1968 Lotus Elan 2+2

Please note the passenger side is not dented and it's only a reflection that is causing the illusion of a dent


• Recent comprehensive restoration completed in 2015
• Stunning condition throughout
• Low mileage original rebuilt engine
• Matching numbers car

The Background

The Lotus Elan was conceived by Colin Chapman with the aim of combining the very best features of the Elan Coupe with the ability to carry two adults and two children in reliable comfort.

It utilised a backbone chassis and one-piece fibreglass body for ultimate lightness, and was powered by a Ford UK-derived 1.6-litre engine with a twin cam head, known as the “Lotus Twin Cam” engine. The rev-happy nature and spritely performance certainly fits well with the other virtues of the Elan +2 in terms of excellent steering and handling.

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The History

This particular car was acquired from a Lotus Club member as a project by the vendor’s late father in 2011, who was a classic car restorer by trade. All of the engine work had been completed prior to purchase but the car required repainting and reassembling. 

As his personal car, he would spend the next four years lovingly restoring this fantastic example of an Elan +2 to its current superbly high standard. When finished, it was rolled out on sunny days for classic car shows and for an enjoyable drive.

The actual mileage isn’t documented but it has covered around 8,000 miles since being fully restored.

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The Paperwork

Paperwork documenting the car’s restoration is extensive, with receipts for virtually every single new part that was fitted during that time and photographs showcasing the various steps along the way. 

There are several invoices which detail the rebuild work that was done to the engine in the 1990s, including the fitting of new pistons, cylinder reboring and reground crank.

Included in the sale is a full workshop manual for the Elan+2, perfect for enthusiast owners who enjoy tinkering with cars themselves. The most recent log book is also present.

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The Interior

The inside is absolutely immaculate, with an unmarked wooden dashboard playing host to some beautiful Smiths gauges, all of which are original to the car and function correctly, including the electric windows which operate smoothly. Even the original Motorola radio and electric aerial work, but obviously it can’t tune into any modern stations.

Inside it has been treated to new carpets and a new headlining, while the black vinyl front and rear seats, steering wheel, gear lever, door cards and the rest of the trim is in pristine condition with no visible signs of wear.


The Exterior

Though originally grey, it was red upon acquisition. During the restoration, the body was thoroughly repaired by a fibreglass specialist who repainted it in a glorious shade of metallic grey, a Jaguar colour that was the closest match to original as could be found. 

As demonstrated in the photographs, the paintwork is therefore in near faultless condition, with only a couple of tiny blemishes; near the fuel filler cap and near one of the headlights. The seller notes that the wheel embellishes would benefit from being re-chromed to match the mint condition paintwork but are perfectly presentable in their current state. All of the exterior glass is unmarked.

The pop-up headlights have been sympathetically upgraded to a reliable Mk1 MX-5-based electronic raising and lowering mechanism, which avoids the very common issue of vacuum leaks with the original Lotus system. They work as they should with the original switch inside the cockpit.

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The Mechanics

The 1558cc Lotus Twin Cam engine had had a lot of work in the 1990s but was never installed until the most recent owner acquired it. The block was rebored, crank reground and new pistons were fitted, all of which is documented by receipts. It runs perfectly and sounds fantastic on full throttle, pulling strongly through all four manual gears.

The Ford-derived gearbox is in excellent working order too, feeling slick through the changes without making any untoward noises whatsoever.

During the restoration process, all mechanical components were either reconditioned or had brand-new parts fitted including suspension bushes, brake discs and pads, axles and wheel bearings. The rubber “donuts” on the rear axle were also replaced, resulting in a compliant ride.

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The Appeal

This is a stunning example of a rare Lotus Elan +2 Coupe, one that has been lovingly restored to a very high standard and cherished ever since. 

The fact that it runs and drives as good as it looks is testament to the years of painstaking care and attention afforded to this beautiful car by the previous owner, who was a regional Lotus Club Chairman and poured his heart and soul into bringing it back to life.

The new owner will therefore enjoy the fruits of this labour of love with a totally mechanically and cosmetically sorted classic car that will serve as a charming companion for years to come. 

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1968
  • Make Lotus
  • Model Elan 2+2
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 28,676 Miles
  • Engine size 1558
  • Location Lincolnshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
25 bids
  • Ma•••• £21,000 26/11/21
  • sa•••• £20,750 26/11/21
  • Ma•••• £20,500 26/11/21
  • sa•••• £20,250 26/11/21
  • Ma•••• £20,000 26/11/21
  • al•••• £19,750 26/11/21
  • Ma•••• £19,500 26/11/21
  • sa•••• £19,250 26/11/21
  • Ma•••• £19,000 26/11/21
  • ma•••• £18,000 26/11/21

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