Buying a Lotus Elan

Buying a Lotus Elan? Here is one classic car enthusiast’s experience of buying the +2S version …

The moral of this tale is that if you are intending buying a Lotus Elan, make sure you check it thoroughly before parting with your hard earned cash.

In an earlier article I wrote about owning a Lotus Elan S4 SE, a lovely bright yellow convertible, a joy to drive, a most terrible soft top to put up and down but glorious fun. Running costs though for someone in his 20s were a trifle high though.

When I came to sell it, I sold it for slightly higher to a business woman who owned an MGB convertible, but, oh dear oh dear, it was painted Khaki green. Worse still, awful woman, she had ‘sunshine’ sprayed white, I ask you, I almost wept every time I saw ‘my’ Lotus Elan afterwards.

I moved from my Lotus Elan to a yellow Triumph GT6 which was fine until the first time I drove it in the rain, it had to go, it was truly frightening, then I settled for a time on a highland purple Reliant Scimitar, in time descending into the realms of an Austin Maxi or 2. (I had a caravan, I agree, what sort of excuse is that!).

After little thought and much excitement I decided the time had come for buying a Lotus Elan again, but this time it would be the ‘business man’s express’. I scoured Exchange & Mart for a Lotus Elan + 2S.

Up in Cambridgeshire I found what seemed a good one at the right price, it was a red Lotus Elan + 2S with most things working and a good sunroof. He drove it, I drove it, loved all the dials, decided my golden retriever would fit in the back and struck a deal.

The following weekend I went to collect it and drove back to Kent. However something was not right. It needed checking.

When I had the convertible Lotus Elan I had met someone who could do paint work, yes I had reversed into a rock and he had repaired the fiberglass crack and done the re-spray. I went to him, his name was Rudi, an American, he and his family had come to England to escape the Vietnam War call ups. He had actually trained as a concert pianist and to hear him play jazz (I can’t stand jazz) was wonderful. I digress.

He looked the car over and told me my judgement was useless, the car was a pig, I was lucky to be alive, the steering, the brakes, ‘the doughnuts’ (put on the wrong way round) were all disasters waiting to happen. My Lotus Elan was a ghost maker.

I had my suspicions, my then girlfriend nearly killed me too when I told her, she insisted that I get rid of it. Am I a man or a mouse? Transpires I’m a mouse. I got Rudi to fix it up, but this particular Lotus Elan + 2S was never going to be a good ‘un, so I sold it. I didn’t feel good about it, but by golly I was glad the damn thing started first time when the new owner came to drive it away.

Davidsway. Cars are my thing. Please check out

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