The Lotus Elan has been described as a “road racer’s dream.” This dream has also given many a driver the nightmare of being stranded while trying to get to Sunday brunch.  All this leads us to this 1967 coupe restored some 20 years ago.

Since the time of the reported full restoration, the car is said to have been rarely driven—but well maintained under the care of the same owner and same mechanic. Everything faulty has been rebuilt or replaced. The twin-cam engine appears clean, and the transmission works. The seller is sure to mention that there was no road test done for this car.

The seller calls the car virtually flawless, noting only a small oil leak that develops while the car sits. The red paint is glossy and bright, showing only one small blemish on the driver’s door frame.  In addition, there is a 1/16-inch snag on the leather passenger seat, and the windshield wipers don’t work.  The seller offers some sage advice, “As with any vintage sports car, service is always recommended before daily driving.”

We’ll add some of our own advice, which is to have an expert check the car before purchase.

The price spread between a basket-case Lotus Elan and a good driver is not extreme, so a restored, well-cared-for car could represent a fair value. The SCM Pocket Price Guide values 1966-1968 Elan Series 3 coupes at $13k to $18k for a 2 condition car.

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