Lotus Elan Plus 2

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August 2017

Having finished restoring the A I've had a two year break from tinkering and the urge has come upon me again. I've always loved the lines of an Elan Plus 2 so the search began to find a likely project car. I had seen one at a well known dealership to the east of Canterbury during the summer of 2016 and looking at the web site it appeared to still be for sale so I arranged to visit to have a good look to assess the condition and level of 'completeness'.

In the meantime, whilst visiting my brother, Ian,  I bumped into an old family friend, Mark. Mark and I began chatting and he related how he'd followed the build thread of the A and he asked what my next project would be. I told him I was on the hunt for a Plus 2 and he mentioned that he had one. I knew this already and said so.  He then corrected me by saying that he has a Plus 2 on the road BUT, he also has a spare one as well! Who just happens to have a spare Plus 2 lying around?

To cut a long story short, he would be prepared to sell me the spare if I wanted to restore it. Result!

When he got home he took photos of the car and sent them to me. The car is a genuine barn find, it's been in a dry, well aired barn for about 10 years.

As I'd already arranged to look at the Canterbury car I did the visit and inspected it thoroughly and assessed what was there and what was missing. I took loads of photos and when I got home I studied them carefully and made notes. This was my first chance to thoroughly examine a Plus 2 up close.

I compared the photos with Marks spare car and concluded that the only way to decide was to visit Marks car too. 

I booked a day to drive to North Devon and back, allowed a few hours to go over the car and then an hour or so for lunch with Mark. John came with me and we decided to make a weekend of it and pay a visit to the Haynes motor museum and the Fleet Air Arm museum on the way home.

Having looked at both cars carefully I decided that Marks car was the better bet although it has some fairly major parts missing. Crucially, it has all of the impossible/difficult to get pieces of trim whereas the Canterbury car was more complete but had none of the impossible/difficult to get pieces of trim.

In essence the choice boiled down to either the Canterbury car or the Devon car.

1968 Plus 2       
Very complete    
NO rear seat base 
NO chrome body trims  
NO body vents   
Matching numbers engine/box/shell   
Flaky, shrunk paintwork all over     

1973 Plus 2S 130/4                                                                     
Mainly complete                                                                 
NO engine/box/prop                                                       
NO dashboard                                                 
Only 3 wheels                                                                 
All chrome trims and bumpers present                     
Sound paintwork all over - a better base to start                                               

I guess at the end it was a gut feeling, I wanted to rescue the car from a barn, and although it doesn't have an engine, it's still an S 130. The S gives it a better interior and the 130 denotes the 'Big Valve' engine. Some poking around was done and it seems engines and gearboxes are more readily available than the chrome trims so I bought the barn find.

I'll be travelling to Devon in early September with Ian and a trailer to bring it home.

Let battle commence!!

Some teaser photo's taken in the barn, I'll put more info and photo's on here when I get the car home next week



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