1971 Lotus Elan Plus 2
1971 Lotus Elan Plus 2
-1.6L 4 Cylinder
-4 Speed Manual
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1971 Lotus Elan Plus 2 on a site other than GarageKeptMotors.com, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of this vehicle due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 160 photographs, including a short walk-around-and-startup video, please go to our main website: GarageKeptMotors.)
“The Elan very simply represents the sports car developed in tune with the state of the art. It comes closer than anything else on the market to providing a Formula car for ordinary street use. “ Car and Driver, January 1970
In a May 2010 Autoweek article entitled “The family Lotus,” the magazine chronicled the development of the Elan Plus 2: “Of the first cars produced by Colin Chapman's company, Lotus, most were racers, and only a few were sports cars. Two of those, the Seven (1957-70) and the Elan (1962-73), became motoring icons. Yet, it was the Elan Plus 2 variant introduced in 1967, which made up nearly a third of all Elans sold, remains largely unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Built on an extended version of the little Elan's innovative backbone chassis, the Plus 2 was 315 pounds heavier than its smaller sibling while utilizing the same 118-hp Lotus Ford twin-cam engine. Still, the Elan Plus 2 was lively enough, with a 0-to-60-mph time of 8.5 seconds and a 120-mph top speed. While its roomier cabin, extra seats and larger trunk broadened its appeal, the car's svelte, sexy styling made the Elan Plus 2 stand out.”
You can see all that “stand out” quality in the 1971 Lotus Elan Plus 2 offered here. This very-low-mileage example (just 45,000 miles) has been mildly refreshed in a manner appropriate for what is truly a classic automobile.
The car's exterior paint has been professionally refreshed with a deep red, almost burgundy metallic re-spray. The color is period-appropriate and is particularly handsome across the car's entire body. Badging and emblems have been removed enhancing appreciation of the car's styling. From the front-hinged, off-center-scoop hood, through the pop-up headlights, across the smooth flanks and the sloping roof, to the bobbed rear end, the paint is free of damage or signs of wear or fading. Steel wheels feature knock-off hubs and are mounted with Michelin Defender radial tires.
The Elan's interior is rendered in black, and has recently been refreshed. Bucket seat ventilated upholstery—including on the rear “plus 2” seats—is in excellent condition with only the driver's seat cushion showing a small hole. Door trim is complete with some fading of the carpeted lower surfaces. The headliner is intact and not drooping. The original, Lotus-branded steering wheel is in place and frames what can only be described as a beautifully classic, driver-centric, British dashboard adorned with chrome-trimmed Smiths gauges, a host of rocker switches, brightly colored warning lights, and a flat, burled-wood surface across its entire width. The shifter knob on the floor-mounted shifter is rendered in walnut with the 4-speed shift pattern shown on an inlaid, forged metal “button.” Black carpeting completes the car's cabin. The original Lotus Works data tag showing the unit number and the engine number is properly mounted and legible. The trunk is tidy and includes the spare tire mounted on a matching wheel.
Under the hood, the Lotus-Ford 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder, double overhead-camshaft engine is exceptionally clean and orderly. (Listening to the engine's exhaust note by way of the video available at the GarageKeptMotors site is pure audio entertainment.) Twin, side-mounted carburetors feed fuel. A replacement, custom aluminum radiator has been added. All other components are properly mounted. Viewed from underneath, the car's chassis—including independent-suspension components—show no significant rust. The car's undercarriage is remarkably clean overall.
The refreshed-but-faithful-to-the-original condition of this Lotus Elan Plus 2 is presented in the more than 160 high-definition photographs, together with a short walk-around-and-startup video mentioned above, available at the GarageKeptMotors site. That said, there is no substitute for an in-person, up-close inspection. We encourage such inspections by interested parties at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. We ask only that an appointment be made by phone or email in advance. Our showroom is not open to the public.
Legendary automotive journalist, Peter Egan, described the Elan Plus 2 driving experience in a 2015 Road & Track article: “The light and tactile steering, combined with supple suspension and a weird, physics-defying sense of zero weight transfer in corners, provides a sensation akin to flying just over the ground. I'm convinced there's a powerful pleasure center in the brain that remains untapped until you drive an Elan. It's almost a drug.”
Fortunately for this Plus 2's next owner, it's a very legal drug.