Still Looking (UPDATE - no longer looking; found one)

Elans wanted within the U.K.

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

Still Looking (UPDATE - no longer looking; found one)

Postby ecc » Mon 17.08.2020, 09:47

UPDATE - manged to find one locally that looks lovely, so the search is off!

Oh dear, still haven’t shaken the regret after selling my old silk red, despite trying my hardest to date other vehicles. Had started looking again earlier this year, but got sidetracked and then Covid appeared.

Went back to bikes for a while. That didn’t really do it, and served only to remind me of why I stopped riding in the first place. Although I do now have a very cheap and cheerful “sensible” old thing sitting on the driveway for those days when pottering around on two wheels is the perfect medicine. It won’t win any beauty contests or races, but that doesn’t matter to me. Without sounding like some long-bearded Harley rider from Alabama with a penchant for “assless chaps”, it’s truly all about the freedom that only a bike can offer.

I then tried a Toyota Mk3 MR2 to see if I could get some Elise-like mid-engined, RWD handling and soft-top action in a more affordable package. That didn’t end well. It was an incredibly sterile driving experience, despite being as good as people claim it is. A properly set up Mk3 MR2 is the epitome of crisp and the gearbox was just gorgeous to click through, but there was no character whatsoever. And one doesn’t buy a second car or weekend runabout for practical purposes. Besides, the Mk3 MR2 is remarkably ugly with the top down when viewed from the side. I also spent more maintaining the really good example I’d bought than I spent on the Lotus during my ownership. Servicing an MR2 isn’t cheap, and made little sense when the passion for the car wasn’t there. While throwing money at a Lotus always stung, the pain was eased on the journey back from the garage because the car put a smile on my face and showed me why it was money well spent by offering a rewarding driving experience, and by the time I’d arrived home all was forgiven. With the MR2, the cost of overhauling the rear brakes and sorting out some minor rear suspension issues stung just as hard, but the pain never went away because it was still “just” a Toyota, whereas a Lotus is never “just” a Lotus. As an aside, this has led me to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as unreliable Lotus cars, and that unreliable cars are the result of unreliable owners who skimp on the maintenance.

So it’s time for the prodigal daughter to come back to the house of Lotus and beg for forgiveness for straying from the fold. (I know I’m butchering that parable, but let’s go with it for now.) And I’m fully back in the hunt for a suitable Elan.

Not looking for a concours-quality car – it’d be wasted on me. Not looking for a bargain basement project either. In the market for a mid-range Elan that’s mechanically and structurally solid, has a good service history and has been cared for, and doesn’t immediately need a grand or two thrown at it for tyres, a cam belt, a roof, and getting the suspension sorted so it handles like it’s supposed to. Cosmetically, I’m not overly bothered about wear and tear. They’re old cars and will have chips, scratches, and scuffs. Tasteful upgrades aren’t an issue, but not really interested in anything that’s been painted “Lambo orange” or has enormous aftermarket rims. So basically, the same car that just about everybody else is looking for. Would happily consider a non-turbo too, and I don’t think my budget will realistically stretch to an S2.

With Covid and these strange times, it’s perhaps not ideal to go trekking to the four corners of the country to visit car after car after car, so if any members here have personal knowledge of a decent car that’s almost certainly a good fit in their neck of the woods, I’d appreciate a heads up.

Thanks!
Last edited by ecc on Sat 05.09.2020, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Mon 17.08.2020, 11:45

Hi Emma - I knew you'd regret it. I think I said at the time :(

But anyway, LEC help is still at hand and, although prices have strengthened, there are still some good ones out there, dependent on your budget. Due to CV-19, rising prices, summer coming to an end etc there are currently 26 M100's listed on PissedonHeads and Car and Classic. And I haven't even checked Autotrader or EBay yet

You mention not being able to afford an S2 and I don't know your current budget of course (your last one was £7-8k, give or take) but there is a nice one here for sensible money https://www.pistonheads.com/buy/listing ... d=10688521

It's for sale by one of our very own (Surfboardfiller) and the advantage with that is that some people in LEC will personally know the car and be able to give advice. Also, established LEC owners tend to look after and cherish their cars so buying from the inner circle is a good thing in my opinion. And Somerset isn't too far away from you in Glocs. either should you fancy a look
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Mon 17.08.2020, 12:46

Prices do seem to have strengthened a little. My budget remains in a similar range and I do need to stick to it. The blue ones like the S2 you pointed out are - in my opinion - the prettiest of the bunch, but white leather seats in that particular example are not really to my taste. Might look better in real life though?

Buying a known car from someone who's a member here is the way I'd like to go. Ideally one that's been cared for, taken out once in a while for some fun, and needs nothing other than continuing on with the regular maintenance schedule. (The car, not the owner). As you mention, a known car from an enthusiast group is a sign that it's likely to have been looked after properly. Ebay at the moment seems to be the usual mix of "amateur dealers" flogging risky things in the £5-6k range that they've picked up at auction or on trade and which need heaven knows how much work to get back to decent shape, and some £10k+ examples which I'm sure are delightful, but not for me. And that pair of black imports (a Lotus and a Kia?) for £12k each that must've been on the site for the past century...

Not even sure that there's much point in stretching for an S2 in my case. I'd be better off, pound for pound, with a really good SE than a fairly good S2. But I'm open to whatever options are out there. Shall keep my eyes peeled.
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Mon 17.08.2020, 13:16

How about this one ? Shortshift Dave's former NMY https://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/lo ... tv80496452
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Mon 17.08.2020, 14:31

I'm going to come across as a bit picky now, but I am really not a fan of yellow cars. It's superficial to be too concerned about the colour, perhaps, but one of the things I love about the Elan is that it's so understated in terms of its looks and its presence. Sportscars can be somewhat ostentatious, and that's something I try to avoid. I like to blend in rather than stand out, and the Elan is a sweet car that doesn't have a giant spoiler, an obnoxious exhaust note, sharp angles, horrendous colours, and so on. Those who are in the know will see it and smile. Those who aren't will see it as just an older but pretty convertible.

Hence the colour issue. Yellow stands out far too much and I don't really want to stand out. I'd even avoid a red one, other than the silk red, although I might be swayed on that for a red one which hasn't lost its lustre. So the options for me are blue (beautiful), green (classic), silk red (stunning), silver (not a huge fan but would get one if push came to shove), or white (which I really don't think suits the M100 at all and I'd probably avoid too). I wouldn't touch a turquoise one or a purple one. Black doesn't really work either. Oh, that really dark grey model is stunning too.

Luckily the greens and blues aren't too uncommon. There's a couple for sale here which are very local to me (this one and this one), and they both could be quite promising. Happy to travel further afield though, and shall make enquiries about the blue S2.
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Mon 17.08.2020, 14:51

If you don't want to stand out from the crowds I'd recommend not getting an M100. Seriously, in any colour they stand out from today's silver boxes on 4 wheels. Mine (NMY and black) get admiring looks and comments wherever I go, particularly when people see the H plates and work out the cars are nearly 30 years old

If you want to hide from the crowds don't go for blue either as it can look stunning. The only real muted colours to hide in are steel blue, silver, BRG and possibly black, unless its freshly washed and polished in which case it can look fantastic
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Mon 17.08.2020, 17:07

I get where you're coming from - they're distinctive cars, although definitely leaning more towards the discreet end of the spectrum.

I shall rethink my colour preferences. I do recall seeing a yellow Elan in the flesh years ago when I was first looking. The car itself should have been thrown straight into the bin because it was an absolute piece of rubbish - I'm surprised the wheels didn't fall off during the test drive - but I don't recall it being ugly. In fact, I think I sent a picture of it to one of my daughters who was suitably impressed; it did look stunning parked up with some beautiful English countryside behind it. And given that my top priority is finding a reliable example, I could maybe go for a yellow. So shall not rule it out. Nor red. Northumberland is one almighty trek from where I'm based though...
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Mon 17.08.2020, 20:26

Ask John (Fredjohn) in Malvern if you want to see a nice NMY. He knows loads about M100's and does all his own work too so knows exactly what is involved. He also has a nice S4 Elan and an Evora. Flying the Lotus flag :wink:

Be prepared to travel though. I got my NMY in Bristol and drove back the 350 miles to Edinburgh. My black one was only 150 miles away but I knew the owner and his attention to detail and servicing
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 18.08.2020, 09:15

Totally flattered Mark, thanks for your kind remarks. But there are many people on here with more knowledge and ability than me. Of people I know personally, Dave Dave Phil and Geof spring to mind.
Back on topic, Emma you are very welcome to pop around again if you want any help or just a coffee and chat. Grace & I would be delighted to see you. Keep looking!
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Tue 18.08.2020, 10:17

I shall do that once I'm allowed outside to play again. Boris says I've got to quarantine until next week...
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Re: Still Looking

Postby tb10 » Tue 18.08.2020, 12:00

Rambo wrote:You mention not being able to afford an S2 and I don't know your current budget of course (your last one was £7-8k, give or take) but there is a nice one here for sensible money https://www.pistonheads.com/buy/listing ... d=10688521

It's for sale by one of our very own (Surfboardfiller) and the advantage with that is that some people in LEC will personally know the car and be able to give advice. Also, established LEC owners tend to look after and cherish their cars so buying from the inner circle is a good thing in my opinion. And Somerset isn't too far away from you in Glocs. either should you fancy a look


:agree:

Just spoken to him and it's still available. :cheers:
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Re: Still Looking

Postby dapinky » Tue 18.08.2020, 13:17

tb10 wrote:Just spoken to him and it's still available. :cheers:



Not trying to force you into it, but I also know the previous owner..... so it has a known past for at least a fair few years.
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Tue 18.08.2020, 14:58

You'll be pleased to hear that all the "nagging" about the blue S2 has paid off, and I've sent the owner a quick message. So I'm expecting great things from that car, seeing as I seem to have inadvertently stumbled into the annual meeting of the "Blue S2 Fan Club"...

Tiny question though: is the S2 emblem on the back in the wrong place?
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 18.08.2020, 15:28

ecc wrote:Tiny question though: is the S2 emblem on the back in the wrong place?


No :D EDIT but see below :oops: :oops:
Last edited by Fredjohn on Tue 18.08.2020, 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
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
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Re: Still Looking

Postby ecc » Tue 18.08.2020, 15:42

Fair enough!
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Re: Still Looking

Postby dapinky » Tue 18.08.2020, 15:55

Fredjohn wrote:
ecc wrote:Tiny question though: is the S2 emblem on the back in the wrong place?


No :D


ecc wrote:Fair enough!


I never noticed this before, and I've seen the car a number of times.......

....but......

Emma, 1........ John, 0

Yep, it's the wrong side of the Elan badge :poke: :poke:
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Tue 18.08.2020, 15:58

Fredjohn wrote:
ecc wrote:Tiny question though: is the S2 emblem on the back in the wrong place?


No :D


Having just praised your skills John, I have to disagree. It is definitely in the wrong place :? I know I'm chief anorak but it should be Elan S2 (not S2 Elan) with the S2 sticker in the same horizontal plane and level with the Elan badge (not before it and lower down)

So, well spotted Emma. But actually there is no room for this which is why it is stuck to the left. I suspect this is a replacement SE boot cover ?

PS I was typing as Dapinky posted so 3 - 0 :lol:
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Rambo » Tue 18.08.2020, 16:03

Its beginning to sound like a half time score against Newcastle at home Geoff :poke:
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Re: Still Looking

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 18.08.2020, 16:23

I'll accept 2-0, but not 3! Should have looked at an image before typing.

None of us are perfect, which in itself proves the point.

PS well done Emma, nice choice.
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

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Elan SE turbo 1992
Evora 2010
MB CLK 320CDi 2007
Boardman Endurance SLR 9.4 disc carbon road bike
Swift Sundance Lifestyle 500
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Re: Still Looking

Postby surfboardfiller » Wed 19.08.2020, 20:40

Yes, someone stuck the Elan badge and S2 sticker is in the wrong place, I bought a new one to stick in the right place :wink:
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