1969 Lotus Elan +2 With a Mysterious Past

The owner of this 1969 Lotus Elan +2 is very honest about the car he’s offering on eBay in Newark, Delaware for a $6,800 starting bid—which hasn’t yet been forthcoming. It’s a very desirable car (though the convertible version without the +2 is more collectible).

No, the body of this blue beauty is not rusty. They’re fiberglass cars, remember? Crazing in the gel coat can be a problem with these cars. And the backbone chassis is steel, and this one has some rust. It’s very common to replace the chassis when restoring these cars.

The fiberglass also has a fairly major failure point where some idiot jacked it up incorrectly (using the floor as a jack point!) and put a big hole on the driver’s side. Again, the owner is very honest.

It appears to have had some engine work at the shop where the current owner bought it, but now the (very clean) engine isn’t turning over. “Maybe it’s stuck because it sat so long and the rings are stuck now,” the owner said. Maybe some Marvel Mystery Oil would soak in and free it up. But buying a stuck engine is a big gamble, particularly when it’s a high-strung Lotus twin-cam four. And where have the air cleaners for the dual carbs got to? Probably around somewhere. The engine block in Elans is an English Ford unit of 1,500-cc, with a chain-driven twin-cam head by Harry Mundy.

You’ve probably noticed that the rear window is out, but it comes with the car in good condition. The front windshield is in place, but loose.

The exhaust is sitting in the car, whose interior otherwise doesn’t look too bad. The upper dash pad appears to be going through some major trauma. The wood dash looks decent, but in any case, there’s a spare one. Also, a plus is the carpet set in the trunk.

Another plus is that the rear axles were recently converted to CV joints, and both brake and suspension work has recently been completed. The tires look new but are probably old. The owner apologizes for the dark garage photos and says he has to be out by the end of May.

The Lotus Type 50 fixed-head coupé, marketed as the +2, was introduced in 1967 and had many improvements over earlier Elans, including that vestigial back seat (made possible with a longer wheelbase), beefed-up rocker panels, and a wider track. It was several hundred pounds heavier but still weighed only 2,000 pounds with its fiberglass body.

Since this is a 1969, it should be a +2S, with a cabin upgrade. The “big valve” engine with 126 horsepower wasn’t available until 1971. The +2S stayed in production until 1975.

Elan experts should weigh in here as to whether this one is worth a gamble. Do you think it’s a diamond in the rough? Remember, fully restored these are $25,000 to $30,000 cars.

Fast Finds


  1. SebastianX1/9

    You can get a running Jensen Healey convertible for that same price, same engine.

    • billtebbutt

      No. This car has a proper Kent-based Lotus Twincam. Not at all the same as the all-Lotus motor in the Jensen Healey.


      Like 5
  2. Steve Clinton

    Mrs. Peel, we’re needed.

    Like 3
  3. Howie Mueler

    Sold yesterday at $7,300.

    Like 1

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