The original Lotus Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster and later a coupe version in 1965. It was the first Lotus Road car to use the now-famous steel backbone chassis with a fiberglass body. The Elan was technologically advanced, with a twin-cam 1,558-cc , 108 horsepower engine with cast aluminium cylinder head, twin Weber carburettors, four-wheel disc brakes and four-wheel independent suspension. An Elan 2+2, called the Plus 2, was introduced in 1967 with a longer wheelbase and two rear seats. It was originally advertised as 'for the discerning motorist who requires the renowned Lotus road holding and performance coupled to an attractive two plus two body'. Additionally, an estimated total of only 17,000 original Elans and Plus 2s were built in the world.
On offer here is a unique Elan Plus 2, significantly upgraded and improved and now offering a driving experience like no other. This presentable example is finished in red with a black leather interior and is an older restoration showing a mere 70,321 miles on the odometer. Fitted with a replacement Spyder chassis and engine by Vegantune, this Elan is reported to be in good driving condition and a rare find.
The Lotus Elan +2 entered production in 1967 and was so thoroughly revised, it was almost a distinct car from the original Elan. The Elan +2, as its name suggests, was a 2+2 coupe with a lengthened wheelbase, reinforced sills, widened track, and larger dimensions all around. Making for a more practical and luxurious Elan, these changes added a few hundred pounds of weight, but the Elan +2 still tipped the scales at just 2,000 pounds.
While the Elan was a two-seater sports car marketed to the single man/woman or young couple, this +2 was larger and considerably more luxurious vehicle marketed to the established family with children. Reviews reflected this new marketplace for Lotus. Motor Sport magazine reported the design goal as "must be capable of transporting two adults and two children, 1,000 miles in comfort with their luggage"
This particular Lotus Elan +2 is a great classic British sports car in sound mechanical order. It is equipped with a 130bhp 1558c Vegantune engine and five-speed manual transmission. The car has been owned, restored, and upgraded by its long-term owner who has now decided to part ways with an old friend.
Ready to be enjoyed by a new custodian, this Elan comes complete with a history file detailing previous maintenance work, MOT test certificates and the current UK V5 registration document. The car is both MOT and Tax exempt and comes with a bookbinder crammed full of invoices, receipts, photos, original green buff book, original Service Voucher Booklet, original Owner`s Handbook and lots more. Extensive documentation courtesy of the owner demonstrates how no expense was spared to ensure this is one of the best driving examples of its kind.
Overall, this car looks like a treat - with the exterior complementing an interior trimmed in Leatherette upholstery and in good condition with expected wear. The interior is well maintained with both seats, door cards, and dashboard all in fine fettle. The fascia wood dashboard pairs nicely with its dials giving it classy and vintage look. The seller has advised us that the interior trim does have some cracks though.
Unique to this model is the Colin Chapman engraved steering wheel and the much nicer period toggle dash switches as opposed to the later style, a more modern rocker example. The remainder of the interior appears to be largely correct and in fair condition.
The red paint job done on it makes it look quite sublime, making anyone fall in love with the car on the spot, and remains in good condition till date, although it does show some blemishes, as expected. Additionally, fresh tires have been mounted on the steel wheels and although still solid and presentable, this historic car is by no means a show winner and the new owner may want to improve depending on standards.
Speaking of performance, a highlight of this Elan is under the bonnet in the form of a special Sports engine upgraded by the incredibly well renowned engine rebuild specialist - Vegantune of Spalding. This is verified by both the very desirable, coveted, and expensive Vegantune cam covers (with the attached name plate), and by the enclosed Vegantune receipts.
Additionally, this Lotus has had a new Spyder chassis installed along with new rear Tony Thompson Racing shock absorbers. The car drives with no known faults but due to long term storage the owner would suggest a good going over before any road use.
Overall, this Lotus Elan +2 is arguably one of the best sorted and finest examples on the market. It is a beautifully presented classic sports car, which benefits from an extensive restoration that was completed with a ‘no expense spared’ approach. These sports cars are very popular and were ranked number six on Sports Car International’s list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The new custodian of the vehicle is definitely in for a treat.
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