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71 Lotus Elan S4 SE Coupe 32K miles ALL ORIGINAL. Same owner 42 years

1971 Lotus Elan SE Coupe for sale in Berea, Ohio, United States

Item location: Berea, Ohio, United States
Make: Lotus
Model: Elan
SubModel: Fixed Head Coupe
Type: Coupe
Trim: SE Coupe
Year: 1971
Mileage: 32100
VIN: 0025J
Color: Orange
Engine size: 1600
Number of cylinders: 5
Transmission: Manual
Interior color: Black
Vehicle Title: Clear
Want to buy? Contact seller!

Description for Lotus Elan 1971

Up for auction 1971 Lotus Elan Series 4 SE (Special Edition) Fixed Head Coupe. Absolutely one of the most original Elans you will ever find.

32,100 Original miles. Never painted. Original, rust-free chassis. Original interior.

I purchased this car from the original owner. He bought the car new here in Cleveland from International Imports on Jan 25th of 1971. The decal is still on the rear of the car and the title I received starts with the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin. I have a copy of this.

In the late 80's the owner had the engine and chassis rebuilt, then parked the car shortly thereafter. The car sat unused for 26 years.

The chassis was rust free and undamaged when it was removed from the body and given a full epoxy coat. The epoxy coating still looks fresh and shiny. No signs of corrosion or damage. Lots of photos included (see my photobucket link). It is exceedingly rare to find one of these cars on its original chassis. Particularly a chassis so well preserved for perpetual service.

The engine, also original, was rebuilt by Jerry Mong of Vanguard Motors, builder of the Bobsy racecars. Mong was a well-known twin cam expert and regularly entrusted to assemble Cosworth and other exotic engines. Very few miles on this engine since its rebuild.

I served as president of the Cleveland Lotus car club for over 10 years, this car has been known by the club basically since new. This is how I heard about the car. It was hard to imagine it was left to sit after all the work that was done.

I purchased the car and brought it home for mechanical freshening. My focus has been to make the car as reliable as possible without altering the stock appearance.

The car was fully assembled save for the accelerator linkage, which had been dismantled in an effort to figure out why he couldn't get the idle to come down to a reasonable level. I found a break in the hose behind the dash that feeds the vacuum operated headlamps switch. I suspect this was the true root cause of the high idle, and many of us can sympathize with the frustration that would come from effectively fixing "everything" only to have an unsolvable idle issue. 'The last straw' if you will.

He switched to motorcycles and the car sat unused until a health issue made him think about paring down—and buying a smaller motorcycle.

I have included a photo of the car as I first saw it in 2013, unused for 21 years.

99 photos can be found here https://beta.photobucket.com/u/rwiggins430/a/ce2cb7e7-a735-4042-9173-d501f436899f

List of work that has been completed in my care:

New clutch master and slave cylinders

Rebuilt Brake master

New fluid level warning switch

New hoses and thermostat

Complete rebuild of the Stromberg carburetors

Replaced the stock radiator with a UK-built full-width aluminum unit with English Kenlow fans

Installed a High-torque starter.

Replaced the generator with an alternator hidden in a generator body, 1/3 the weight and nearly twice the output

Replaced the regulator with NOS unit (unused per above, but visually important)

New Lucas sport coil

New Lucas starter solenoid

New Lucas headlight relays

New Lucas fuse box

Pertronix electronic ignition, cap, rotor, wires

New alloy fuel tank (the old one didn't leak, but the pickup was blocked).

New fuel pump, filter, hoses.

New headlamp linkage and tubing

The wheels were hastily painted black. The correct color is silver. The tires are the Dunlop SP4s which are the same as supplied new on these cars. They haven't been available for a while, so I have been hesitant to discard them, despite the fact that they are at least 21 years old, if not original. They create vibration from many years sitting flat, but also seem to improve with each drive. Not dry-rotted, but not as safe as a new set either.

There are a few places where there has been damage to the paint. Look at the photos closely. Not perfect, but way too nice to repaint. It still wears the (albeit faded) decal from the dealership that sold it new!

I didn't want to paint the car and ruin the originality, so I went with the white vinyl roundels. They are temporary, cover the flaws, and my inner 12-year old thinks they look cool. Unfortunately, I found that they can pull up the original paint if you are not exceptionally careful. Heat gun will help. The two main areas I wanted to cover were: First, someone placed a quart can of something on the decklid that left a ring, and second, the front edge of the passenger rear fender opening shows damage from being flexed against something immovable.

The engine starts and runs exceptionally well. The car is an absolute delight to drive. There is a reason that most of the McLaren senior leadership team owns an Elan, and that Gordon Murray, designer of the McLaren F1 says the Elan is the best sportscar he'd ever driven. The transmission is divine. A surprisingly pleasant part of the driving experience.



What it still needs:

Brakes are solid, but a set of modern pads and fresh rotors would improve performance

Wiper motor is somewhat sporadic.

The parking brake does not work. The parking brake shoes and some of the linkage are missing.

It comes with a full set of books and tools. Unbelievable opportunity. Should represent an excellent investment potential. Represents the definitive sportscar driving experience. This is one of the closest to being as it left Colin Chapman's factory.

The car is now ready to be driven, but creates a dilemma, and therefore the reason for my sale. I am low on both time and space, and preserving this car runs at odds with my need to have cars I can use aggressively with minimal stress. I am keenly aware that originally cannot be replaced and that I am simply not the best custodian.

Car is sold as is, no warranties expressed or implied.

Buyer is responsible for shipping but I will assist as much as possible.

$1000.00 deposit is due within 48 hours of auction close. The remainder is due within 7 days.

Car is listed locally, please bid early so I don't do something silly like close the auction early.


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