipment) I think the brake servo was an SE option on S3s.

Strombergs were mostly USA (federal market). I think Webers went on for a long time on UK Elans, but later Elans may have had Dellortos. Weber carbs have a brass wingnut on top; Dellortos have a black rectangular plastic thingy (air intake for the cold start mechanism, I think)

That ebay car has a bulge for strombergs on its bonnet, but has weber carbs. but I bet Lotus may have used bulged bonnets on UK cars if they had a surplus.

S4 dashboards have rocker switched, S3 have stalked toggle switches so that dashboard is S4 type.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:26 am

Elanconvert wrote:okay......
malcolm...what do you mean by 'chassis replaced badly'?
as far as I can tell, most cars have had a replacement chassis by now.......how do I spot one
that's been 'not well done'?
thanks
fred

e.g I've seen:
Missing body to chassis fixings
Incorrect brake pipe runs
Unsupported and chafed brake and fuel pipes

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:54 am

You 'orrible lot. Give the man a break.... :-)

If I knew then what I know now about my Sprint, I would have reduced the price considerably !

The key thing - in my opinion - is to look for completeness. The vast majority of big ticket items can be got. (Chassis/body/engine block & head/carbs.). The hard items to source tend to be trim related. Even then, Lotus' form on fitting "what was on the shelf on that day" is infamous. It's a brave man who stands up and categorically states that he knows for certain that all S4s had this & all SEs had that. To paraphrase the Pirates of the Caribbean... "The code....is more of a guideline...."

If unsure would you like one of us to pop along and have a look at any car you're keen on ?
Richard
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:08 am

phew!!! thanks richard!!!!

Okay so I know nothing....however, may I be so bold as to suggest that you don't need to be able to profile the DNA of a rose in order to appreciate it's fragrance.......i.e. I'm sure I could enjoy owning/driving an elan without knowing the minutiae of differences between S3 ans S4 for example.

Richard...many thanks for your offer to inspect a car, much appreciated......however, I wouldn't want to put anyone to any trouble, unless maybe i was a bit worried about a particular car.

Fred
Last edited by Elanconvert on Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'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
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Heh, heh, Fred

We are mostly kidding, you know...

That's the great thing about this forum.

But we are also suggesting that if you find one you like, it might be an idea to ask our opinions before you hand over any dosh to the seller.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:30 pm

Fred, Richard,
You miss my point. Knowing that an S4 has square wheel arches and switches isn't minutiae - The difference is about £10k on a good car.

Richard, I agree about completeness - hence my other questions.

Weber head and carbs, and wide radiator could be considered desirable and costly upgrades.

Missing S/E side chromes and rimbelishers are hard to find. With the correct air box as well you are looking at £500.

I'll say nothing of black of black badges and 50k price tags!

I asked the questions trying to be helpful - this is straight forward stuff, not DNA profiling or brave statements and all easily searchable.

If you don't know what you are buying, how do you know what to pay? Particularly when the correct steering wheel and side repeaters could set you back a grand.

Best of luck with your search.

Bill, to answer your question I bought the first elan that I had ever seen close-up, and didn't have a clue what I was looking at!
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:47 am

AHM wrote:Bill, to answer your question I bought the first elan that I had ever seen close-up, and didn't have a clue what I was looking at!



Me too, but I did know it was a Lotus Elan and not an E-Type Jag, which was my other choice and it was March 1969 so it was a production car and it was in a car showroom.

Hmmm. The S4 was launched a year before (March 1968) so maybe I SHOULD have studied more and bought an S4... But still, I love my S3 Coupe Elan to bits. :lol:
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:34 am

Well for what it's worth, S3 wheel arches get my vote.......

Agree re the pricey steering wheels and airboxes, but repeaters? Readily available on ebay and common to XJ6 and range rovers of the era. Just picked up a couple yesterday at wreckers for a tenner. But i digress.....

What amazes me most about the elan is how little the model changed between 1961 and 1974. To say they 'got it right the first time' is an understatement! What this means to the prospective purchaser these days is that pretty much any elan that comes onto the market is somewhat equally desirable (depending on condition of course)

What i'd say to any prospective purchaser is "can you really afford a basket case?" It will cost you more in cash (and time) than a good sound runner! As i'm finding daily, as the resto bills mount up.

My two penneth

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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:42 am

well well.....AAHM.... you have no idea of the depths of my ignorance! :oops:
You say there is a difference of £10k in switches and wheel arches, but WHICH WAY ROUND??? are round arches worth £4k and toggle switches worth £1k each? or are square arches and switches the more expensive ones???
From what I can gather, with all the overlapping between S1-S4, using up parts which happened to be on the shelf at the time, etc. is there any such thing as a CORRECT elan?????
The overall variation in price, from a £7k basket case to £100k plus for a 26R, is mind boggling enough for a novice....!
My gut instinct is to go with general condition, maintenance history, sensible upgrades rather than checking trim details [what's a rimbellisher?]. To me, if it drives well, looks reasonable, and isn't too expensive, I can overlook 'incorrect' repeaters. Is that a sensible approach? I don't think I have the patience to become an 'elanorak'..........
So Robert, I think you may be right about going for a runner if I can........it will hopefully give me more driving time at least!
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
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:34 pm

I think you can ignore the 26R in your case. the R stands for racing. It is a Racing car at Racing car prices.

Fully restored Road Elans are advertised (when available) by some of the professional restorers at £29,000 -> £40,000 but they are usually immaculate and as original as possible; better than when they originally sold from Lotus. Whether they actually manage to SELL at these prices is not really known and if so they probably just go into a velvet garage in the hope that they will increase even more in value.

In My Opinion:
Good driving condition Elans are probably in the price range £12,000 -> £20,000 depending on condition, with smart well maintained ones at the top and well used ones at the bottom.

Condition will usually override which model it is but the S1 and S2 will have a price hike due to their rarity and the S4 with a price hike because it is the later model and may have more convenient modernish bits like Alternator instead of dynamo, yet still be original. Sprints are basically a hotted up S4 and have an even higher price, they are also relatively rare. So of the running cars the S3s are likely to be slightly cheaper. Coupé models are usually less expensive than open top (roadsters) because of the thrill of driving with the wind seems to attract some people. They appear to forget that it often rains in the UK. 8)

Renovation jobs price from about £6000 to £12000, with field-finds at the bottom (exposed to the elements for 20-40 years) to Barn-finds ( chicken & rat dung but basically dry) to cars which have been off-road for 5-10 years for repair/renovation through to runners in rather poor condition.
There will be a price hike for early S1,S2, Sprint for rarity and then S4 priced higher than S3, but the main pricing factor will be completeness and lack of deterioration of the main body and doors and seat frames. You will normally expect to have to replace the 'chassis' (officially a sub-frame for the DVLA) of any 'Find'. Cars with 4-inlet port heads (Weber/Dellorto) heads will generally be priced higher than those with the two-port (Stromberg) heads; but of course most of the cars in the USA are Stromberg ones.

Strombergs get more MPG but a bit less power than Weber/Dellorto cars.

Unscrupulous owners in the past may have tried to disguise an Elan as one of the slightly more valuable versions. painting S4s in Sprint colours and attaching Sprint badges and stripes is common; enthusiastic owners may have done the same, merely to feel good with no unscrupulous intent. Certain members on this forum can determine if a car is a genuine Sprint from its VIN (vehicle identification number) which is on the plate in the engine compartment on the Exhaust side.


Elan Plus 2, S130 etc are the models with two child-sized seats in the back. Basically the same car, but bigger, with many components the same as the Elan, but somehow considered less desirable and generally priced £1000 to £2000 below an equivalent Elan two-seater. I don't know much more about Plus 2s myself, so I will leave any further comment on them to the Plus 2 owners.
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:15 pm

Excellent write up Bill.

And Fred - I do like "Elanorak" - was it your invention?
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