Restoration Project: 1966 Lotus Elan S2

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While the British aren’t exactly known for making reliable vehicles, they certainly do make some very fine looking ones. Such is the case with this 1966 Lotus Elan S2 that is available here on eBay: though it is certainly a beautiful little car with the iconic British Racing Green exterior paint color, it will also surely be an undertaking of a project.

This British roadster made its way to Magnolia, Texas, where it is available with a clean title. The seller doesn’t provide a ton of detail, but here are the basics: this Lotus needs a good bit of reassembly, but most of the bits are there and in decent shape.

The chassis is in good condition, but some of the bodywork has fine stress cracks in the fiberglass. This roadster has both the hard and soft top configurations, along with all the parts necessary to make it work.

With an unfinished restoration in process, this Lotus currently does not have its interior installed, but the seller claims that all of the parts are there, and a new carpet set is also included with the sale.


This car uses a 4-cylinder engine, which pairs to a 4-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. The engine is rebuilt with documentation, but unfortunately, the seller has not had the vehicle running during their ownership.

At the time of this article being written, bidding is at $8,450, with no mention of a reserve. Though this example needs some reassembly, Hagerty values an excellent or Concours quality restoration at around $30,000. Would you take on finishing this restoration, or is this Lotus a no for you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Jack Hammer

    HHHHMMMMM…….if I could grab this for less than 10k and put another 5k into it, I (probably) would be a happy boy.

    Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Half the rebuild battle is done just by the owner labeling the wiring as it was taken apart. Nice project.

    Like 2
  3. Bruce

    The Elan is one of the easiest cars to restore especially if all the parts are there. The fiberglass body got stress cracks almost from day one because the body thickness is so thin. These bodies could use some reinforcing but doing so is not difficult, time consuming or expensive and will add very little weight to the car overall.

    It should be remembered that the Elan was sold first as a kit so that should tell you something about how hard it will be to restore. Generally two fit men or 4 portly beer drinkers can easily remove the body from the frame or put it back on for that matter.

    These cars are fun and given that the optional hard top is there the price seems more than reasonable. Elan’s make the Mazda Miata feel heavy in comparison. They are that nimble and that small. Many became very successful race cars over the years but many are still left. As for comments about the wiring unless it has the new Teflon insulation you would be better off getting a new harness to install.

    The price is not out of line and this is a project that could easily be finished for fall drives in the country.

    Like 4
  4. Chapman's Ghost

    Boy this tempting. Having owned a 64 and 66 I’m not sure I can do a 3rd one, but I’m watching it so I just might go for it. These are special cars and this one deserves to be driven. I wouldn’t even bother with the cosmetics right away, but would concentrate on the mechanicals and just enjoy it.

    Like 2
  5. Warren Land

    MX-5 Miatas really *are* dead ringers for Elans. Proportions, curves, angles . . .

    Like 0
  6. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    I always figured that I’d have one of these at some time, but that day never came. I still think I’d find joy in refurbishing and then driving an Elan, and this is oh, so tempting.

    But the reality of “too many priorities” (and projects) hits. So, I have to wish the new owner a great experience in getting this one on the road, and then doing what it was built for!

    Like 0
  7. karl

    I see these cars and all I can think about is Diana Rigg driving around in one of these on the Avengers !

    Like 2
  8. PRA4SNW

    Sold for $13,866.
    Good deal? I have no idea.

    Like 1

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