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Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan Published: 3rd May 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Lotus Elan
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• GREAT TO DRIVE • PLUS 2 VALUE • WON'T GET ANY CHEAPER!

WHY BUY?

Elan remains the blueprint for the modern sports car – you only have to look at the Mazda MX-5 to confirm that.

DRIVING

Elan was the first sports car that had to be driven with fingertips rather than hauled by the scruff of the neck. Some Elan experts reckon that the larger family-sized Plus2 handles even better.

WHAT TO PAY

Plus2s are always worth less although they are soaring in value, along with the regular Elan – otherwise there’s no real variance in values across the models, apart from at the very top where S1s and S2s are worth around £5000 more over later cars. The very best Elans now cost £35,000.

GENERAL:

Standards vary so check out and drive as many as you can to set a benchmark. Despite their age and simplicity, they can be specialist to restore correctly. Has the ‘Sprint’ head been already fitted? Look for a letter N stamped by No 1 plug.

BODY AND CHASSIS

Chassis is frail and easily distorted by kerbing. Look for rust and repairs, especially around the suspension points – if suspect then a new chassis may be the best at around £4000 fitted – stiffer racing types optional. Body prone to decay and cracks. If bad, again new shells are available.

ENGINE

You can make a better one now than ever. Look for smoke and worn timing chains (is adjuster screwed right in?). Overheating can be a problem as are failed water pumps.

RUNNING GEAR

Front suspension is Triumph so look for trunnion faults, rear is Lotus so check driveshafts. Does car run straight and is a Herald steering fitted instead? Five-speed gearboxes used Austin Maxi internals which are frail and hard to source.

BEST MODEL? Sprint
WORST MODEL? S4
BUDGET BUY? Plus2
OK FOR UNLEADED? Needs additive
SPARES SITUATION? Generally good
DIY EASE? No problems
CLUB SUPPORT? Excellent
APPRECIATING ASSET? Early ones yes, for historic racing



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