Monday, October 5, 2009

1969 Lotus Elan +2

I like convertibles. I've owned many. But, given a choice between an Elan roadster and a +2 hardtop, I'd go with the +2 every time.

Based on the Elan roadster, the +2 had a longer wheelbase and rear seats. There's no way anyone over 3 feet tall would want to spend any real time in the back seat, but it made a nice place to put groceries, jackets, a picnic basket, etc., etc.

Performance is impressive for a 1969 4 cylinder car. 60 MPH comes in 7.6 seconds and it has a top speed of 120 MPH. Like the Elan roadster and coupe, it had fully independent suspension, a DOHC engine and 4 wheel disc brakes. All impressive stuff back in the day.

More than anything, though, the +2 looked great. To my eyes it is the nicest looking car Lotus has ever built. Yeah, the Elan convertible was so iconic that Mazda copied it for the Miata. And yes, the Esprit looked every bit the supercar it was, but the Elan +2 looked classy. It looked Fast, fun and classy.

Like all cars from Lotus, the Elan +2 needs regular maintenance. It also needs to be driven on a fairly regular basis. Like so many other old cars, the worst thing you can do is let it sit. No matter how well you take care of it, at some point you'll run into some electrical problems. Accept that.

Parts are not cheap, but are available through various Lotus clubs.

The car being offered on eBay is not a show car. The dashboard has some cracks and the seats look like they might have come out of a Honda. (They're definitely not the original seats.) All in all this is a really nice looking Elan +2 that, if it's mechanically sound, can provide you with 3 seasons of driving fun.

Located in Reno, NV, click here to see the eBay listing.

Click here
to see a good Lotus Elan +2 enthusiast website.

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