Lotus Elan

Hello To All

PostPost by: Lester Burnham » Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:59 pm

Just saying hello, I am after a fun 4 seater (I already have an Esprit) and casually looking around for a plus 2. I like the Elites also (4 seaters) due to childhood memories of a neighbours car, but I may be letting nostalgia cloud my judgement, and besides the missus adores the Elan, so there you go!

Any really nice cars for sale that could handle a couple of days commuting and a day trip per week?
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PostPost by: hat » Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:13 am

Welcome,

Have you kept an eye on ebay, there are usually one or two plus 2's listed. Be careful of the pics though and always see the car in the flesh. I looked at a couple before I got mine and oh boy what a shock compared to the pic.

Good luck and make sure you dont let the other half down.

Graeme
"lets look on it as an investment darling. One day it will..................................."
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PostPost by: Lester Burnham » Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:32 am

We saw one last weekend, like you say pics don't really convey much. It was quite nice, had some nice touches like original Lotus rear belts, but looked obviously like a respray, and needed a bit of titivating all round. Obviously not the end of the world, but you then factor in these costs to the purchase price and find yourself at a disadvantage to those bidding who are blissfully unaware!

I missed that Pistachio green one that was for sale there last week, couldn't believe I actually hit the "bid" button, I usually tremble spending ?20 on a model car! :D Still look wistfully at the pics, but what if I had pushed the boat out and find it needed something drastic? I don't think I would hand the cash over if I actually went down to see an Ebay car and thought it had been misrepresented, or a really not worth the money.

The search continues!
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:13 am

Yes, definitely see the car in person. Almost all but the worst paint job seems to look spectacular in a web browser.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:53 am

Mark,

Good resprays are expensive.. beware of people who say 'totally rebuilt, ?4k spent". A total rebuild usually costs more than the car is worth, but there again that's not why we do it . It's usually financially better to buy the best car you can than opt for a rough one and rebuild it yourself, unless you like the challange of working on cars yourself or if you have unlimited funds.

With Elans it's the chassis which needs looking at more than the body. The paintwork can look fantastic but if the chassis is damaged/rusted then that's a major expense. Most Elans should have had a replacement chassis by now. I remeber being shown a baby Elan which had had a 'minor' accident. The rear wing had a smallish crack in it and it did not look to serious. Underneath the rear suspension mounts had been completely twisted on the chassis and the petrol tank had a massive dent in it showing the real extent of the damage. The body had just pushed in and then popped back out hiding the real damage..

(If you want a +2 as an everyday car have a look at the Spyder Zetec conversion at <a href='http://www.spydercars.co.uk/ford_zetec.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.spydercars.co.uk/ford_zetec.htm</a>

Carl :)
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PostPost by: richardhallett99 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:31 pm

Mark,

Sorry to drift off your subject slightly - I have just looked at the Zetec Conversion and it really does look fantastic - I am sure that the performance matches the looks.

As far as using the car as an ever day runner I would argue that it is perfectly possible on an original Plus 2. I have been doing exactly that (despite also owning a new A4 Avant) since October. It really is the best way to get to work - you can be sure that regardless of the traffic you will always get out of the car with a smile on your face.

On buying the car I made a couple of modifications (well, paid to have them done)namely a Battery master switch to isolate the electrics in an emergency, a fan override switch to cool the engine as soon as I hit traffic and I also fitted a fire extinguisher. This was all probably unneccesary and naturally has not been required yet. A bit of reassurance to the wife goes a long way.

My Plus 2 receives a lot of TLC and lives in the garage. In return it has started first time every time (once I got used to how to start it!) and has been .

Best of luck on finding a decent one. I concur with Carl - it is well worth spending as much as you can afford on a decent one than have a nightmare on repair bills.

Rich
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PostPost by: berni29 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:17 pm

Hi There

I used to run a plus 2 as an everyday driver for 8 years. In that time it broke down one, or twice if you count the brakes binding on, which I suppose I should do! I always drove with a bleed nipple spanner in the car after that.

My modifications were an electric fan with a temperature switch and a thermostat which did not open till a higher than normal temperature. Can't remember what the temp was. And a petrol powered engine pre heater. I had the engine cut off switch up under the dash as a security device. It was one of those big switches with the red key that splices into the main +ve battery cable. Also a really powerful battery for those times whan a good cranking is required. And to cope with the pre heater.

Good luck

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PostPost by: Lester Burnham » Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:10 am

Thanks everyone.
I was glad we had a look at the red one, at least to put my mind at rest over the ease at which my missus could drive one (she struggles with the herculean clutch on my Esprit) but I needn't have worried as she loved it. Is there a particular point to look out for on the chassis, and is it possible to check it casually? I am aware that on the brief "ebay" period it is not always possible to arrange an inspection.

This is all bringing back memories of my childhood where a guy down the road had a yellow elan. Whilst my dad was begrudgingly washing his VW this bloke would have the body off sitting on the lawn while he worked on the chassis in the drive!
This was all back in the day where Lotus drivers wore bri-nylon Texaco rally jackets and sported Jason Wyngarde 'taches, and I must say its great to see so many of them at events like Donington looking exactly the same but with grey hair! :D
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PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:01 pm

The bottom of the front suspension towers corrode from the inside, especially if the drain holes are allowed to block up. If it's been plated I would suggest keeping away from the car.
Club Lotus used to do a small buyers guide by Graham Arnold, it might be worth seeing if it's still available.

Carl
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