View Full Version : How much is a 1970 Elan FHC +2 worth?

07-30-2004, 02:05 PM
It looks like I have the chance to get a 1970 Yellow Lotus Elan +2 hardtop. It seems to me like it's a good price, but I want the opinion of the "experts" around here to tell me. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Anyway, it's in good condition, kept garaged. It's the original owner that's selling it and has all the receipts and stuff. The engine was rebuilt recently. There's a few scratches in the fiberglass. It was built in October of 1969. The "VIN" number he had for it is:

50/2086 I203

Does that number mean anything important?

Anyway, I appreciate anyone looking and giving an opinion as to the rough value of the car. Obviously it's hard to say without a good inspection of the car, but I'm just looking for rough numbers in the range.



07-30-2004, 02:37 PM
Condition is very important with these cars. It's extremely important to check the condition of the frame. It's a backbone configuration made from folded sheet metal and they can rust badly. The usual trouble spots are the uprights for the front suspension, especially down near the bottom where they're welded to the main crossmember. Mud can get inside & plug the drain holes.

Working on the rear suspension is no fun on Elans so you should check its condition as well.

Pricewise, they seem to go for $9-$12000 US in very good condition. I've seen decent drivers in the $7000 range.

Some parts are hard to find (headlight switches, for example) but most aren't too bad. There are 3 or 4 major suppliers, all excellent.

The serial number is probably correct. The "50" is the Lotus type number and is usually followed by a 4 digit number.

It's amazing that the original owner still has it - probably a point in its favor.

Can you drive it? You can tell a lot about an Elan simply by driving it.

Good luck on your decision.

07-30-2004, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the information. I appreciate knowing what to look for when I check it out.

How hard is body work to perform on the fiberglass shell? Is it easier than a metal body?

07-30-2004, 04:54 PM
...How hard is body work to perform on the fiberglass shell? Is it easier than a metal body?

[/ QUOTE ]

I wouldn't say it's easier overall and figure they're about the same. Others might disagree. Obviously you'll use different materials and tools.

One advantage of fiberglass is that you won't find rust in some hard-to-reach spot. One disadvantage is inability to use the bodywork as a ground - plastic bodied cars always seem to have more electrical problems that metal ones.

Fiberglass can be frustrating in older cars if you feel you need to fix every little spider crack. Elans are likely to have them at hinge mounting points (like the truck lid) and a few other stress points. They're pretty harmless.

Bruce Bowker
07-31-2004, 08:15 AM
Not to disagrree with John but I find fiberglass far easier than working with metal. Much mnore forgiving - sand and fill.

With minimal practice you can easily find the proper mixture of the resin and hardener so it does not set too fast or too slow. It is messy though. You need rubber gloves and a few throw away paint brushes to apply the resin and press the material in place. Plus empty cans for the resin.

Of course major repairs such as areas that require strength and precision such as door hinges need more care.

Obviously when sanding or lightly grinding down the newly fixed area a face mask is needed. With fiberglass you can bulid up an area and then take it down to correct level. The initial application does not have to be so exact.

08-01-2004, 11:19 AM
Can anyone send me some links to a few of the good Lotus parts suppliers?


08-01-2004, 02:54 PM
Three I've used are:




Don Tingle is in MA, Ray D is in PA, and Dave Bean is in CA.
No single one is always cheaper. All are reputable and quick shippers. All know the cars inside & out.

08-02-2004, 05:07 PM
Just a curiosity -- do all of the Elan +2 cars have the "Colin Chapman" signature on the steering wheel? Was that "standard"?

08-03-2004, 10:56 AM
...do all of the Elan +2 cars have the "Colin Chapman" signature on the steering wheel? Was that "standard"?

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't know when they started using them but the signature wheels were on most, of not all, later Elans.

Super 7
08-10-2004, 10:16 PM
I really really like +2's and have owned them. They are worth very little, half of what a regular elan roadster goes for or less.

My last one was a very pretty Elan +2 S-130 which I sold to Chris Beebe for $5500.00. He drove it from Oregon home to Wisconsin. That was a very good price (for the buyer) but $7500 should buy a very pretty mechanically sound car in ready to drive condition. Unfortunately, they are just as expensive to restore as a roadster, so you can get financially upside down in a hurry if there are a lot of "needs". I could put 4 autocross tires in the trunk with a floor jack and a too box to go autocrossing in mine. (with the trunk floor and spare tire removed).

They are so pretty, and so nice to drive. I think prettier than a roadster. Mine weighed 1800 pounds and change at the local truck scale.

I use JAE in Goleta Cal. for parts as well as those others, and Sports Car World in Texas, have used parts. They are also a hugh 1/32 scale slot car dealer. as "Slot Car World". Same place, different phone lines.

I have a few parts if you get it.

08-11-2004, 11:57 AM
As an aside to your original question, the +2 FHC is a much more competent Grant Tourer than its convertible sister. Boot space is much greater, and it is a little less "frantic". In fact, my latest issue of Classic & Sportscar (in the "Our Classics" section) says this, and I quote: "the +2 is one of the most underrated sportscars out there".

08-11-2004, 01:40 PM
Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback. I did obtain the car and can't argue that it is a beautiful car. I've already made dozens of enemies because "I have" and they "have not". /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

I'm not sure of all the parts I might be interested in yet, but I'll take you up on that offer (Super 7). It'll be a while before I get it ready to take out on the road, but I'm excited as ever.

The only downside is this means I'll be selling my TR7 soon. However, I can't argue that the +2 is many times cooler than the TR7 (I'm not speaking any evil about the TR7, mind you).

Super 7 -- what type of parts do you have? Just a bunch of this 'n' that? One thing I do need is the letter "S" that goes on the trunk (boot).

Thanks everyone!


08-11-2004, 03:16 PM
Wonderful news. Congratulations!!!! Okay, so now you have the car I am dying to know, if you don't mind sharing, how much you paid for the car in the end?

Super 7
08-11-2004, 04:29 PM
I've got a stripped Stromberg head, as mine had been changed over to Weber head when new, a starter solenoid, maybe a starter, definately a high torque gear reduction starter, maybe some A arms, a jack. I will check on what else when I get home this fall.

How about posting some photo's in "Reader's Rides"?

I'm also curious what you paid for it.

I think that they are badly under valued. I just love a Plus 2.

Great ventilation inside, too. I can't imagine a more refined ride in a sub 2000lb car, either.

What wheels do you have?

08-11-2004, 05:40 PM
Latest Pictures (https://unabled.com/show/cars/elan/TheClean)

Take a gander and see what you think. I'm quite excited about it and hope to enjoy many years and many miles in it. My initial plans are to get ti back up and running and taking it to car shows in "original" condition. I bought it from the original owner and have the original sales receipt from England. I'm confident that most everything about the car is original, except that he replaced the generator with an alternator (good move).


08-11-2004, 05:46 PM
Oh, and by the way, what is a gear reduction starter? I see 'em in catalogs and stuff, but don't know what good they are. Does it just slow your flywheel down when starting so you have less wear 'n' tear or something?

Thanks, and sorry for the dumb question. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Super 7
08-11-2004, 06:21 PM
It is either from Dave Bean or JAE, I don't remember. It has more torque to the flywheel and spins over better, enpecially if you have a bigger/higher compression motor.

Is there an engine in that car? I like the yellow. Some of the later cars had a silver roof, those looked kind of bad. The solid colar is much prettier.

08-11-2004, 06:22 PM
It is an early 1970 model then.......(going by the registration) registered in the city of Norwich, in the county of Norfolk. That is over on the far eastern side of England, to the east northeast of London. Sorry I can't give you the street he used to live on or his shoe size from that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif Beautiful car by the way. Good find!

Super 7
08-11-2004, 06:22 PM
It is either from Dave Bean or JAE, I don't remember. It has more torque to the flywheel and spins over better, enpecially if you have a bigger/higher compression motor.

Is there an engine in that car? I like the yellow. Some of the later cars had a silver roof, those looked kind of bad. The solid color is much prettier.

08-11-2004, 07:16 PM
Nope, there's not an engine in the car right now, which is why the front is raised a little (lack of weight). I got the full engine and all parts with the car, so my task is to put it all back together. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

It's gonna be a lot of fun and as I've said, I'm excited! I ain't never getting rid of this car!

Gotta finish my rebuild on my TR7 first though, so I can sell it and get it out of the way. All hail the mighty Lotus!

By the way, would you recommend replacing the stock camshafts with a different one (while I've got the engine accessible)? Or are they fine as they are? And if I did, would it take too much away from originality?

Thanks again! Are you guys the only other two Elan +2 owners? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Super 7
08-11-2004, 07:52 PM
Wit most Lotus, any modification which adds performance, reliability, or durability is still mostly considered a plus. +2's usually came with the most powerful stock version of the twink available, like big valve SE spec etc. I honestly don't know what is available for bolt on modifications like cams. How come the headlights are down? It should take vacuum for that on a '70. If it has not been run for a few days I would expect them to be up. I had a '67 which used vacuum to open them, but my '70 it should be the other way.

08-12-2004, 02:09 AM
The lights were actually up a bit (lack of vacuum). However, when I was moving them up and down (just to look and see how cute the car looked with 'em), a "crack" sound was heard and then they didn't quite work right anymore.

So I started looking and the bolt that holds the connecting bar between the two lights had broken off on the driver's side. So that bar is currently removed and consequently the lights are seated down and a little sunken until I get the connecting rod back in. My delay is in finding a 2 inch 1/2 20 bolt! I thought it would be easy, but noooooo.

Ah well, it's all fun and games for me. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I just got my Dave Bean Engineering catalog today and it's quite good. I'm excited (still) to get this car on the road!

08-12-2004, 11:03 AM
Great car! I've alway liked the +2 as well - Lotus for the family (if you have small children!) Good luck with the resto.

btw: your Lotus shares its windshield with my Scimitar!

08-13-2004, 12:16 PM
That Lotus has an extremely cool dashboard. I just love all those great rocker switches and gauges.

Good luck with this project, please let us know how it goes. Don't hear about too many Lotus restorations.

Super 7
08-13-2004, 03:43 PM
The earlier ones with rows of toggle switches were even cooler, in my opinion. Of course one isn't so prone to becomming impaled on a rocker switch in an accident.