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Lotus Elan (1962 - 1973)

Last updated 19 November 2014

 
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Buying Guide

Bodywork

  • Looks for cracks or splits on the glassfibre body.
  • Small patches can be repaired.
  • If the whole body is in poor condition you may need a replacement bodyshell.
  • The bodyshell can be lifted off the chassis but this is very expensive.
  • If the car has recently been resprayed, check for paint blisters.
  • This is caused when there is moisture in the glassfibre – the car wasn’t dry before it was painted.

Chassis

  • The chassis on an Elan/Plus 2 is changeable.
  • An original chassis can be repaired, but it might be better to replace it.
  • Replacement chassis are often galvanised.
  • Spyder Engineering offers replacement chassis, which address the original’s weak points.
  • Check for rust on the suspension turrets – this is where muck gets stuck.

Engine

  • The Lotus twin cam is based on a Ford 1500 block (pre cross-flow) with a special Lotus twin cam head.
  • Leaking and burning a bit of oil isn’t uncommon.
  • The engine’s weak spot is the water pump – look for leaks at the front of the engine.
  • Replacing the water pump means removing the head.
  • Most parts for the engine are available, but the aluminium heads are getting scarce now.
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