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Can This Lotus Elan Still Be Saved?

British Basketcase

The guys at Classic Motorsports magazine like to rescue the same sorts of projects we like to feature here on Barn Finds. They actually finish them though! This time around they have found what is supposedly a Series 1 Lotus Elan. It looks like a bucket of bolts to me, but the magazine has pledged to restore it and write about it over the following year. They are even planning to take it to the Amelia Island Concours next year, where the car has already been accepted. If you’d like to follow along, we have worked a deal with them to get a little discount for our readers. Click here to get $3 off your subscription. It will be interesting to see if they can pull this one off!


  1. Avatar photo RayT

    New bodyshell, new frame, new rear suspension, new interior/seats, new windscreen…all you’d need after that is a major drivetrain rebuild!

    Sounds like a good weekend project to me!

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  2. Avatar photo Jeff Staff

    Great guys and great magazine. Following their project cars online is a favorite activity of mine. Publisher Tim’s Mini just took home some nice hardware for a restoration they completed!

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  3. Avatar photo van

    Don’t be silly, LS1 ford 9″, S10 frame, maybe a week tops

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    • Avatar photo van

      Just need to watch Barrett Jackson to find market value

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  4. Avatar photo John B

    George Washington’s Axe. Replace the handle and then replace the head. It’s still his axe, right?

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  5. Avatar photo sir mike

    looks like a future VIN swap project..

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    • Avatar photo RayT

      Naaah. Guys from car magazines don’t do that. They just throw new parts at it — mainly free/discount stuff from advertisers — until they have an Original Car!

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  6. Avatar photo rustylink

    Where in the picture is the Lotus? All I see is some sort of ravaged hulk of fiberglass that might be an old hot tub?

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  7. Avatar photo jim s

    i wonder what they are going to do with the other car they bought in the same deal? this will be fun to watch. thanks

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    • Avatar photo Jeff Staff

      I’ve been wondering that too. Have heard very little about the Cortina since they brought the Elan home.

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  8. Avatar photo Elmer Fudd

    It kills me when they can finish a car like this in one year, and yet mine is a driver and will likely never be in a concourse. It may look like alot of work, but the formula to restore the car is exactly the same as my driver. There are some dificult parts to find, but for the most part everything is out there somewhere. I’ll obviously be watching this restoration with great anticipation.

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  9. Avatar photo Mr. Bond
  10. Avatar photo pintosopher

    These Guys start and Finish their projects, I’ve been a subscriber to both of their mags since the earliest days. Keeps me sane and hopeful that someday my 2 projects cars will be Show presentable by the time I’m 70. Yes, they do have supplier help, but the Busted knuckles and grease are real from the staff and Tim must have Alpha male DNA to do all he does in a year!
    God Bless these guys and the Resto Hobby!

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  11. Avatar photo van

    I shouldn’t be talking
    I bought the burned D-type

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  12. Avatar photo benjy

    LOTUS- lots of trouble usually serious is an understatement for this wreck.

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  13. Avatar photo frank

    Simple project:
    1)Jack up the radiator cap.
    2) Replace everything under the radiator cap.
    3) Change the radiator cap.

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