New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

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New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby x2nervisx » Sun 19.08.2018, 17:11

I was hoping to get some help regarding a 1991 Elan I just purchased yesterday. I guess you can call it a barn find however it sat at an automotive repair shop’s lot for years. It has 91 miles on it. Not 91000. It still has the factory tires on it and the factory oil which is still clean.
The automotive repair shop was clearing out cars that had been left by previous owners who did not want to pay their bills. They were getting rid of several cars and one of them happened to be this Elan that I purchased. According to the shop this car sat in the same spot uncovered from the elements for 6 years. So it has the clear coat peel on the fenders and the top has 1 small tear. They’ve had the car for longer than that though. They said that the original owner had this car shipped from England and never used it. The owner had an expensive car collection and over the years he ended up giving the Elan to the automotive shop in exchange for doing work on his more expensive cars. The car cranked just fine but it had no gasoline in it. I’m going to change out the oil and go through it before attempting to start it.
Here is the problem. There is no title. I did a VIN check and it is not reported stolen. The shop provided me with the 3 original keys for the car and a signed bill of sale. The car has never even been registered ever. So the dmv has no record of the car at all in their database.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to getting a title for this car? Or am I stuck with using it for track use only or for parts? I refuse to part it out since I doubt there is any other Elans with this low mileage.
My other question is where does one get a windshield? The windshield on this car was cracked.
Last edited by x2nervisx on Mon 20.08.2018, 18:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New brand find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby Fredjohn » Sun 19.08.2018, 19:11

Very interesting story and welcome to LEC!
First advice: throw away the tyres, oil, cambelt and other belts. Windscreens are available, but as I'm in UK I can't say where in USA! However various bits around the screen are no longer available.

Provenance can be obtained from Lotus, but title....??
It would help everyone on here to help you if you gave your location, although I guess you are somewhere in the USA.
Also if the car was imported from England, do you know if it is a UK or US spec. There is a big difference and not just rhd/lhd. Maybe some photos would be useful.

There are plenty of helpful and knowledgeable folks on this site, so good luck with the project.
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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby lotusrepair » Sun 19.08.2018, 22:04

Check with Lotus USA to see if they can help with title. The shop should have done a mechanic's lean to obtain title. You can do a Writ of Mandamus. You sue the DMV to give you title to the car. I just did it for one of my dad's estate cars that he never got titled in his name. You are proving to the courts that you own the car by all rights except that you do not have the title. If the court finds in favor of you then they order DMV to give you a title to the car. I did it and it worked.

What state are you in?

There is always the title service in some states that will sell you a title for the car.

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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby John_W » Sun 19.08.2018, 22:39

Isn’t it wonderful how all our different countries have their little ways? :mrgreen:
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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby x2nervisx » Mon 20.08.2018, 04:11

Well I was able to decode the Vin which is sccga36b3mhf26749. It appears that this car Is US spec.

I am located in New York and they are not as lienent with titles as they are in some other states.


I asked the shop tha I purchased it from about a mechanics lien but they did not want to go through the hassle of obtaining one since it is a pain to get one (which involves filing paperwork at the dmv, proof that you tried to contact the owner, mailing a certified letter to the last known address of the last owner, and placing an ad in the newspaper for 2 weeks to try to find the owner etc...
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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Mon 20.08.2018, 13:50

FWIW, I looked at the data that was the US/FED registry but that car/VIN was never added or collected.

Towing companies have a slightly easier method to gain legal ownership of cars they have towed in and have never had contact with the original owners.

I would suggest you find a "friendly" towing company and have a "discussion".

Unfortunately, several NY towing companies conspired together into a theft ring between NY and Florida and several BIG offenders caused fairly severe laws to be enacted to try to prevent it in the future.

There are some other US States that are less oppressive when it comes to creating a title, but it is quite daunting.

The comment that the car was shipped from England doesn't actually ring true since the VIN clearly marks it as a US, 49 State vehicle. It would have been delivered to the US by Lotus and then sold by a dealer from the US side of Lotus Cars in Atlanta (now in Michigan).

Where are you in New York? I am a transplant from the Hudson Valley (West Point area) How about sending me an email with all of your information as well as some pictures. I will at least add it to the registry manually since the Internet and Microsoft have abandoned FrontPage rendering the registration form useless.
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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby x2nervisx » Mon 20.08.2018, 17:55

Brit-Car-Nut-

I was actually going to send you my info for the car so that you can add it to the registry but since I am a new member, I was not allowed to message you privately. What is your email?

I am still doing some research regarding getting a title for the car. Haven’t found much yet but I may call the title bureau in New York and see what they say.

I am in Long Island New York. I actually bought the car in New Jersey and towed it back home.
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Re: New barn find Elan Owner with 91 Miles

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Mon 20.08.2018, 19:17

email: john@lotusm100.com

web site: www.lotusm100.com

There are also links to email there.
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