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Lotus : Other S4

Sale price: $21,988.00 make an offer
Last update: 05.03.2014

Car location: United States
Sale type: Fixed price listing

Technical specifications, photos and description:

Manufacturer: Lotus
Model: Elan
Year: 1969
Type: U/K
Color: White
Mileage: 40,000
Engine: 1.6L 1558CC 95Cu. In. l4 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated
Transmission: Manual
Fuel Type: GAS
Trim: S4
Interior Color: Black
Vehicle Title: Clear
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Lotus : Other S4 for sale

Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2.15) based on 78 votes
Lotus : Other S4 Photo
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4
  • Lotus : Other S4

Sadly. due to circumstances of my garage space. I must part with my 1969 Lotus Elan S4.

I'll start off with a general statement of the overall vehicle condition.   This Elan is in quite nice condition overall. what I would consider a "very nice driver".   It is not a concours car. as it has its flaws.   However. its an extremely nice car for use in weekend nice weather driving.   I've driven the car extensively in the last few years and it never missed a beat. always started. ran. stopped. and got me home.   That being said. this is a 1969 Lotus Elan.   A car which you can expect will require routine maintenance above that of a normal vehicle (even for the era) to continue running "reliably".   Now some details!:

General: 

I purchased this car a few years ago as I've always wanted to have an Elan.   Always being attracted to the Lotus engineering ethos of "adding lightness". I had to have one at some point.   I found its reputation of being the ultimate driving experience not exaggerated in any way and an absolute delight every time I drove the car.   I purchased the car from someone who used the car extensively in the 80's and 90's. but it was essentially mothballed for years when I bought it.   I performed a long winter of routine and sympathetic maintenance on the car and I feel it came out looking and running excellent.   Aside from the purchase price. I easily have $10. 00 in the car within the last 2 years.   I have an extensive folder of records documenting a vast amount of service work performed on the car going back to 1982.   Of  particular important note is engine and tranny rebuild ~20K (guessing car has flipped once?) miles. 1996.   The list totals over $15. 00 in parts and labor.   Work done in the last 2 years since I've owned the car include R&R of front and rear suspension (bushing. arms. shocks. torque rods). replaced stupid doughnut axles with CV axle kit (an amazing upgrade. worth every penny of the $1920 for parts alone). R&R front and rear brakes. R&R driveline (balance. rebuilt. replaced u-joints). tie rod ends. and much more.

Exterior:

Paint looks good from a few feet away as seen in the pictures.   Paint does have typical fiberglass nicks. cracks and pitting. but it shined up well when I buffed it out and applied a few layers of Zymol.   Most of the trim is in very good condition and I've just replaced a few components.   The rear light lenses are cracked but look fine.   The inner wheel wells and under body are more worn.   The wheels were presented to me as new when I bought the car. but they clearly aren't as the paint is chipping just slightly.   However. the center hub knock on wheels look very cool.   The knock on spindles are fairly nice. with only a little flaking on the edges of the ears.   The tires are not the correct size. in fact the rear left rubs just slightly on the shock tower.   Will need to be replaced eventually.   I have not replaced them yet because they are new and the larger (wider) size tire fills in the wheel wells very nicely and gives the car an excellent looking stance. especially with the knock on wheels.   The top is in remarkably good condition and appears to be original. with the rear window seemingly being replaced at some point.   There is one small patched tear that occurred when I had the car at the mechanic (not sure what they were doing). but is not very noticeable.   Windscreen is fairly good. although slightly pitted. but not cracked.   Unsure if original.

Interior:

Also seemingly original. the interior is quite nice.   Carpet in the wheel wells and in spots is scruffy. but amazing for original material.   The center channel is perfect.   Could use a new shifter gate.   Dash was replaced at some point. and I'd say looks good. not excellent.   The boot cover is good.   Seats are fairly good. some small tears and a bit lumpy.   Passenger side door sags a bit.

Mechanical:

As mentioned above. major mechanical items have been addressed.   When I first got the car the wiring was a rats nest (of course).   I cleaned it all up and since there was a small hole drilled in the bulkhead (must have been for wires or something). I mounted a box for the relays as they were all over the place.   The pictures of the engine bay I actually think didn't turn out very well and feel its a bit better than the pictures portray.   I had the valve cover blasted and powder coated.   Radiator is older. but still works fine when moving.   Of course in the summer if you sit in traffic the car will overheat.   However. I've driven this car in the peak of summer for hours and underway. everything cools perfectly.   When I obtained the car. it did have an aftermarket cooling fan mounted.   I removed it as it didn't essentially help at all and was in terrible condition.   A nice new aluminum unit would look good in the engine bay though. Engine runs wonderfully. winding up easily.   The manifold could be replaced at some point as it is worn.   Muffler seems non-stock. not sure where it comes from.   It is solid and looks nice (chrome). although is fairly loud (I rather like it).   Suspension is all adjustable now.   However. I found the car seemed to perform best with all the lowest settings. but I'm not an suspension engineer.   Transmission shifts crisply and flawlessly.   Clutch works fine.   Brakes are very nice. replaced all the lines with braided stainless lines and upgraded discs and pads.   Replaced the original rotten air filter housing with a K&N cone.

Other:

Headlights pop up and down as normal and work. tailights. brakelights and all blinkers work.   Windows work (driver side slow).   Speedo. odo. temp and oil gauges function.   Tach and gas gauges are not functioning.   Car comes with 5th spare wheel. a massive pile of records. several workshop manuals and (if wanted) the original parts I pulled off (most of them are completely rotten).

Please feel free to make any inquiries about the car. I'm sure there are points I've forgotten.   Overall. this is a very nice little Elan with loads of life left before anything more than routine maintenance.   It has its foibles. which any Lotus of this era will present.   However. I has great character and overall stance and presence.   I'll be sad to see the car go.

On Feb-26-14 at 12:23:51 PST. seller added the following information:

Please NOTE Added:

1. Pictures as requested.

2. Stereo shown in pictures will be removed and not provided in sale.

3. Mileage should be corrected to 26. 72. presumed not actual.

On Feb-26-14 at 13:18:23 PST. seller added the following information:

One additional note. which I forgot to mention.   This is one of the rare. "Black Emblem" cars.   As seen in the picture of the front. the Lotus badge on this car is black instead of the typical green.   Various theories exist where this came from. ranging from a commemoration of Jim Clark. hotter equipped cars. to Lotus running out of the standard badge and using these temporarily.   Either way. a unique look as I think it really compliments the white/black color scheme of the whole car.

On Feb-27-14 at 08:40:20 PST. seller added the following information:

 More queries from interested parties.   Sorry for the redundant posts. but I'd rather someone be confident and happy with the car they will get or just not sell it at all!

1. The frame is original.   It is rust free and is straight and my mechanic is of the same opinion.   It has the typical dings under the front cross member from being jacked up a million times. but the car drives straight.
2.   I don't believe the car has  ever been in an accident based on the straightness of the frame and lack of any body glass repairs and again my mechanic is of the same opinion.   Cannot guarantee. but again. the car drives straight.
3.   Paint was redone sometime just prior to the previous owners purchase.   Seems to me as the repaint was a very nice job at the time.   As can be seen in the pictures. the car shows well from a few feet. but it does have a bit of glass cracking and some pitting now from age.   I spent MANY hours in the garage with cleaner/cutter waxes cleaning the paint up and it looks nice.   I didn't use a buffing wheel as I feared it may actually damage the paint on the glass.
4.   Stereo again will be removed.   The car is positive ground and to be honest I'm not comfortable selling the car with the current stereo that is wired with an inverter.   There are nice new cone speakers which I mounted behind the bulkhead that will remain.   Essentially. I probably used it once.   Sort of useless in a car like this (as I mentioned the exhaust is rather rude. but sounds lovely IMO)
5.   Transport is the responsibility of the purchaser.   I am close with a couple shippers and could help make arrangements if needed.   Also. I can be relatively accommodating for car pick-up.
6.   The car is available for viewing in Eugene. OR. 97405.   My schedule is flexible. so I can show virtually any time.   I'm also willing to drive the car a reasonable distance Saturday. weather permitting to meet for a showing.   Please contact me for arrangements.

On Feb-27-14 at 16:20:31 PST. seller added the following information:

 More info to address some questions that were raised on bringatrailer. com:

1.   By. "boot". I mean the cover that goes over the rear bulkhead when the top is folded down.   I do not have a tonneau cover (although wish I had!).
2.   Just the right side door sags and is very common.   Will likely require new pivots.   I've tried not to open the door :).
3.   Spacers are available to mitigate the slight tire rub on the inner left wheel.   I did not suggest any other recommendations for this based on safety issues.   I've been driving the car for quite a while and it hasn't made any progress on wearing the tire out. but cannot recommend that anyone else does so.   Quite frankly. in my opinion. these tires are too sticky for this car and the skinnier tires may enhance the handling characteristics.   Again. I've left the larger tires on because they are nearly new and they fill out the wheel wells beautifully.
4.   The car comes from California. but spent some time in Detroit between CA and OR.   The frame seems fine to me. but I have not had the body off.
5.   The car does have the cross over pipes as well as the solenoid to close the throttle.   Car dieseled a bit when I first got it. but after adjusting everything very rarely does so now.
6.   The headlights function normally on the original vacuum system.   They raise and lower normally as well as illuminate.   They do not dim. but after straightening out all the wiring. I decided not to get any deeper and be happy they were working at all!
7.   The cooling system works great.   The radiator is older. likely not original.   I received the car equipped with an aftermarket fan. which essentially did absolutely nothing when turned on.   It was a total mess. and after removing think the car actually cooled better.   It will get way too hot when sitting for long periods in hot weather. but underway. I've never had a cooling issue.   The radiator is older and functions. but as I mentioned. a nice aluminum unit would look great up in the nose.
8.   I haven't diagnosed what is the issue with the tach.   Would be really nice to have. but with the electrics working just fine. I didn't want to dig too far into the nest of wires behind the dash.
9.   A new header would definitely be a nice addition.   The current header is solid. but a bit corroded.
10.   As a general concensus. I would delegate this car as a really good driver.   Its not bad enough to warrant a full resto (unless you have the $$ to burn). but isn't so nice that you will be reluctant to actually driving and using it.   I've used it quite a bit. but not as a daily.   It's definitely a great car that someone can use. but would benefit from ongoing tinkering and improvement.   I've priced it as what I actually think the car is worth and with the $ I've spent on new parts think if it hits the reserves. it will be an honest deal.   If not. I'll have an excuse to keep the car!!  My reason for selling is I need to thin the herd.   I won't have room for the whole fleet as I'll be moving a few times in the upcoming year and needed to retain a hobby car requiring less mechanical attention.   If it doesn't sell. I'll store it with relatives.

Please see unsolicited comments by some fellows that seem to know a great deal about these cars at bringatrailer for 10/26/2014 (sorry URLs not allowed by ebay).

Thanks!

Also published at eBay.ca

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