Little Big Project: 1969 Lotus Elan

1969 Lotus Elan

I’ve mentioned before that I’d love to own a Lotus Elan. It has few rivals in the handling department and the power produced by that twin-cam isn’t too shabby either. They are getting harder to find though so I got excited when this project popped up here on craigslist. It’s been off the road since 1981 and a previous owner started the restoration before passing away. The next owner did a few more things, but has decided to pass it on to someone with the motivation and money to get the job done.

Lotus Twin Cam

The engine and carburetors have been rebuilt and the frame is said to be rust free. There’s still a lot left to do though. It may be a little car, but the task of putting it all back together is not going to be a small one. The body needs prepped and painted. All the mechanical stuff will need to be gone back through and then everything will need to be put back in their proper place.

Wood Dash

Elan prices are on their way up, but the $14k asking price might be a tad optimistic to me. You never know though. If you are in the Rush, New York area and are in the market for a vintage sports car project, then one might just be worth a look. It does sound like there is a lot “there”. So, do you think this sweet little sports car will ever see the back road again?


  1. Francisco

    Someone with the skill and tools to complete this project is going to get a fantastic deal here.

  2. Joe

    Yes, will be a nice car. And again I thought the first photo was one of those 1:18 scaled models.

    • Mark S

      I agree Joe that first picture sure looks like a model kit had we wondering too.

  3. 365Lusso

    Wish it was on the left coast.

  4. Francisco

    The only thing that would make this perfect would be knock off hubs and toggle switches. Hate those rockers.

  5. Jack

    Hi Francisco – It comes with new Knock-offs

  6. Russell

    This is a great deal, and yes those are pin drive (knock off) hubs. Just has the federal nuts instead of the earlier knock off type. 14k is not too much, and virtually everything is available. Too bad it’s so far away.

  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I’m the lucky owner of a Lotus Elan! It’s kind of a British Corvette, with a fast, economical turbo 4. Max the schnauzer isn’t impressed, or maybe he sees a cat across the street.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      What does it say on the side of the car?

  8. Jim

    I saw an Elan at a car show ten (?)yrs ago, very nicely done, the guy bought a totaled wreck and a parts car and built a beautiful deep metallic blue car. He also changed cams, swapped to a bigger turbo and squeezed in an intercooler. All details done nicely, upgraded suspension, tires, brakes. At the end of the show he left with a buddy, 70 Malibu, 496 big block, nice healthy car. What else do friends do? Drag race each other!! the Elan left him way behind until they were out if sight. There’s no way I would have fit in it but a very nice car, I don’t laugh at little engines any more, I believe it was less than 2.0 liters.

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