Another year, another Elliott Lotus Elan for sale

7

Author: James ElliottPublished:

I am not a political animal, but… damn you recession! Damn you David Cameron and your cohorts! Damn you the previous lot! Damn you the next lot! Damn you Europe and your stricken economies! Damn you Iceland, the US and pretty much everyone else, too!

Because of you all, I expect to soon be a non-Elan owner.

For the record, I have been a Lotus Elan owner since 1999. Since then, of course, I have had kids, got married and taken out a larger mortgage than I could previously have imagined (though it turns out to not be that extreme at all compared with some) and now I am soon to be a non-Elan owner.

Of course there are plenty of other people who are suffering genuine difficulties that make my middle-class dilemma pale into significance, and, being serious for just one moment, I genuinely feel for them.

So please don’t think that this little rant suggests I think I am suffering like they are, but the thought of handing over the keys to my +2 still makes me shed a rather salty tear.

I don’t expect sympathy of course – this is just a fact of life and the realisation that right now, the coalescence of kids, the cost of living and frozen salaries isn’t really conducive to having a Lotus Elan in the garage!

And so, a year after I wiped the first lot of tears from my eyes as I said farewell to my beloved ’66 S2 (above), I am about to do the same. It just has a roof this time. You can go any buy it here and put me out of my misery before I change my mind.

Fair enough, that's my lot, but the interesting thing that some of you may have twigged is that losing the Elan will still leave me two other classics.

Why the Elan instead of them?

Well the Triumph 2.5PI was never under threat because its value wouldn't even make a dent in the credit card bill and every time I extract it from the lock-up and ‘old faithful’ fires straight up with that intoxicating burble, my heart skips a little beat.

Then there is the Jensen.

As all my colleagues and my wife have pointed out (at tedious length), it is utter craziness to keep a relatively poor-condition moneypit that is up on axle stands even as I type – and when it isn't on the stands it does only 7mpg in town – instead of an excellent-condition, economical, sporty daily driver that looks great, is easy to maintain and generally cheap to fix in comparison.

I am not even sure that I understand it myself, because even I accept that the Jensen probably offers only years of mounting costs and heartbreak, but all I can say is: "Given that one of them has to go, at the moment I can bear the thought of being without the Elan marginally more than I can bear the thought of being without the Interceptor."

There are all sorts of other flimsy justifications as well of course – given the way prices are going, there is more chance of being able to buy a +2 than an Interceptor in a few years time, for example – but the truth is way simpler than that. By placing it above even my adored +2, I have just discovered quite how much I love my mangy old dog of an Interceptor, and I'm not sure I was expecting that.

Elan for sale. Sniff.

Comments

Schneemann

You're keeping the Jensen because it's a serious vehicle for a gentleman. Driving it is an event that makes you feel proud to be British.

You're getting rid of the Elan because it's a toy for children. And, there comes a time when it's time to put aside childish things...

I'd sell my Lotus 7GTS before I'd sell my Aston DB6 for the same reason. And, I came to much the same conclusion when I decided that I had too many Maseratis - I sold the Spyder and kept the Coupe. It was far more grown up.

AdamH

So how mangy is the Jensen really, James? Didn't it have a lot of work done before your wedding?

As for the MPG, if the Lotus sells for reasonable money, what about an LPG convertion?

AdamH

Ahem - 'conversion'

James Elliott

Adam,
The Jensen is pretty ropey now. It doesn't really matter what you do, it doesn't take many British winters to take it back to scratch if you use it a lot. An LPG conversion is on the cards, but only if I sell the Elan. Not a nibble yet and it surely can't be too expensive because I am asking less than anyone else in the UK for a road legal runner. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Group Editor, C&SC

MrBenovich

Ditch the Jensen.

Keep the Elan.

'nuff said...

soggykitkat

Hi James,
I really feel for you, the Elan is a great little car. Please don't even think about LPG for the Interceptor. As for values, I think the Jensen brand has started to climb and the future looks bright enough to see those rises go exponential. Lisa's MkIII Interceptor (the ASBO) is in just as bad a condition, however it never fails to put a smile on my face when I catch its reflection in a shop window. I have fitted an HHO kit to it to experiment with the MPG. We've gone from 7.5 round town to 12MPG.
Lewi

Chairman
Jensen Owners' Club

Schneemann

I saw an Interceptor for sale at a well-known supercar dealers last week with a £150K price tag. It did have a Viper engine in it though, and, there wasn't much left on it that had left the factory in 1974...

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