1965 Lotus Elan S2 For Sale
Early Elan S1 and S2 models are one of the most sought after Lotus cars. They are becoming very rare to acquire in drivable condition and Haggerty suggests the value of them is ever increasing. As some of you know, I have been restoring early Elans the last several years and know these cars very well. My first Elan S1 restoration won first place at LOG38 this year for the Elan S1/S2 category.
I bought this car several months ago as it is an unmolested true survivor 1965 Lotus Elan S2. The build plate VIN of US65164055 was invoiced by the factory in November 1964 and subsequently shipped to the US for sale as a 1965 model year Elan S2.
The original engine block, LP2437 was replaced early in the Elan’s life (with the first owner) and now has LP5908 coming from an Elan built at the end of 1966. The Lotus Twin Cam weber head has the serial number 2437 stamped on it so it is the original head that came with the car when new. One other modification was done early in the car’s life, a small steel cylinder was installed forward of the radiator (mounted in the nose of the car) as the first owner said he would lose the headlights on long downhill drives due to lack of vacuum to keep the lights upright and this was his solution.
The second owner of this Elan was Will Burnham, a long time Lotus enthusiast and co-founder of Lotus Owners of New York. Will bought the car in 1990 and was going through a mechanical and paint restoration in the fall of 1992 when Will passed away. The restoration was completed by Will’s good friend Tony Vaccaro (President of Lotus Ltd) and the Elan stayed in the Burnham family for 22 years. It was then offered to Tony and he acquired it to add to his collection of Lotus cars. Tony had well known Lotus mechanic Craig Chima go through the Elan’s mechanicals earlier this year as it had been sitting in a garage for a long time and needed attention. Craig flushed the cooling system, had the radiator cleaned and pressure tested, replaced the hoses from the radiator, rebuilt the calipers and replaced all the hydraulic fluids, replaced the engine oil and transmission fluid, removed the gas tank and had it flushed and reinstalled, repaired the wiper motor, replaced most of the interior carpet, replaced the center console and got all the electronics working. All four tires have been replaced with new ones and balanced on the OEM steel wheels.
Since I have had the Elan, I removed the differential and replaced the front seal (it was leaking) as well as torqueing the pinion nut to spec and sealing the threads, reinstalled the exhaust system (it was leaking and I installed the missing the important transmission bracket that keeps the exhaust system from moving around), installed the correct bonnet adjustment screws, new period correct chrome wiper blades, replaced the fuel pump and relocated a new glass fuel filter to the trunk where you could see it (not underneath the weber carbs where you can’t), replaced the air filter, installed period correct seat belts, acquired an original tonneau cover, repaired the loose trim on the cantrails, replaced the windshield wiper switch button with correct type, adjusted the parking brake (it actually works!) and generally went over all the details of this Elan.
This Elan S2 is in remarkable condition with the understanding it is a 53 year old car with 74,152 miles. The paint has a few scratches in some areas, the chassis (which is in good condition) has the typical areas of bent metal where it was jacked up without a wood block being used and the front chassis box (which is the vacuum chamber for the light pods, hence the alternate vacuum canister) has a small tear in the metal. The valve cover has breather vent professionally welded on the front of it with wire mesh inside of it.
This Elan runs well, the engine has good torque and doesn’t smoke oil. It handles as you would expect from an Elan, smooth and effortless. It has a nice soft top with all the correct parts of cantrails and cross bars. The interior is factory grey seats and door cards. The dash was replaced during the 1992 restoration with a burled pattern made by Madera Concepts (a high quality automotive woodwork shop).
It is now ready for a new owner who appreciates the history and patina of an historic Lotus Elan S2 that is ready for those weekend drives along country roads.
Price: $38,500 Located in Princeton, New Jersey
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Last edited by Certified Lotus; 11-17-2018 at 07:15 AM.