1968 Lotus Elan 2+2


  • Subjected to an extensive cosmetic and mechanical overhaul during the current owners stewardship
  • Full exterior respray completed in 2021
  • Thoroughly sorted and reportedly driving very well indeed
  • Dry stored
  • Part of a collection

The Appeal

Renowned for their impeccable handling and sprightly performance, the Lotus Elan with its high-revving twin-cam engine and compact footprint made for an immensely capable sports car. 

Launched in 1967 and aimed at young families, the Elan +2 introduced modest rear seating but to all intents and purposes it remained the responsive driver’s car that it had been in two-seater form.

Here we have a very fine 1968 example that benefits from extensive mechanical work and a full respray. Intent on owning the best driving example possible, the vendor ensured no expense was spared in getting this Lotus to run as well as it could, with repeated visits to renowned specialists Paul Matty Sports Cars.

If you’re after a ‘60s Lotus that’s as impressive to drive as it is to look at, then this is certainly the car you’ve been looking for.

The History and Paperwork

  • Previously in dry storage for a long period before present ownership
  • Acquired by the vendor in July 2020
  • Subject to a comprehensive mechanical overhaul in recent years
  • Exempt from road tax and MOT testing
  • Stored along with the remainder of the vendor’s collection in a car storage specialist’s dehumidified facility 
  • Accompanied by a number of invoices for parts, servicing and restoration work
  • The vendor informs us that in excess of £20,000 has been spent on the mechanicals alone during their ownership on comprehensive work carried out on the brakes, rear end, chassis and new tyres
  • A ringbinder containing an original workshop manual is present
  • There’s a further ringbinder with a service parts list within
  • A box for the new, retro-styled Blaupunkt Bremen is included
  • The 11,034 miles displayed on the five-figure odometer is supported by recent MOT history although the car has likely covered more miles in its lifetime
  • The odometer displayed a mere 2,390 miles during the 2006 MOT test, which is the earliest accessible online certificate

The Interior

  • An older interior restoration is still holding up well with a few more trimming jobs carried out during the vendor’s ownership
  • Smart upholstery with a veneered dashboard lending a premium feel
  • Equipped with a Blaupunkt Bremen retro-style stereo

Climbing aboard this Elan is like stepping back in time and this +2 boasts a quintessentially ‘60s aesthetic. We’re informed this car sports an older interior restoration and it’s holding up very nicely, with some light patination developing in places.

The black upholstery is in really good order and exhibits barely any wear of note. The same can be said of the controls, which are perfectly positioned for making spirited progress along even the twistiest sections of tarmac. A Mountney sports wheel aids precise placement in the corners and the ‘rifle-bolt’ gear change is easily attained by the lever falling perfectly to hand.

The black carpeting presents well, with minimal wear and we understand the headlining is also in good order. All appears in fair condition inside the boot with only the carpets dropping a bit on the nearside.

A highly figured veneer dashboard holds a smorgasbord of instrumentation and switchgear, all of which are reportedly in good working order. The veneer fascia itself looks to be in good order with just a few small imperfections and you’ll note a centrally mounted Blaupunkt Bremen, a retro-styled modern stereo with present-day functionality.

The Exterior 

  • Resprayed in a very fetching shade of blue
  • Steel wheels resprayed in black with ‘knock-off’ spinners
  • Similar construction to the two-seater Elan
  • Full length sunroof in perfect order
  • New tyres

While marginally larger than the 2-seater Elan, the +2’s construction is broadly similar, with a backbone chassis and sleek glass fibre bodywork designed by Ron Hickman. Like its smaller sibling, the +2 is an immensely handsome car with flowing curves and sporty, rakish feel.

After stripping it right back to gel coat, a full exterior respray was completed in 2021 by LSJ in Hertfordshire at the cost of £8,448 and the vendor remarks that it remains in excellent shape with no obvious blemishes. It certainly looks very smart with a good depth of shine and the bodywork too appears in really nice shape.

The chrome is beginning to deteriorate slightly in places with a little pitting, but this isn’t particularly noticeable and doesn’t detract from the car’s overall appearance. The underslung Lucas spot lamps are complete with their covers and in good order. So too, the pop-up headlamps apparently operate well.

The Mechanics 

  • 1.6-litre Lotus DOHC four-cylinder engine
  • Fuelling courtesy of twin Weber carburettors
  • We’re informed that over £20,000 has been spent on the mechanicals alone
  • Extensive work carried out on the brake hubs

The vendor informs us that before they purchased the car, the gearbox was overhauled, the ‘doughnuts’ in the driveline were replaced and electronic ignition was fitted to the engine.

Since then, the vendor has entrusted the mechanical work to esteemed specialists Paul Matty Sports Cars who were tasked with making this the best running and driving Elan +2 that it possibly could be. Following several appointments with Paul Matty and over £20,000 in expenditure, this car now reportedly drives impeccably, with ample performance and rewarding handling.

The vendor also requested an auto electrician attend to a few Lucas wiring gremlins and at the same time, they fitted the aforementioned Blaupunkt stereo.


We love how much hard work has gone into making this Elan drive as well as it does. If you’re looking for an eminently usable Lotus, look no further than this 1968 example.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1968
  • Make Lotus
  • Model Elan 2 + 2
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 11,034 Miles
  • Engine size 1558
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Leighton Buzzard
  • Location Bedfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
20 bids
  • Ja•••• £23,111 29/05/23
  • De•••• £22,911 29/05/23
  • Ja•••• £22,661 29/05/23
  • De•••• £22,411 29/05/23
  • Ja•••• £22,400 29/05/23
  • Ja•••• £22,150 29/05/23
  • De•••• £21,900 29/05/23
  • 01•••• £21,500 29/05/23
  • De•••• £20,377 29/05/23
  • Ro•••• £20,100 29/05/23

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