More Info Please: 1966 Lotus Elan S2

When you’re an enthusiast, it can be dead easy to keep buying project cars until the day finally arrives when you realize that you now have more cars than available space and that something has to go. This is the situation facing the owner of this 1966 Lotus Elan, so he has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. The Elan is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the owner has set an asking price of $16,500 for the little British classic.

Information and photos of the Elan are quite sparse, but the owner does say that the car is relatively complete. There are no photos of the engine, and this photo is as close as we get to a shot of the interior. There are quite a few items that aren’t attached to the car, and it is unclear how many of these items are actually present. The bumpers, soft-top, interior trim, and glass all appear to be missing, but the dash does appear to be complete. The original steel wheels and knock-offs are present, and the overall condition of the body looks quite promising. Under the hood should be that great little 1,558cc Lotus twin-cam engine, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. Once again, there is little information provided on the state of the running gear, so it looks like any potential buyer is going to have a lot of questions to ask the seller.

When they were new, the Lotus Elan had something of a reputation for reliability issues, but with more than 50-years of technical advancements that have occurred since this one rolled out of the Lotus factory, it is now possible to make an Elan a reliable and enjoyable car to drive. They have become a very popular and sought after little British classic, and their current values reflect this desirability. You can find a reasonable car for around the $30,000 mark, but a pristine one can easily fetch twice that figure. The beauty of the Elan is that it is a relatively simple design, and the vast majority of the restoration work can be completed in a home workshop. Add to this the fact that the vast majority of the parts that appear to be missing remain relatively easy to source, and you have a project car that shows a great deal of promise.

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  1. Steve

    Waaaay overpriced. I bought an S4 just four months ago. complete, running driving with a light refurbishing to complete. Yes it was a good buy for less than this !

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Well Done, Steve.
      Thank you for the dose of reality.

      Based on what is said here by others already, the seller, who has “too many of them” (projects, or Elans?) is trying to finance others by cashing in on this one.

  2. Bob_S

    “you have a project car that shows a great deal of promise.”

    Not at $16,500 you don’t.
    This car has been for sale for a long time, I thinks it was over a year ago that I first saw the ad. If it was a great deal it would have sold months ago.

    Yes, parts are available, we paid $2000+ for a frame several years ago. Paint won’t be cheap figure $6 to $10,000. Cylinder head rebuilds aren’t cheap either. You can get upside down on this quickly.

    As the old saying goes “buy the best that you can.” Restorations aren’t cheap and take longer than you think.

    It sounds like you made a great deal! Congratulations!

  3. Tonywa

    Longtime Elan and Europa owner (several) – this is not a bargain. I too have seen this car for sale for a long time. Not sure how many 60k elans have actually been sold…. I suspect very very few.

    Bob_S is spot on – buy a better one to start with.

    The cars are a delight.

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