Lotus Elan

Elan +2

PostPost by: karlmacker » Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:07 pm

I am a very new member to this forum and I would just like to say how impressed I am with it. Well the reason I was led to this site is taht I have always had an interest in classic cars and was at one point about to purchase a 1967 Mustang but I thought better of it. Anyway I came across a 1968 Lotus Elan +2 for sale and I just thought it was magnificent however it just seems too good to be true even after viewing the beautey. I would like to point out that I'am not a mechanic, although if I purchase I will try and take some course or else it will be folly to buy the Elan. The thing is its runs nice from what I heard of the engine, the exterior is beautiful however the interior is a slightly bit ragged(worn away seams, electrical wires hanging down from under the steering wheel and the general smell of a lawnmower) and the asking price is shockingly good in my little experince at €6,700 which I know i can get down to €6,200 so in sterling that works out at ?4,150. I'am getting it checked out on saturday so I am on tender hooks on what to expect. Does anyone have any general advice to give me and what to look out for when getting it checked out, I would really appreciate any pointers,
cheers,
Karl
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:59 pm

Welcome aboard! From the sounds of your description, the price seems quite high if it were here in the US. Might be different in the UK. Perhaps our UK brethren can comment?
Greg Z
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:03 pm

Whoops, re-read your prices. If I understand correctly, its 6,700 dollars, which translated to 4 thousand something pounds sterling. U.S. dollars, it sounds like. Could be fair, but certainly have it checked out.
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:26 am

gjz30075, I think that is 6,700 Euros or about 7,669.76 US Dollars as of this post. My Cars of Particular Interest shows the following values for 68 - 74 Elan Plus 2, in US Dollars; Fair 3,500 Good 6,250 Excellent 11,875. So from Karl's brief description it seems to fit quite well into the Good category. The condition of the mechanicals will certainly have a bearing on the actual value. My amateur opinion (from restoring my 66 Elan myself), if the paint/body and mechanicals are in good condition the electrical and interior are much simpler to correct. Other members feel free to disagree.

Mike Geiger
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PostPost by: karlmacker » Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:11 pm

Thank you for your replies it makes a world of difference. I'am based in Ireland so the market is pretty much the same as the UK as we do not have to pay tax on any vehicle imported over 30 years of age. If the interior as such can be restored easily(the walnut dashboard looks like it needs a good polishing) then how do people feel on running these kind of cars day to day(would be in a lot of bumper to bumper traffic),is it maddness to use the elan as your number one car if you have little or no mechanical experience!!!!
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PostPost by: simonknee » Wed Sep 24, 2003 8:07 pm

Absolute maddness Karl, do it today!
I ran a plus2 everyday until it was nicked, now an S3 coupe.
I drive across London every day.

Here's (some) of what I found out...

The first year will cost you money as you fix all the things that are wrong. The S3 needed a ?3000 engine rebuild within a month. Put ?3000 for the first year of ownership. Hey if it's all OK you can have a great holiday (or keep it for a suspension overhaul).

Buy one that you are happy to drive as is. The walnut dash may be beyond polishing. A full inside refurb can set you back ??? too. but if you can live with it for now then easy to do bit by bit.

Caution - has it just had a paint job? The stunning looks may not last long. Fibreglass doesn't rust but budget paint jobs cover a multitude of cracks and blisters - not for long. If the respray is two years old and still looking good then all's well.

There will always be something wrong with the car. If the thought of this will irritate you beyond enjoyment then classic car ownership is not for you! I live for the day, just one day, when I know that everything is perfect and working as it should be.

Buy a few books, the brooklands workshop manual covers the basics and I think it has a buyers guide. Lotus Elan the Complete Story has a buyers guide hidden away in it. Both these are cheap so not much lost if you don't get the car.

Simon
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PostPost by: ssloan » Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:48 pm

I have to agree with Simon.

I bought my +2 about five years ago as a running restoration. Since then i have had an engine rebuild, new radiator, new exhaust and new drive couplings (donuts).
Last year set about the job of overhauling the brake system so as to convert to synthetic fluid, installing a new brake servo (the last one failed and started leaking fluid), braided hoses etc...
I have also stripped the interior to re-carpet, re-upholster and re-veneer the dash.

Check the condition of the fuel lines, make sure all of the electrics work -Properly!, check the condition of the sills (there are steel sections inside and the arches should be closed off at the front and rear), check the drive couplings and rear differential tie bars, check the radiator for even heat distribution (cooling is marginal and a blocked radiator can lead to an expensive engine rebuild!. - This is not a list of everything that you should check but just a few places that i have found problems.
Either buy a good one or be prepared to spend a lot of time, effort and money.

To own and run a classic Lotus (not a new Spyder Engineering lookalike), you will need to develop at least some mechanical experience and occasionally have deep pockets. Having said that i wouldn't consider changing mine for anything - One day i'll have it running as it should and then... - Oh yes happy days

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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:44 pm

Karl,

I'm in Wexford, I've got a couple of Plus 2s, one since 1985, it's pretty well sorted.

Where are you located, be interested in talking to you.

Sean Murray
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