Elan fever - am I delirious?

Moderators: theelanman, dapinky, Specky, Dave Eds, DaveT, Elanlover, Nige, muley, Enright, Sy V, algirdas, nitroman, clemo, GeoffSmith

Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Fri 03.01.2020, 01:23

Help! An Elan finally came up for sale in my city and I'd appreciate experienced feedback on something. Yes, I know there are a lot of things to address at first glance High Res link but the part that stood out to me (after I got home from the inspection and looked at the photos again) is the base of the A pillar coming into the front of the door frame. It looks like a weld/repair job? Another clue pointing in that direction is that front windshield is cracked on both sides too. Nothing was reported on Car Fax, but this car has 0 car fax history aside from initial registration, yet it has 70k miles and has been well enjoyed...maybe too much :) If it is a repair job, would you be worried about it at all (safety-wise)? I'm thinking it would keep it in a lower restoration class that would never make sense to invest in a new windshield, convertible top, seals, or respray, but with a little/lot interior TLC, could be a fun fair weather driver. Plus side is that the car runs; turbo is in good shape; wishbone is almost rust free; electrics work. Also, looking for basic sanity check too. Thanks!
Elan Interior.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
TorqueHorse
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed 01.01.2020, 07:42
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Fri 03.01.2020, 10:04

What a dog :shock: If the interior looks like that I can only imagine the state of the engine, brakes etc....

Unless you have deep pockets and can do all the necessary work yourself I'd suggest giving it a bodyswerve

PS the front A pillars and windscreen form an integral and structural part of the car
Rambo
Don't push me
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: Wed 24.12.2003, 00:37
Location: Cornhill

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 03.01.2020, 10:18

Check out the buyers guide on this forum.

I would also recommend you do not try to weld the body: it's made from fibreglass.
Try to check the condition of the metal cills at the jacking points front and rear: bottom of A and B posts.
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

Elan S4 DHC 1969
Elan SE turbo 1992
Evora 2010
MB CLK 320CDi 2007
Boardman Endurance SLR 9.4 disc carbon road bike
Swift Sundance Lifestyle 500
User avatar
Fredjohn
God
 
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue 21.08.2012, 00:30
Location: Malvern, Worcs

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby sideways » Fri 03.01.2020, 20:22

TorqueHorse wrote:. Also, looking for basic sanity check too. Thanks!
Elan Interior.jpg


Sanity check. NO!

If you buy this car for the asking and based on that single photo, all sorts of things will quickly be found which will need attention and money, until you very quickly get to the point where you have even more quickly doubled your "investment" and the car is sitting in your driveway, immobile, waiting for that "investment" to be doubled yet again.

There is a yellow one on sale here (no affiliation) for a LOT more money viewtopic.php?f=6&t=27831 (and others elsewhere for less) and unless you want to spend the next (n) years with a rolling project - stay away from the one in that photo.

Spend the next while reading the buyers guide here as suggested.

Then buy the BEST one you can find.
sideways at speed
Delta BC Canada
User avatar
sideways
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun 03.06.2018, 23:22

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:02

I’m not sure about the window frame issue, but the paint and interior would probably clean up quite well. The drivetrain is Japanese so that is a good start. I like reviving neglected cars and often there are nice cars under the grime. My Alpine GTA is a lovely car but it was literally covered in green slime and moss when I found it! Usually there is a reason they fell into disuse - electric issue, knackered clutch, failed injector, accident damage etc. Establishing what precipitated the fall from grace can really help you work out the viability.

If the price is cheap (and I mean cheap), and you don't mind getting your hands dirty it could be a rewarding project......or it could be a nightmare! It’s a calculated gamble. Have you got a fellow enthusiast you could take along for a second opinion?
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:05

I should add that structural failure around the windshield would be a no-go for me. Bear in mind that if cheap enough, if it turns out to be a real dog, selling the parts may cover your costs especially if the wheels, seats, rear lights etc clean up well.
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:20

"The paint (and interior) would probably clean up quite well"

You're having a larff. This car needs a total respray. Have you seen the rear end ? It's had 20 years too much Texas sun :?
Rambo
Don't push me
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: Wed 24.12.2003, 00:37
Location: Cornhill

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:35

Rambo wrote:"The paint would probably clean up quite well"

You're having a larff. This car needs a total respray



Yep, the lacquer on the bonnet looks a bit suspect....but as a fun car, rather than a show car, it might be made presentable. The horizontal panels get the worst of it and perhaps a second hand red bonnet could look ok with a cut back body tub!

Here are images of my Alpine as found and after nothing more than a machine polish. It will still get a respray in the near future, but it is presentable for a blast around the country lanes. I was careful to inspect the chassis and drivetrain though - and had an expert look it over for me....I’m not totally crazy!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:38

Rambo wrote:"The paint (and interior) would probably clean up quite well"

You're having a larff. This car needs a total respray. Have you seen the rear end ? It's had 20 years too much Texas sun :?



Hold on! Where are the photos of the rear end? I’ve only seen one photo of the interior. Doh, I must be missing something!
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Fri 03.01.2020, 21:42

Ah yes.....hmm I see what you mean. :shock: Would have to be a good (I.e. magic) polisher :D

Wheels and tyres look ok...rear light looks nice....err, must be some other positive points....

Probably at least $3k worth of parts though.
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby sideways » Fri 03.01.2020, 22:55

PJR-Elan wrote:
Rambo wrote:"The paint would probably clean up quite well"

You're having a larff. This car needs a total respray


Here are images of my Alpine as found and after nothing more than a machine polish. It will still get a respray in the near future, but it is presentable for a blast around the country lanes. I was careful to inspect the chassis and drivetrain though - and had an expert look it over for me....I’m not totally crazy!


Your Alpine just needed a machine polish, the car in question has much greater needs, the interior has obviously been exposed to the elements - and as you say - "I was careful to inspect the chassis and drivetrain though - and had an expert look it over for me"

The OP obviously does not know these cars well enough (see "wishbone rust" reference etc) and he needs to follow your lead here though M100 'experts" (other than on here) are a little thin on the ground. :D
sideways at speed
Delta BC Canada
User avatar
sideways
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun 03.06.2018, 23:22

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Tue 07.01.2020, 03:23

So...you know when you are watching a horror movie and are like 'don't open the door, don't open the door, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!' What does the character do anyways? You guessed it :)
Seriously though, big thanks to all your suggestions, perspectives and feedback! :bowdown: I spent a lot more time going through the buying guides, inspecting the car again, pricing out components, and I have a roadmap (fingers crossed) to get to 'good enough for me' quality that fits my overall budget. It won't be anywhere near show quality, and I'm sure the ride won't compare to the recent examples I've seen on BaT or here, but this will be my first restoration project, focused as much on seeing what I can do, as with having some good drives. I'll keep you all posted on either my bloody defeat, or my narrow escape into the sunset.

Cheers!
-TH
User avatar
TorqueHorse
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed 01.01.2020, 07:42
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby muley » Tue 07.01.2020, 08:48

Good luck. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty it will make a nice project ~ and it won't break the bank if you go along the route you've suggested.

Please keep us posted.

Jim
"You can take the man out of the Elan, but you can't take the Elan out of the man"
1995 Palacio S2 no 507
"LEC turbo nutter" ;)Black MX-5 NC Red Honda Integra S
User avatar
muley
Moderator
 
Posts: 4227
Joined: Tue 22.04.2003, 09:07
Location: Wokingham, Berks and Waikanae Beach

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Tue 07.01.2020, 19:11

I think you are brave but if you take it slow and acquire decent second hand parts when you see them at a good price, you should get a decent toy at a good price. Its good to save it from the scrap yard and, in another decade, the values will be much higher and a full rebuild will be much more cost effective.
PJR-Elan
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat 02.11.2019, 15:38
Location: Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Simon_P » Tue 07.01.2020, 20:08

I'd want to know what the cause of the side respray, how the windscreen got cracked and why the bonnet doesn't shut.

The part that you are referring to is itself I believe just an infill panel and the marks top and bottom should be covered with a joint tape before it was painted. As has been mentioned the structural stuff is in behind and you need to know the extent of the damage if any. Looking at the hinge mountings they appear ok and haven't been resprayed - there are witness marks on the hinge bolt holes. Has the door been moved out to correct something that is bent or just replaced with one from another car? only close inspection will reveal anything.

The seat covers have just come unclipped and the interior doesn't look too bad.

As project look at it differently - How much will it cost to get it on the road (safely of course)? I see just a screen and some elastic for the hood.

If you like a project go for it, but make sure that you know what is/was wrong and why ie if the windscreen frame is bent you need to know that before having a new screen fitted.

You have one major advantage in that it isn't rusty unlike the ones being scrapped over here, so the parts that you may need are plentiful from all the scrapped ones.

If you haven't already done so have a chat with Brit Car Nut he probably has some of the bits you may need.
Simon_P
God
 
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri 06.08.2004, 12:33
Location: Kent UK

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Simon_P » Tue 07.01.2020, 20:16

I see now that the hood is shredded, but its not necessary to get it on the road so dry days only.

Thinking about it, it would be strange to fix the side of the car and then leave it with a cracked screen, so chances are they are separate incidents.

does the hood frame still fit in place correctly?
Simon_P
God
 
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri 06.08.2004, 12:33
Location: Kent UK

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby muley » Tue 07.01.2020, 21:53

..looking at the advert, is the LHS window sitting oddly on the A post seal?

Jim
"You can take the man out of the Elan, but you can't take the Elan out of the man"
1995 Palacio S2 no 507
"LEC turbo nutter" ;)Black MX-5 NC Red Honda Integra S
User avatar
muley
Moderator
 
Posts: 4227
Joined: Tue 22.04.2003, 09:07
Location: Wokingham, Berks and Waikanae Beach

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Tue 07.01.2020, 23:09

And why is it sitting on a trolley jack :twisted:

I might be wrong but I think that car has been in a (biggish) prang. Get the chassis tested for distortion asap
Rambo
Don't push me
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: Wed 24.12.2003, 00:37
Location: Cornhill

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Wed 08.01.2020, 04:02

So I guess my fever broke when the car was delivered last night, and now I'm just chronically delirious :P.
Good news is that the windshield frame isn't bent, or repaired. It was just paint peeling (Texas sun is fierce). This morning I found the little sticker to remind about the next oil change...from 1997. From the circumstantial evidence I have on that mileage sticker (which is +/-1,800 of the odometer), the CD player from '92, and the paint/convertible top condition, it looks like it has just sat in somebody's yard or drive for the past 20+ years. The clear coat is shot on 3 sides (not 4), in what appears to be how the sun raked it for those decades. Plus the gas tank leaks heavily, when turned on (sound familiar?), but good news is that it hasn't had the '02 recall service yet, so I'm hoping to make that the local Lotus dealer's problem. While I didn't meet the owner, just her agent, doing a local name search from the title came up with a (now) elderly woman. So, it is a one owner car that someone thoroughly enjoyed for 5 years and then (most likely) sat for 20+. And yet still, when we put a battery on it and put in some gas, it just turned right over, sounded good, and clutch was decent, puttering around the parking lot :mrgreen: .

All the frames and panels sit right (haven't been able to dig deep into the chassis alignment or door hinge though -thanks for the tips). The photos were just poorly taken while doors were either cracked open, the hood wasn't fully shut, or the convertible top wasn't locked in. Paint hasn't been resprayed. It is just that the clear coat is gone and some of the base coat on 3 sides from sitting stationary in the sun for 20 years. The owner's agent who sold it to me just threw some tires on it to get it sold which was why it was jacked in the ad photo. This weekend I hope to get the project plan laid out, start the list of parts, and I guess start either a major or minor restoration thread in the other board. Yee-haw? ;-)
User avatar
TorqueHorse
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed 01.01.2020, 07:42
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Wed 08.01.2020, 09:35

So, not too bad then :twisted:

Hopefully you will be able to get your tank done through the Lotus dealer recall, albeit that was 17+ years ago. I believe in the US the problem was in the filler/neck area so if its split somewhere else they may not make good. However, there was a useful thread on here re. the fuel rank and plastic welding (I think it was byTed Taylor in the US - I'll see if I can find it)

Good luck with your project and remember to update progress on here. Not only are people interested in a project coming together but they are also a good source for ideas and problem solving
Rambo
Don't push me
 
Posts: 7766
Joined: Wed 24.12.2003, 00:37
Location: Cornhill

Next

Return to Elan Buying Help

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest