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Blank Canvas: 1973 Lotus Elan 2+2

1973 Lotus Elan Project

I’d love to own a Lotus Elan! Heck, I would even take a 2+2 just to get to experience the bliss of driving one of these lightweights through the twisties. The cost of admission can be a little high though, so an Elan in project form may seem like the cheapest route to take. There is even the added benefit of being able to get to know your car very intimately during the restoration process. But, in all truth you would be better off starting with something you can drive right away. Still, this 1973 Lotus Elan 2+2 project found here on eBay with a starting bid of $500 is tempting. There’s not much there, but it could provide a great blank canvas for someone with some extra cash and a vision. Thanks goes to Jim S. and Robert R for the submissions!

Lotus Elan chasis

There is a body and a chassis here, but not much else. The engine and transmission have gone missing as have all the suspension bits. So, unless you have a stash of Lotus parts somewhere, the task of sourcing everything needed to reassemble this car could be a challenge. I’m an advocate for originality, but it would be interesting to see if a modern drivetrain could be mounted on that frame. Perhaps a Miata engine would fit? It would take an ambitious person to complete the project, but if done right this Elan could end up being a serious performance machine that would be much easier to live with on a daily basis. So, what would you do envision it becoming?


  1. Grr

    Put a 13B in it and you have yourself a Rotus.

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  2. John K

    Tempting as it is so close to me, but I’ve been down that road before and I know what an undertaking this little project would be. Even at $500 I don’t know how you would come ahead on this one, versus buying a driver.

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  3. Chebby

    It looks great as a 6×6!

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    • Mark E

      Count your tires! You mean 10×10!

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  4. Rancho Bella

    Not to come off as a know it all………….it is a 1972. Furrin’ cars many times were registered in the year sold. This one is the second to last Federal Elan imported into the U.S.

    I prefer the Elan Plus 2 as the leg room is wonderful. And, the aerodynamics is something as in if you are on the freeway with both windows down hardly any wind comes in the cockpit.

    Darn near everything is available. Items like a factory shift knob, dash control knobs and the like are NLA but hunt for a while and get lucky or substitute. English Ford driveline.
    John K is spot on, it will cost a few bucks. Plus 2’s are on the raise as people are finally understanding what a delight the 1900 lb car is to drive.

    Wrong coast for me or (once again, like that TVR) this little guy would be at the Rancho waiting for all my extra parts stash.

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  5. Graham Line

    I’m kind of amazed at the good condition of the frame. Too bad the rest of the car has vanished. The model name is Elan +2. Not 2+2. Later versions came with the ‘big valve’ engine housing 130 of Lotus’s New Forest ponies.

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  6. John C Cargill

    I’m thinking most lotus parts are avail. as are upgrades as shocks etc. A Ford zetec seems appropriate here.

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