Thoughts on Elan for sale in California

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Thoughts on Elan for sale in California

Postby plannerphil » Thu 21.04.2022, 03:44

Hi All, I thought about buying an Elan several years ago but ended up going with a Boxster instead. After experiencing Porsche ownership I'm looking at the Elan again, more specifically an Elan for sale in Los Angeles.

The good news about the car is that she has only 38,000 miles and has had only two owners, both of whom lived in in California.

The bad news is that she hasn't been given the attention she deserves. The engine is misfiring. One of the headlights bobs and won't raise fully. The upper vents don't blow air. The exterior seal on the driver's door between the door and window is gone. There's some rust on the frame. There are cracks and scuffs on the bumpers, front fender, and driver's door. One of the tail lights is cracked. The driver's seat is torn.

Google Photos album of all the bad stuff
Facebook Marketplace listing

I've made an inquiry to a local fiberglass expert to get an estimate on the body repairs. The seller has agreed to tow the car to A1 Automotive, who would do a full inspection and diagnose the misfire. I got a very positive first impression of that shop, which seems to be well regarded here.

The seller wants $10,000. What do you all think? Worth the cost and risk?
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Re: Thoughts on Elan for sale in California

Postby TorqueHorse » Thu 21.04.2022, 15:32

Hey, glad to hear you are excited about getting into an Elan.
I think the "worth" is going to be more of an emotional question for you vs us :).
The first thing I'd suggest is getting clear on what you want out of the car, and how you want to go about it, and what your budget is.
Want a weekend track or thrash car? That's a very different proposition vs a cars and coffee car. Which is also different from a daily driver.
Who is going to do all the work?
When do you want to be enjoying the fruits of the labor?
How much challenge and risk can you tolerate?

Paying for someone else to do the work, one could spend 10k easy on that car trying to get it cars and coffee level of finish (hood, seals, fiberglass, rear lights, paint, rims, tires, seats). But that might still be cheaper than some of the recent examples on eBay or resellers...
But we didn't even get into the mechanical parts which I'm assuming the shop would be able to quote you on :)

Sorry if that doesn't help.
'90 FED M100 -mid resto
Chassis Exterior FrSus RrSus Engine Trans Wheels Steering Brakes Cooling Fuel Ventilation Exhaust Interior
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Re: Thoughts on Elan for sale in California

Postby plannerphil » Tue 26.04.2022, 19:59

I've reached an impasse with the seller of this Elan in East LA. I had looked into the costs of repairing the body work ($2,000-5,000) and was ready to send it to A1 for a full inspection and diagnosis of the misfire. However, the seller is insistent that he must get $10k or thereabouts for the car and won't send it for inspection without some kind of agreement on his price.

As TorqueHorse said, I could definitely put $10k into it. It wouldn't be worth $20k afterward, so I think I'd better look elsewhere.

My goal is to find a car that's clean and well-maintained that I can enjoy for weekend drives/trips and local events. It should be in a condition to bring to a cars and coffee event or Lotus club meetup and not feel embarrassed, but not a show car. I live in a city, curb rash and minor imperfections are facts of life. It would be neat to learn how to work on it but I don't currently have a place to do that, so I'd be sending a future car to local shops for reconditioning and maintenance.
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Re: Thoughts on Elan for sale in California

Postby steve matthews » Tue 26.04.2022, 20:25

plannerphil wrote:As TorqueHorse said, I could definitely put $10k into it. It wouldn't be worth $20k afterward, so I think I'd better look elsewhere.


Good choice that car is crap. I wouldn't spend more than $6,000.00 in its present condition. You can do better just hold a little longer.
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